How To Clean Bacon Grease From A Pan


Removing burnt grease from a frying pan is among the most daunting tasks in your kitchen. This becomes even more hectic when you can’t ask anyone to do the greased dishes. When you cook bacon, you might have to deal with the bacon grease on your pan. If left untreated, they can become stubborn and impact your future culinary. 

This is when you realize the importance of learning how to clean bacon grease from a pan. Worry not, we’ve curated the following guide for our curious readers. Read the in-depth article for some easy methods for bacon grease removal from a pan, seasoning tips, and other additional information you need to have while dealing with bacon grease. 

What Is Bacon Grease? 

Bacon grease is harder to remove when compared to the normal burnt residue and grease. It is rendered from the bacon cooking process. It contains saturated fats and the rich and smoky characteristics of bacon. When you cook bacon, it melts and the fat accumulates on the pan surface. 

As it comes to normal temperature or cools down, the fat turns into solidified grease of yellow or white color. Bacon grease is also known for the culinary versatility it adds to numerous dishes. However, when adequate handling is neglected, it can become extremely stubborn. This leads to the need for specialized cleaning techniques. 

Why It Is Challenging To Clean?

Bacon grease is challenging to clean if you ignore the immediate post-cooking steps. Its solid nature also makes it challenging. Here you can have a look at some common reasons why the cleaning of bacon grease from a pan is harder than normal grease:

  • High Viscosity: Bacon grease has a high consistency that makes it hard to remove from the surface. Dealing with thick layers becomes challenging when dried. 
  • Solidification: The bacon grease becomes solid and sticks to the surface of pans and other utensils. This makes it challenging to remove easily. 
  • Composition: You might face difficulty in removing the bacon grease from a pan as it is somewhat resistant to simple dish-cleaning soap and normal water. 
  • Accumulation: If you neglect immediate or adequate cleaning, the bacon grease particles may start emitting bad odors. You might need to deal with unpleasant odors and extensive bacterial growth. 
  • Resilience: Due to the resilient nature of bacon grease, normal cleaning techniques remain challenging. So, you need to opt for specialized cleaning methods to avoid damage to the pan. 

Immediate Post-Cooking Steps

Before getting started with the specific cleaning methods, you may consider some immediate post-cooking steps. Opting for these steps can make your task easier:

  • You may pour the bacon grease from the pan into any heat-resistant container immediately after cooking. Never pour it into the drain as it may lead to unwanted plumbing issues. 
  • Don’t start the cleaning process when the pan is still hot. Allow it to cool down to prevent accidental burns and let the bacon grease solidify. This can help you to remove it with ease. 
  • Take a metal scraper or a spatula to scrap off the grease to an extent. This can remove a large amount of grease from the pan even before attempting to clean it.
  • You can store the removed bacon grease in a container. You can use this further in cooking. If you want to discard it, then wait till it solidifies completely. 

How To Clean Bacon Grease From A Pan: Multiple Methods

Now, it’s time to learn how to clean bacon grease from a pan using different effective methods. Here are some specialized methods mentioned for your desired task. You can opt for the most suitable one. Also, we’ve provided you with a list of required tools and supplies:

List of Cleaning Tools and Supplies 

  • Hot Water 
  • Dish Soap or Mild Detergent
  • Metal Spatula 
  • Spoon 
  • Non-abrasive Sponge
  • Towel or Dishcloth 
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar 
  • Small Container or Bowl
  • Potato 
  • Knife 
  • Moderate Warm Water 

Hot Water and Soap Method

  • When you’ve cooked bacon, allow your pan to cool slightly. Ensure that it doesn’t cool completely. This can ease the cleaning process while keeping you safe from burns and accidents.
  • Now take a spatula or a metal spoon to scrape the surface. This will remove a satisfying amount of bacon grease residue. Opting for this step not only makes the task easier but completes it faster.
  • Place your pan in a sink and fill it with hot water. Leave the pan in the same condition for a while. This will loosen it and help in the removal of leftover grease.
  • Add a small amount of dish soap or mild detergent to the pan and mix it well. Allow the interior to soak with the solution.
  • Take a soft sponge and initiate scrubbing the surface with moderate pressure. Work in circular motions to lift the grease residue. Focus more on the stubborn grease spots for appropriate cleaning. 
  • Rinse the pan using hot water and inspect it for remaining residual particles. If not satisfied, then you may consider repeating the process.
  • Once the pan is scrubbed clean, give it a final rinse to remove all the soap residue and bacon grease. After that pat dry the pan using a soft cloth ensuring no moisture is retained.  

