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How to Season Cast Iron with Bacon Grease (Experts Agree)

How to Season Cast Iron with Bacon Grease (Experts Agree) - Proline Range Hoods

Do you love bacon? You might be wondering what you should do with all the leftover bacon grease. Why not save it and use it to season your cast iron pan?

Before cooking bacon, turn on your hood vent. After cooking bacon, let the grease cool and store it in a jar or plastic container. Don’t throw hot bacon grease in the trash or it’ll eat through the bag! Also, don’t toss it into the sink. The sink will clog and that’s never pleasant.

Seasoning cast iron with bacon grease is pretty quick and easy. Here’s how to do it.

Before we get started, did you know that you can season your cast iron pan with lard too? The process is almost identical! Here’s our complete guide if you’re interested.

What You Need

  • ~ 1-2 tbsp bacon grease
  • Abrasive scrubber - sponge or scrub brush
  • Dish soap
  • Dish towel
  • Oven
  • Sink
  • Baking sheet or aluminum foil

Note: If your cast iron pan has a wooden handle, season it on the stovetop and not in the oven.

1. Preheat your oven to 350º.

You don’t want to preheat your oven past the smoke point of your bacon grease. Its smoke point depends on the age of the bacon grease or if it's been reused, among other factors. Reused bacon grease will have a lower smoke point than fresh bacon grease.

You can reuse bacon fat as long as it doesn’t start to grow mold or smell rancid. Most people don’t reuse it more than once, and you’re probably making enough bacon to have fresh bacon grease available.

Also, you only season your cast iron when you first get it, and twice a year after that. So why not use fresh bacon grease to get the most out of your layer of seasoning?

Most bacon fat has a smoke point of around 325º to 375º. You might have to do some trial and error to figure out the exact smoke point. Not all grease will be the same, but 350º is a pretty safe starting temperature.

Keep a close eye on your oven when you start the seasoning process. If heavy smoke forms, preheat your oven at a lower temperature. Don’t let it bake and risk your smoke alarm going off or worse, starting a fire. If 350º is too smoky, try 325º for example.

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A little smoking is fine – in fact, this tells you the seasoning is working. But prolonged excessive heat will cause your bacon fat to burn. If that happens, you’ll have to reseason the pan at a lower temperature.

2. Add a layer of foil or a baking sheet under the pan to catch drips.

3. Clean your pan thoroughly with an abrasive scrubber and dish soap.

Before you season your cast iron pan, you should remove the factory coating. It’s OK to use a scrubby sponge or scrub brush here, as you’re not trying to preserve the seasoning.

Use some dish soap to make scrubbing off the seasoning easier.

4. Dry the pan thoroughly with a towel, then on your stovetop.

Before seasoning your new pan, remove all its moisture. After drying it with a towel, heat the pan up for a couple of minutes to remove the remaining water.

5. Apply a thin layer of bacon grease to the entire pan: bottom, handle, sides, and interior.

Scoop some bacon grease into your cast iron pan and spread it with a paper towel. You don’t need to be too generous with the coating. A little bacon grease goes a long way. Just make sure you cover the entire pan. Yes, the handle too!

6. Bake your cast iron pan upside down in the oven for one hour.

You don’t want bacon grease to pool in the bottom of your pan while it’s baking. Otherwise, it will come out sticky. So make sure it’s upside down!

Again, if the room is getting smoky, your oven is too hot! Let it cool and preheat it about 25º F. lower.

7. Let it cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes.

8. Start cooking!

That’s it. You are done. Seasoning your pan with bacon grease is not a hassle. Remember to reseason it twice a year. If you cook often with acidic food or do a lot of high heat cooking, you may need to season your pan more often.

You can repeat steps five to seven a few times to toughen up the layer of seasoning on your pan if you’d like. But it’s not required.

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Do you need to spray the skillet before cooking bacon?

No, as long as your skillet is seasoned, you don’t need to spray it with cooking oil. If your bacon sticks to the pan often, try turning down the heat. You can add extra cooking oil too, but it’s not ideal. Bacon has plenty of fat already.

Do you need oil for cooking bacon?

No, bacon is full of natural fats that liquefy as it’s cooked. You can let this bacon grease cool and store it for later use. Bacon grease is great for seasoning cast iron skillets.

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How do you remove bacon grease from a cast iron griddle?

Hot soap and water or kosher salt and water work wonders. Don’t soak the pan for more than 10-15 minutes to keep the seasoning intact. Salt and soap themselves won’t remove the seasoning on a cast iron pan. You’d have to take some steel wool or a heavy abrasive cleaner to the pan to break down the seasoning.

Hopefully this article helped you season your cast iron pan. A well-seasoned cast iron pan can last a lifetime. So it’s definitely worth it to perfect the seasoning process!

If you’d like to learn more about cast iron, check out the articles below.

Can you use cast iron on an electric stove?

Reverse Sear Steak Recipe

Pros and Cons of Cast Iron (Complete List)

Do you need to spray the skillet before cooking bacon?

No, as long as your skillet is seasoned, you don’t need to spray it with cooking oil. If your bacon sticks to the pan often, try turning down the heat. You can add extra cooking oil too, but it’s not ideal. Bacon has plenty of fat already.

Do you need oil for cooking bacon?

No, bacon is full of natural fats that liquefy as it’s cooked. You can let this bacon grease cool and store it for later use. Bacon grease is great for seasoning cast iron skillets.

How do you remove bacon grease from a cast iron griddle?

Hot soap and water or kosher salt and water work wonders. Don’t soak the pan for more than 10-15 minutes to keep the seasoning intact. Salt and soap themselves won’t remove the seasoning on a cast iron pan. You’d have to take some steel wool or a heavy abrasive cleaner to the pan to break down the seasoning.
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