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Old 09-29-2021, 09:14 AM   #1
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What oil is closest to bacon grease?

I just read that Mexican food tastes so good because they fry their meat in bacon grease. I don't see bacon grease for sale on the shelf so what comes closest? Lard?

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Old 09-29-2021, 10:01 AM   #2
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That's a new on to me! May I ask, is there a specific dish you are interested in making?

I make a number of Mexican dishes. I've never used bacon grease or lard for any of them. I do get many compliments and requests for the recipes. For instance, for Carnitas, many would fry the meat at the end, in order to crisp it. I place it under a broiler to create a similar crisp without that extra grease. The meat is well seasoned and cooked prior and I feel the broiler works for me.

I know I didn't answer your question. Sorry! Hopefully another member will have better input.
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:13 AM   #3
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I cook bacon in the oven, on a rack in a sheet pan, a pound at a time, 375F for 18 minutes for regular sliced or 22 minutes for thick sliced. Once the bacon is cooked I remove the bacon to paper towels, the rack to a sink full of soapy water, and the bacon juice into my bacon squeezin's container that I keep next to my stove.

Before you ask, no, I will not sell you any.
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:42 AM   #4
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I save bacon fat, when there is any left from cooking bacon. My mother in law cooks bacon more often than I do and doesn't use the fat, so she saves it for me.
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Old 09-29-2021, 11:12 AM   #5
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Bacon fat should be individually registered as a Food Group
Lard comes from pig fat, but itīs processed, so that extraordinary bacon flavour is not usually there.
I donīt think thereīs a substitute; the flavour profile is unique. I suppose you could use beef fat, but that would taste of beef.
The last time I was in Mexico City, the street vendors ( and there are hundreds of them) generally used bottled vegetable oil. The flavours of the tacos, burritos and tostadas probably depended more on the condiments and salsas which were added, rather than the oil.
Still, any time you cook bacon, you could save the fat for another occasion.
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Old 09-29-2021, 12:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karadekoolaid View Post
Bacon fat should be individually registered as a Food Group

Lard comes from pig fat, but itīs processed, so that extraordinary bacon flavour is not usually there.

I donīt think thereīs a substitute; the flavour profile is unique. I suppose you could use beef fat, but that would taste of beef.

The last time I was in Mexico City, the street vendors ( and there are hundreds of them) generally used bottled vegetable oil. The flavours of the tacos, burritos and tostadas probably depended more on the condiments and salsas which were added, rather than the oil.

Still, any time you cook bacon, you could save the fat for another occasion.
I'm not sure what you mean by "lard is processed so the bacon flavor isn't there." Bacon processed much more than lard; the bacon flavor comes from curing and smoking the meat. Lard is simply rendered pork fat and doesn't have much flavor. I use it in pie crust and tamales.
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Old 09-29-2021, 12:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by georgevan View Post
I just read that Mexican food tastes so good because they fry their meat in bacon grease. I don't see bacon grease for sale on the shelf so what comes closest? Lard?
Where did you read that? I don't think bacon is a major ingredient in Mexican cooking. Corn oil is a traditional cooking fat; lard came along with the Spanish and is also used for cooking.
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Old 09-29-2021, 01:10 PM   #8
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Where did you read that?
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Old 09-29-2021, 04:45 PM   #9
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I'm not sure what you mean by "lard is processed so the bacon flavor isn't there." Bacon processed much more than lard; the bacon flavor comes from curing and smoking the meat. Lard is simply rendered pork fat and doesn't have much flavor. I use it in pie crust and tamales.
Perhaps I should have been more precise. Bacon fat and lard come from the same animal; but not all bacon is smoked. The curing process is basically salt, nitrates and perhaps other seasonings - but Iīm not sure if that really intensifies the flavour of the meat or simply helps to preserve it.
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Old 09-30-2021, 06:31 PM   #10
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The flavor of bacon comes from the curing salts, sugar, sometimes maple, and the smoking wood. A lot of bacon uses an injected, flavored brine solution to flavor the bacon. The most prominent flavors are salt, and smoke. Some of that flavor remains in the rendered bacon grease.

Lard is rendered pork fat, and can come from any part of the animal. It is very bland, neutral in flavor. That yummy fried flavor of crisped pork fat is a little pork flavor, with lots of salt.

In Mexico, as elsewhere, the fat they use for frying is the cheapest fat available. Of course this isn't always true. duck, and goose fat, and beef tallow are great for certain recipes, and do provide superior results in the right recipes.

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Old 09-30-2021, 11:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgevan View Post
I just read that Mexican food tastes so good because they fry their meat in bacon grease. I don't see bacon grease for sale on the shelf so what comes closest? Lard?
I've never seen bacon grease for sale either. I save mine but, tell the truth lately, I use it up quick as I get it. Not that there's that much of it. I'm not a paleo or even a keto kinda guy. I'd say the nearest thing to bacon grease in my house is the fat skimmed from stock remaining after braising well-seasoned pork shoulder. A little closer might be skimmed fat from smoked or cured products like hocks or jowls.

As far as"Mexican food tastes so good because they fry their meat in bacon grease." Well, there's no way to define specific tastes but I don't think bacon grease has very much influence on Mexican food.
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