If you raise pigs like we do, or you just enjoy the little things in life like bacon and sausage, there’s probably a supply of leftover grease in your kitchen. Instead of tossing it when you’ve got
a full can, try giving it new life.
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1. Use it for flavor. Add flavor to vegetable sautés, main meals and other dishes. A spoonful or two is all you need! And adding grease to cookie dough will do wonders for desserts.
2. Mix with dog food. Mix leftover grease with your dog’s food. It will be a welcome, tasty treat and will add shine to your animal’s coat.
3. Grease is for the birds. Instead of shelling out your green on pricey birdfeed, make your own and attract local wildlife. Collect pinecones, dip them in leftover grease and then roll them in birdseed or crushed nuts. You can also mold your own suet squares!
4. Start a fire. If you’re camping or just want to get a cozy fire going, drizzle some leftover grease on an old newspaper or kindling. The fire will roar in no time!
5. Squash squeaks. Got a squeaky, creaky door or joint? Use strained, unseasoned grease to lubricate it and end the noise.
6. Grease bread pans. Bacon or sausage grease is a cheap way to keep bread and cupcake pans from sticking. It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking something savory or sweet.
7. Make soap. If you’re a soap maker (or want to become one), save your grease and you can whip up some bacon soap using the grease, lye and water.
8. Get crafty. You can make a candle by saving leftover grease. Once you have enough, tie a tightly braided cotton string to a stick, leaving it long enough for the stick to rest on top of a mason jar, while the other end rests on the jar’s bottom. The stick keeps the string straight and centered in the jar while you carefully fill it with warm, strained grease. Cut the wick from the stick once grease firms. You can also add small bits of grease to the jar as you cook.
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This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Winter 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.