I remember being a kid and it seemed there were two types of grease in our house that were used for cooking. Bacon grease was one of those. Bacon grease can be used as the added fat for frying, sauteing and I would suppose if you have enough even deep frying. Bacon grease should not be cooked at high temperatures, as cooking at a lower temperature will reduce the risk of burning any Bacon Fat Grease or any of the possible substitutions for Bacon Grease. Your choice should be based on the different qualities that each has and what it can or could not do for the food.
I am not going to lie, there are many foods that taste better when you use Bacon Grease. Eggs of all types, including omelets taste wonderful with the added bacon flavor. Using bacon grease to coat the outside of the potato for baking adds a delightful and much-loved flavor to the potato, especially if you are making Twice Baked Potatoes.
However, except for Keto dieters, many people are swapping out their regular bacon for a healthier plant-based version of the breakfast standard. What substitutes can be used when you have no Bacon Grease in your kitchen?
Luckily, there are quite a few options that can be substituted for Bacon grease. There is Lard, Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Coconut Oil, Butter, Beef fat, or even the fat from Chicken Skin. Each one of these options works great as a substitute, however, each one cannot be used on all foods without some changes to the taste of the food itself.
Let’s go over each of the options and see when it is best to use that substitute and for what items.
9 Best Bacon Grease Substitutes
Lard, to many people, is the old fashioned form of shortening. Lard can be used for baking, frying, sauteing and grilling. Considering that for years lard was given a bad rap due to the high amounts of saturated fats. Recently though, lard is being recognized once again as a great substitute for the kitchen. There is less trans in lard than there is in shortening and less saturated fat than butter.
Lard is best used when using a cast iron pan. It works best for deep frying Chicken or French Fries. Lard can be substituted in pastries, pie crusts and biscuits.
Olive Oil is an excellent substitute to make your meals healthier. Olive Oil is strictly a plant based product, therefore there is no cholesterol to worry about. Olive Oil will create a tenderness, it will emphasize the spices and even the flavor of the meat. There is no remnant of an oily texture after cooking with Olive Oil. Another advantage of Olive Oil is that you can cook at a higher temperature than most other fats. Olive Oil is perfect when you are Stir-frying vegetables, frying meats and is the perfect substitute whether you are vegan or vegetarian.
Using Beef Fat as a substitute for Bacon Grease is becoming a popular choice. The two shae many similar qualities, but they each have their own separate advantages when it comes to cooking. Beef fat actually resembles the qualities of butter better than all other fats.
What this means for your foods that are cooked in Beef fat is that they will each retain their own natural flavors versus tasting like Beef fat. As with Olive Oil, Beef fat has a higher smoke point than many other forms of fat.
Beef Fat is also called Beef Tallow. There are many foods that benefit from the use of Beef fat when roasting, frying, or sauteing. Vegetables and meats alike will gain a crispy outer crunch while allowing the meat to stay tender and moist. To get a great sear on your steaks, using Beef Fat or beef tallow is the way to keep the steak juicy.
When you want a fat for cooking with some of the same qualities and similar flavor as Bacon Grease, reach for the butter. This does not mean margarine, Margarine is made with water and this will separate from the fats as you heat the margarine. Butter stays together as a fat. The flavor to Bacon grease is similar, not identical. Butter has a richer flavor. The best dishes that can handle butter as a substitution for bacon grease are those with their own strong flavors.
Those include some such as potatoes and popcorn. However, butter will also add richness and unique flavor to Roux or other sauces. Butter has a higher smoke point than bacon grease, however, you would still be wise to not cook on a high temperature. The browned butter will add more of a salty flavor to whatever food is cooked in it.
Peanut is becoming another one of those popular choices for frying foods. This is due to the high smoke point that Peanut Oil has. Although Peanut Oil is from Peanuts, it has more of a neutral flavor. The high smoke point makes peanut oil ideal for frying foods such as French Fries or doughnuts. The light and delicate flavor works best for foods that do not need to compete for their flavor. Peanut Oil is also believed to enhance the flavor and aroma of spices and herbs.
6.Chicken Skin Grease
Chicken Skin Grease is a very close replacement for Bacon Grease. If you want a fat for cooking that is similar to bacon grease, but you do not want the Pork flavor, then use the grease from frying Chicken Skin. Chicken grease is easy to get in the food stores and it is just as easy to prepare if not easier.
Besides, when you grab chicken with the skin on, you not only are able to use the Chicken Skin Fat for other foods, you still have all that tasty Chicken meat. Roasting or frying vegetables such as potatoes and other root type receive an additional enhancement when they are roasted, fried or baked using Chicken Skin Grease.
When it comes to Asian cooking, Sesame oil is the one that is used most often. When Sesame Oil is substituted for Bacon Grease, it is a more heart healthy option. Sesame Oil has a very slight nut flavor and also contains natural antioxidants and Vitamin E. This oil may not be quite as tasty as Bacon Grease, but it can be used in many of the same foods, if not more. Rice and noodles, Soups and even sauces can all use Sesame Oil as the fat to replace using Bacon Grease.
Available in both liquid and solid form, Coconut Oil is a great vegetarian substitute for Bacon Grease. Coconut Oil can be used in most foods that are cooked in Bacon Grease. Rather than being harmful to your heart health, Coconut Oil will actually help your health.
Coconut Oil contains antimicrobial properties that can help to combat heart disease and some cancer. It also helps to boost the metabolism and increase the energy levels, which may help you to lose weight. The only negative side to coconut oil is that it is a small percentage higher in saturated fats than bacon grease or many other substitutes for bacon grease.
The idea of using Avocado Oil instead of Bacon Grease is one of those ideas that many people do not consider often. Avocado Oil is a substitute that can be eaten raw or heated. This oil has a load of health benefits. This makes it possibly one of the healthiest options for bacon grease. When it comes to a heart healthy substitute, Avocado Oil is lower in cholesterol and can help your heart health.
Bacon grease will allow you to add a special and distinct flavor to many foods you cook. Thankfully though, there are other options as substitutes for Bacon Grease. I would go as far as to say that Bacon Grease is mouth-watering and addicting. When you can’t have the best, you need to find a substitute that will enhance and yet not overwhelm the foods you are cooking.
When it comes to choosing the best substitutes for Bacon Grease, one needs to determine what it is that they want for the flavor and the outcome of flavors. The substitute options that were outlined here are some of the best options. These were chosen in regards to flavors, the smoke point and which foods can be cooked with the substitute.
Some of these are vegan, some are vegetarian and some are animal products. Compared to Bacon Grease, most of these will not over up the food flavors, some do not add any enhancement like Bacon Grease does. A few of these may seem to replicate the same flavor that Bacon Grease does.
9 Best Bacon Grease Substitutes
- Olive Oil
- Beef Fat
- Peanut Oil
- Chicken Skin Grease
- Sesame Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- From the list of substitutes above, pick your favorite to use in its place.
- Use your imagination and be creative with these substitute recipes!