Canning Bacon Grease: A Comprehensive Guide to Safe and Effective Preservation

Bacon grease, a flavorful and versatile cooking medium, is a staple in many kitchens. While it imparts a smoky richness to dishes, its shelf life can be limited, especially at room temperature. Fortunately, canning bacon grease is a viable option for extending its shelf life and preserving its quality. This guide will delve into the intricacies of canning bacon grease, providing step-by-step instructions, safety considerations, and troubleshooting tips.

Canning Bacon Grease: A Safe and Effective Method

Canning bacon grease is a safe and effective method for long-term storage. By heating the grease to a high temperature and sealing it in airtight jars, you can prevent spoilage and preserve its flavor for months. However, it’s crucial to note that canning bacon grease is not an approved method by the USDA due to the potential for botulism growth. Therefore, it’s essential to follow proper canning techniques and consume canned bacon grease within a reasonable timeframe.

Step-by-Step Canning Instructions


  • Bacon grease
  • Clean glass jars with lids and rings
  • Pressure canner
  • Jar lifter
  • Tongs
  • Clean towels


  1. Render the bacon grease: Render bacon grease by cooking bacon in a skillet or oven until crispy. Strain the grease through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any solids.

  2. Prepare the jars: Sterilize glass jars, lids, and rings by boiling them in water for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water using a jar lifter and place them on a clean towel to dry.

  3. Fill the jars: Carefully pour the hot bacon grease into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any grease.

  4. Seal the jars: Place the lids and rings on the jars and tighten them securely.

  5. Process in a pressure canner: Place the filled jars in a pressure canner and add enough water to cover the jars by 1-2 inches. Process the jars at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes.

  6. Cool and store: Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and let the pressure canner cool down naturally. Remove the jars from the canner and let them cool completely before storing them in a cool, dark place.

Safety Considerations

  • Always use clean equipment and utensils to prevent contamination.
  • Ensure the jars, lids, and rings are sterilized before use.
  • Process the jars in a pressure canner to achieve the necessary temperature for safe storage.
  • Do not store canned bacon grease for more than 6 months.
  • Discard any jars that show signs of spoilage, such as bulging lids, leaks, or off-odors.


  • Jars did not seal: If the jars did not seal properly, reprocess them in a pressure canner for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Bacon grease is cloudy: Cloudiness in canned bacon grease is normal and does not indicate spoilage.
  • Bacon grease is rancid: If the bacon grease develops an off-odor or taste, discard it immediately.

Canning bacon grease is a practical and effective method for preserving its flavor and extending its shelf life. By following the steps outlined in this guide and adhering to safety considerations, you can safely enjoy canned bacon grease for months to come. Remember, while canning bacon grease is not an approved USDA method, it can be a valuable technique for home cooks who want to preserve their culinary creations.

While we here are always looking to learn ways to preserve food without freezing or canning, in the mean time, I learned how to pressure can bacon several years ago and, since it is so easy, I thought I would share it with you in case it might be helpful to anyone. The price of bacon has seemed to skyrocket over the years (at least in actual prices). Wouldn’t you love to “pounce” on a good bacon sale and be able to preserve it in bulk without using up freezer space or risking freezer burn? AND, it would already be pre-cooked! Real bacon! Well, below is a simple tutorial as to how I process and pressure can bacon pieces. (Sorry, if you want to can entire pieces there are other tutorials on line). Investing in a canner and some jars/lids is really not very expensive at all compared to the savings over time when you find great sales. You can pressure can just about anything.

I processed fifteen pounds of bacon and grease at a pint jar size. Follow the canning book instructions to the letter and pressure for 75 minutes in my reliable pressure canner (don’t be intimidated, if I can do it, anyone “can” ). Since we are approximately 1,100 feet above sea level, kindly follow these guidelines and your own altitude:

This is the large bowl of bacon grease that I strained; it will be canned with the bacon in different jars. In this manner, the grease will not go rancid and will be kept fresh until I’m ready to use it:

Heb. 11:8–10 – “By faith, Abraham obeyed the call to go forth into a place where he would later receive an inheritance; he went forth without knowing where he was going.” He lived in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs to the same promise, while he journeyed through the land of promise by faith. This was because he searched for a city with foundations, whose creator and builder is God. “.