Baking Soda and Vinegar Method

  • Take a small bowl or container to mix equal parts of white vinegar and baking soda. Mix them well to prepare a thick paste. Combining both these components can create a perfect cleaner to break down bacon grease from the pan’s surface.
  • Now spread the prepared paste on the grease-stained surfaces. Make certain that you cover each surface evenly.
  • Leave the mixture on the pan for no less than 20 minutes. In the meantime, baking soda and vinegar will penetrate inside the bacon grease stains and loose them.
  • After the suggested time is over, take a soft sponge to scrub the surfaces. Work in circular motions to lift every trace of bacon grease from a pan. 
  • Once the pan is cleaned as intended, you may proceed to rinse the pan using hot water. After that, use soft towels or clothes to pat dry the pan surface followed by the natural drying process. 

Potato and Warm Water Method

  • Foremost, you need to choose accurate-sized potatoes for starting the process. Potatoes are known for natural enzymes and starch, effective in the breakdown and absorption of bacon grease stains.
  • Cut the potatoes in half or thick multiple slices. You can use these slices as a flat medium to rub on the greased surface. 
  • In a small bowl or sink, fill warm water. Now, dip the potato slice into the warm water so that it moistens. Rub the potato all over the grease stains to absorb them. 
  • You are suggested to apply moderate pressure and work in circular motions for better results. Depending on the grease-stain severity, you may need multiple slices.
  • Repeat the step until the bacon grease stains start to remove. After that, scrap the surface using a spatula or spoon.
  • At last, you can opt for washing the pan with dish soap and warm water. Gently scrub the surface with a sponge to get the desired level of cleaning. Rinse the entire pan under warm water.
  • When all is done, use a dishcloth to remove the water traces from the pan’s surface. Allow adequate time to dry it completely before the next use. 

Also Read : How to Clean a Hot Plate Like a Pro

Seasoning the Pan

After cleaning bacon grease from your pan, seasoning it remains the next step. Though this is optional, doing so can boost the cleaning results. Here are the steps you need to follow for seasoning the pan:

  • Ensure that your pan is cleaned effectively using any of the above-mentioned methods. Also, dry it well before initiating the seasoning of the pan.
  • Use vegetable oil, flaxseed oil, or canola oil for seasoning. Take an adequate amount of any of these oils to create a thin and even layer in the pan.
  • Use paper towels or a soft cloth to spread the oil evenly all over the pan surface including sides, bottoms, and handles. Oil application must create a protective layer on the pan.
  • Preheat your oven to the advocated seasoning temperature for your pan type. Typically, that is around 375-450°F (190-230°C) for forged iron pans and slightly decreases for different varieties of cookware.
  • Place the oiled pan upside-down inside the preheated oven. This permits any extra oil to drip off during the seasoning technique. Place a baking sheet or aluminum foil on the rack to seize any drips.
  • Let the pan bake in the oven for approximately an hour or as per the producer’s seasoning instructions. This permits the oil to polymerize and shape a durable, non-stick coating at the pan’s surface
  • Once this is completed, allow the pan to cool completely before you remove them from the oven. You’ll notice a thin layer on the pan. This will protect it from getting future bacon grease stains. 
  • Now store the pan accordingly to avoid rusting and other such issues. Don’t place any other utensils over it. Doing so may lead to scratches and seasoning damage. 

Final Thoughts: How To Clean Bacon Grease From A Pan

When you don’t know how to clean bacon grease from a pan, it might seem daunting. However, this is not a tricky process. With the right cleaning approach and methods, you can remove grease from your pan in no time. 

You may choose any method among the available options— hot water with soap method, baking soda with vinegar, or potato and warm water method. All these methods are effective in cleaning bacon grease from a pan and allowing you to have a satisfying cooking experience.

Akshay Verma

Akshay Verma is a full-time blogger & Affiliate Marketers. He founded and leads Master Blogging. With over 3 years of blogging expertise, he has assisted numerous aspiring bloggers in achieving their dreams of creating successful blogs.

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