What can I use instead of bacon grease? The best substitutes for bacon grease are animal-based fats like lard, butter, ghee, tallow, and duck fat. Plant-based alternatives include olive oil, coconut oil, and peanut oil.
Bacon grease is the fat rendered when you slowly and gently fry bacon, cooking off the water. It is a delicious ingredient to add a sweet, smokey flavor and brown fried potatoes, hashbrowns, chicken, and eggs.
Toss bacon grease through green, leafy veggies, pasta, or popcorn, or use it instead of butter on sandwiches. Here are the eight best substitutes for bacon grease.
The Best Bacon Grease Substitutes
The best substitute for bacon grease is lard.
Lard consists of rendered pork fat, which means bacon grease is a type of lard.
This greasy ingredient contains both saturated and monosaturated fat. Because of health concerns, cooking with lard has become unfashionable, especially with the advent of plant-based cooking oils.
With a high smoke point, lard is excellent for frying. It gives food a delicious savory flavor without the added saltiness of bacon grease.
Use lard instead of bacon grease when frying potatoes, sautéeing vegetables, or roasting poultry. Lard is particularly good for making pastry, producing crisp, light, flaky pie crusts.
Replace bacon grease with equal amounts of lard to add pork flavor and richness.
The most popular animal fat, butter, is a convenient alternative to bacon grease.
Butter is traditionally made by churning cream until it thickens, becoming rich and smooth. It contains around 85% butterfat, the rest consisting of water. Most commercially made butter also contains salt.
Luscious and appealing, butter adds flavor, texture, and richness to any dish. It is a staple when making sandwiches, toast, and grilled cheese. Even if you avoid cooking with butter because of its high fat count, it is the best choice for baking cakes, biscuits, and cookies.
Toss butter instead of bacon grease through cooked vegetables, popcorn, or pasta, or use it to thicken and enrich sauces.
Butter has an even lower smoke point than bacon grease, so it’s suitable for gentle pan-frying, sautéeing, and basting roast meat. Browning butter adds a smokiness that hints at bacon.
Use butter to replace bacon grease 1:1.
Ghee is a healthy substitute for bacon grease.
Made from clarified or rendered butter, ghee is a staple of Indian cuisine and an excellent butter alternative for those with lactose allergies or intolerance.
This rich, buttery oil is 100% fat (as opposed to butter) and remains high-calorie.
Still, ghee is a versatile ingredient, imparting an appealing nuttiness and creaminess to food.
Ghee, having a higher smoke point than butter, is handy for deep-fat and pan-frying, including potatoes.
Use ghee instead of bacon grease for enriching vegetables, meat, and sauces. It is spreadable at room temperature, so it can be used on pancakes and sandwiches.
Replace bacon grease with equal amounts of ghee. Add liquid smoke for a bacon-type flavor.
Another animal-based fat that can replace bacon grease is tallow.
Tallow or dripping refers to rendered beef or mutton fat.
Like bacon grease and lard, tallow is high in fats, containing 14g per tablespoon. For a long time, tallow fell out of favor for this reason.
However, keto and paleo enthusiasts have revived its use. Tallow from grass-fed animals is high in healthy triglycerides.
With a much higher smoke point than bacon grease, tallow is ideal for deep-frying. For many years, tallow was used for cooking fries in fast-food restaurants.
You can use tallow instead of bacon grease for frying, sautéeing, and roasting meat and vegetables. It has a rich, butter-like consistency, making it perfect for pastry and biscuit baking.
Replace bacon with equal measures of tallow. However, tallow has minimal flavor and won’t impart the sweet-savory flavor profile of bacon.
Use duck fat as an alternative to bacon grease.
Duck fat or schmalz is rendered from duck meat and is particularly thick, rich, and gorgeously flavored. Like all animal-based fats, it is very high in cholesterol and calories.
Most famously used for duck confit, where duck legs are cooked and then preserved in duck fat, this oil has a medium smoke point and is suitable for pan frying and roasting.
Use duck fat instead of bacon grease when you want luscious roast potatoes, stir-fried veggies, pie crust, mayonnaise, or an unusual popcorn topping.
Replace bacon grease with a similar amount of duck fat.
The best plant-based substitute for bacon grease is olive oil.
Olive oil, made from pressed olives, is a staple of Mediterranean cooking and has become commonly used worldwide.
Olive oil is known for its health and nutritional benefits, rich in heart-healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In addition, it is delicious and versatile.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) comes from the first olive pressing with no chemicals or heat involved. It has a bright, fruity flavor, beautiful green color, and a low smoke point.
It is a suitable replacement for bacon grease in dressings or finishing cooked vegetables.
More refined olive oil has a paler color and milder flavor but a higher smoke point. It can replace bacon grease when grilling, roasting, pan-frying, or sautéeing.
Replace bacon grease with similar quantities of olive oil for a healthier, plant-based option without the salty, meaty flavor.
Another plant-based alternative to bacon grease is coconut oil.
Coconut oil is made from pressing coconut meat and varies from “virgin” or unrefined to highly refined versions.
This oil is popular with health enthusiasts, particularly followers of the keto diet because it boosts metabolism while suppressing the appetite.
Like butter, coconut oil solidifies when cold. It remains spreadable at room temperature, making coconut oil a suitable replacement for bacon grease in sandwiches and bakes.
Unrefined coconut oil has a distinctly nutty flavor and gorgeous consistency. It has a low smoke point, so reserve it for pan-frying, roasting, or sautéeing.
Try refined coconut oil for a more neutral flavor and a higher smoke point. You can use it for any cooking method, including deep-frying.
Use coconut oil as a bacon grease alternative when you need rich flavor but not necessarily saltiness or smokiness.
A third plant-based alternative to bacon grease is peanut oil.
Pressed from peanuts, this oil is a staple of Asian cuisine, especially Thai and Chinese stir-fries.
Cold-pressed peanut oil retains the sweet, nutty flavor and richness of peanuts.
This delectable unrefined oil is rich in cholesterol-lowering, heart-healthy fats. Use it instead of bacon grease as a flavorful finishing oil for vegetables, dressings, and marinades.
A lot of commercially available peanut oil has been so heavily refined, processed, bleached, and deodorized as to be unhealthy.
Unfortunately, this oil has a high smoke point, so it is commonly used in the fast-food industry for deep-frying potatoes and chicken.
Good-quality refined peanut oil can replace bacon grease when making stir-fries, pan-frying chicken, or grilling meat and fish.
Substitute equal measures of peanut oil for bacon grease, so long as no one eating has peanut allergies.