Bacon grease is used for many recipes and is delicious cooking fat. However, suppose you don’t have access to bacon grease or prefer cooking without it. In that case, you might wonder if there are any substitutes for bacon grease.
There are various substitutes for bacon grease, including beef fat, chicken skin fat, lard, ghee, goose fat, butter, and tallow. There are also plant-based oils you can use as a substitute for bacon grease, including sesame oil, peanut oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening.
While these various fats and oils work well as a substitute for bacon grease, none taste precisely the same as bacon grease. Therefore, we will discuss all the different substitutes for bacon grease and which dishes will work best with these substitutes.
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The Best Substitutes For Bacon Grease
Bacon grease is delicious cooking fat. It gives the food a smokey, meaty flavor. However, bacon grease isn’t the healthiest cooking fat. Therefore, you might wonder if there are substitutes for bacon grease that will allow you to make your favorite dishes healthier.
In addition, we’ll share some animal fats that aren’t necessarily healthier but can serve as an excellent substitute for bacon grease if you don’t have access to it. These are the best substitutes for bacon grease available.
Substitute #1: Beef Fat
Beef fat serves as an excellent substitute for bacon grease. Although the taste isn’t the same, beef fat has a higher smoking point, making it suitable for stir-fries and dishes that require quick cooking at high heat. In addition, beef fat has a similar texture and richness as butter.
However, beef fat doesn’t taste the same as bacon fat. Therefore, it won’t offer the same smokey flavor as bacon grease. Nevertheless, beef fat is an excellent substitute for bacon grease with the right spices and other ingredients.
Note: you can use your own beef fat collected from recipes, or buy it cooked down with impurities removed, which is called tallow. (More info on tallow farther down!)
Substitute #2: Butter
Butter is another great alternative to bacon grease. Butter has a rich flavor and an excellent mouth feel. While it doesn’t taste the same as bacon grease, butter has a milder, neutral taste, meaning you can add any flavor to the dish. Butter also doesn’t have the strong smell bacon grease does, meaning that you don’t have to mask it. Therefore, butter is an excellent substitute for bacon grease.
Substitute #3: Chicken Skin Grease
Chicken skin grease is an excellent substitute for bacon grease if you don’t eat pork. Because this fat is rendered out of the chicken skin by cooking it, it develops some of the same smokey flavors bacon grease has. You can use chicken skin grease in all the same dishes as bacon grease, and you’ll notice many similar flavors.
Substitute #4: Lard
Lard is another pork derivative. As such, it has many of the same properties as bacon grease. Lard has the same smoking point as bacon grease. Lard also has a similar flavor profile. However, bacon has a smokey flavor that lard does not. Therefore, although the two add a similar flavor to food, you will notice a slight difference. Overall, lard is an excellent substitute for bacon grease.
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Substitute #5: Tallow
Tallow is similar produce to lard. However, where lard is derived from pork, tallow is derived from beef or lamb. As a result, tallow has uniquely rich flavors. It is an excellent substitute for bacon grease when making stir-fries or sauteed vegetables. While tallow won’t add precisely the same flavors to your dishes as bacon grease, it is a great alternative in nearly every instance.
Substitute #6: Ghee
Ghee is clarified butter, and it is most often used in Indian cooking. Ghee has a sweeter taste than regular butter. That subtle, sweet undertone adds something delicious to any cooked dish. Ghee is an excellent substitute for bacon grease, even if it doesn’t add precisely the same flavors to your food that bacon grease does.
Substitute #7: Goose Fat
Goose fat is another excellent substitute for bacon grease. Rendered goose fat is obtained the same way as chicken skin fat, meaning it also has the rich smokey flavors of bacon grease. Therefore, goose fat is an excellent substitute for bacon grease. In addition, goose fat is slightly healthier than bacon grease and is, therefore, a better alternative for the health conscious.
Substitute #8: Peanut Oil
Peanut oil is another oil substitute with a high smoke point and is an excellent substitute for bacon grease. Peanut oil is also a vegan substitute for bacon grease. Although it doesn’t taste the same, peanut oil has a light and neutral flavor. You can add various smokey flavors to the food to give it a similar taste to bacon grease.
Substitute #9: Vegetable Shortening
Vegetable shortening is commonly made from soybean oil. It has a high smoking point and is a great substitute for bacon grease when sautéing vegetables, making gravy, or creating a non-stick coating in a pan. In addition, vegetable shortening is another vegan substitute for bacon grease. It is, therefore, the perfect choice for those who cannot eat bacon or meat products.
Substitute #10: Olive Oil
Olive oil is another plant-based option if you wish to substitute bacon grease. While olive oil doesn’t have such a high smoking point as other alternatives, it can be used to enhance the flavors of spices and meats as they cook. In addition, olive oil can be used in sauces and salad dressing. Finally, it adds a creamy mouthfeel and subtle aroma when added to a dish.
Substitute #11: Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is an excellent flavor enhancer and can substitute for bacon grease in various dishes, such as soups, sauces, stir-fries, and even deserts. Sesame oil has a pleasant aroma and a unique flavor. It isn’t as subtle as many other fats and oils discussed and is a unique substitute for bacon grease.
Substitute #12: Coconut Oil
The final substitute for bacon grease we will discuss is coconut oil. Deodorized coconut oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoking point, making it ideal for deep-fried foods and stir-fries. Natural coconut oil adds a delicious coconut flavor to any dish it is added to. Therefore, coconut oil is a suitable substitute for bacon grease in most dishes.
More Questions About Bacon Grease Substitutes
Now that we have discussed the various fats and oils you can use to substitute bacon grease, you may still have other questions regarding bacon grease substitutes and bacon grease in general. We have saved you the trouble of additional research by answering these questions.
How Do You Replace Bacon Flavor?
As you have noticed, none of the bacon grease substitutes offer the same smokey and rich flavor as bacon grease does. Therefore, you might wonder how to add those flavors to your food without using bacon grease.
Liquid smoke, smoked paprika, dark or smoked beers, smoked salt, and blackstrap molasses all add a smokey flavor to the food that replicates the smokiness you get from bacon grease. These are all healthier alternatives to bacon grease and add a delicious flavor to your food.
Is Lard The Same As Bacon Grease?
Lard is similar to bacon grease. This is because both products are derived from pork. However, they taste different because lard isn’t derived from smoked pork like bacon fat. Therefore, lard has a pork flavor and is rich and savory, while bacon grease has a smokey, salty, and slightly sweet taste.
Seeing as lard and bacon grease are both derived from pork, they can be used to substitute each other. However, the resulting dish will not taste the same if you use lard instead of bacon grease. You will have to add other flavors and elements to achieve the smokey flavor of bacon grease.
Bacon grease in a yummy fat to cook with, but there are substitutes if you don’t have any. While none of the substitutes will taste quite the same, they work in a pinch. I hope this article was helpful for descipering different cooking fats that can replace bacon grease!