And here’s the result! Although it doesn’t look very good, this is delicious precooked bacon that can be used in any recipe you choose by simply pouring it out of the jar. You can use the grease to fry with, or you can heat it up and remove all of the grease. When recipes call for bacon, it usually requires advance preparation. This way, it’s all ready right away!.

We are new to self-reliance. We own a cabin in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains and are trying to learn how to live off the grid, but a lot of things are more expensive than we can afford. Can you tell us the best and most reliable way to harvest and store vegetable seeds from our garden to use next season? My spouse has connected us to a battery system and is building his own wind generator.

Harvesting and storing your own seeds is a very simple and cost-effective process. Check out my piece “Saving seeds,” which appears in the magazine’s 129th issue and can be accessed online at http://www backwoodshome. com/articles2/clay129. html. I understand that you need to live cheaply off the grid. We, too, are challenged with this. I’ve previously lived off the grid for incredibly low costs by just using very little electricity, which was produced by a smaller, less expensive generator that was used a few times per week. Though it’s amazing what you can do for yourself and how happy you are while doing it, you do learn to conserve and use electricity very frugally. Enjoy the journey! — Jackie.

I occasionally fry eggs, potatoes, and cornbread in bacon grease. My mother fries a lot of bacon, saves the grease, and brings it to me, so I have several jars of it in the fridge. Thank you for your inspiration to try canning new things that I had always been told I could not can. Can the bacon grease be canned and stored for later use? If so, how long would it last if canned at home? I love your canning book and use it quite often.

Just like with lard, bacon grease can be stored. I simply reheat it and transfer it to sterilized half-pint or pint jars. Pour in water to within 1/2 inch of the top, cover with a hot, previously simmered lid, and tighten the ring firmly. The jars will seal without further processing. From my experience, this will not go rancid for years. I’m glad you like the canning book! — Jackie.

Canning Bacon


How long does canned bacon grease last?

Where To Store Bacon Grease. Although many of us grew up with relatives who stored their bacon grease in a jar or can set on the counter or on the back of the stovetop, food safety experts don’t recommend storing it that way now. Instead, store bacon grease in the refrigerator (up to 3 months) or freezer (indefinitely)

How long will home canned bacon last?

Properly canned food stored in a cool, dry place will retain optimum eating quality for at least 1 year. Canned food stored in a warm place near hot pipes, a range, a furnace, or in indirect sunlight may lose some of its eating quality in a few weeks or months, depending on the temperature.

Can you put bacon grease in a jar?

Place a coffee filter or cheesecloth over the mouth of a glass container, like a Mason jar, or a container made for bacon drippings. Press the filter down so that it fits snugly inside the mouth of the jar. Slowly pour the warm (not hot!) bacon grease into the jar—don’t rush this step.

How do you store bacon grease?

To safely store bacon grease, you must first get rid of any small bits of bacon that are left behind: Place a coffee filter or cheesecloth over the mouth of a glass container, like a Mason jar, or a container made for bacon drippings. Press the filter down so that it fits snugly inside the mouth of the jar.

Can you freeze bacon grease?

If you plan to freeze your bacon grease, portion small amounts by letting the grease cool slightly—and, then, strain and pour into freezer-safe containers (like an ice cube tray). Pop it in the freezer and defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before using. There’s a reason jars of bacon grease are a staple in Southern kitchens.

How do you keep bacon grease from going rancid?

Removing the bacon bits will also help prevent the grease from going rancid. Although many of us grew up with relatives who stored their bacon grease in a jar or can set on the counter or on the back of the stovetop, food safety experts don’t recommend storing it that way now.

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