How to clean bacon grease from pan: smart kitchen hacks

Most of us enjoy cooking bacon strips, but no one likes cleaning a cast iron pan from sticky bacon grease. You need some dishwasher, a lot of hot water, and even more elbow grease to remove the residue. Frankly, this drawback of frying bacon really pesters.

Forget about these annoying scrubbing sessions! Here are some smarter hacks on how to clean bacon grease from pan.

how to clean bacon grease from pan

How to clean bacon grease from pan?

You can choose from several ways of cleaning sticky bacon grease from your cast iron skillet.

Don’t delay cleaning your pan as soon as you finish cooking bacon! If you are late, the bacon grease will harden on the pan’s surface.

Clean your pan while it is still hot enough so that grease will fall off easier. However, always let it cool until it is touchable.

If you prefer collecting liquid bacon grease for other cooking purposes, do it before cleaning. Otherwise, scrape the dry bacon grease off, and throw it away into the trash can.

To make the cleaning process easier, remove excess grease with a help of paper towels.

Depending on what cleaners you have at home and what type of cooking pan you have, we offer several methods to clean your pan after cooking bacon.

#1. Vinegar method

Cleaning with vinegar is a versatile method, so it is good for cleaning non-stick pans from pesky bacon grease.

Step 1. Fill a large container with distilled vinegar, or lock your kitchen sink to pour vinegar inside. Leave a pan in the vinegar bath for about 2 hours to loosen the bacon grease that is left on the non-stick surface.

Step 2. Take the non-stick pan away, and wash it with a few drops of mild dish soap. Use a scrub brush or toothbrush to remove bacon grease.

Step 3. Rinse the cleaned pan with a lot of hot water. Dry all the non-stick surface using a fresh paper towel.

One more variant to remove bacon grease from your pan is scrubbing it with salt.

After soaking the pan in vinegar, sprinkle it with a small amount of salt and a few drops of mild dish soap, and scrub it intensively.

#2. Baking soda method

Baking soda is a versatile cleaner. As it works great for many types of metal surfaces, it is also good for your cast iron skillet.

Step 1. Mix hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap to create a thick paste.

Step 2. Generously cover the pan with that paste, moving a scrub pad all over the surface in a circular motion.

Let it sit and fully dry for a couple of hours.

Step 3. Scrub the surface thoroughly in a circular motion.

Step 4. Wash the cast iron pan with plenty of hot water.

Step 5. If there is still some sticky bacon grease, soak your cast iron skillet in vinegar for about one more hour. Scrub all the bacon grease away from the cast iron pan with a stiff brush. Now, rinse the pan with warm water.

#3. Yeast method

You may be surprised but yeast can easily clean bacon grease from cast iron pans!

Step 1. Take yeast and water in a ratio of 1:1, and mix them into the paste-like dough. 

Cover the cast iron skillet with this dough and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2. Take a clean cloth and damp it in warm water. Thoroughly clean the pan from sticky grease by rubbing all the cast iron surfaces.

Step 3. Wash the pan with a lot of soapy water, and rinse well. Then, wipe it dry with a fresh paper towel.

What about the materials?

  • For cleaning aluminum cookware after cooking bacon, take a scrubbing pad that is made of stainless steel as it is much safer for the surface. Fine steel wool is too harsh and works better to clean cast iron skillets.
  • To clean cast iron skillets from grease after cooking bacon, always let them cool down until they are touchable.
  • Cast iron pans become easier to clean with a bit of vegetable oil rubbed into the surface.
  • If the bacon grease sticks on the aluminum pan, fill it with clean water and a small amount of dishwasher and let it boil for 10 minutes. Then, get rid of the grease with a scrubbing pad.


How to prevent sticking on your pan?

The best way to prevent bacon grease from sticking is to season your cast iron pans with cooking oil.

1. Let the oven preheat before seasoning. Place an aluminum sheet inside to catch the vegetable oil drips.
2. Cover the pan with a thin layer of cooking oil.
3. Turn the pan upside down and place it inside the oven. Let it bake for 1 hour, so the vegetable oil makes a protective coating.
4. Turn the oven off and let the pan fully cool down.
5. Take the pan out. Wipe all the excess oil with a paper towel.

A good idea is to cook bacon in the oven instead of using a pan. Line the cooking surface with aluminum foil and place the bacon strips over it.

How do you clean a burnt grease frying pan?

To clean cast iron pans that are deeply burnt after cooking bacon, use coarse saltwhite vinegar, baking soda, and a dishwasher.

Step 1. Generously cover your cast iron skillet with salt and baking soda.

Step 2. Pour some vinegar, and leave it for at least 10 minutes.

Step 3. Remove the weakened grease using a scrubbing pad or a stiff brush. As soon as bacon grease starts falling off, pour some dishwasher and proceed to scrub.

Step 4. Wash your cast iron skillet well with hot water.

Final thoughts

These are simple ways to clean your pans after you cook bacon and other sticking food, such as fried eggs. If you have some more smart cleaning hacks, please share them in the comments below!

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