We’re excited to share that the Houston Chronicle’s Food Editor, Greg Morago, has written about Bacon Up! The article — along with some good recipes — was posted October 30, 2019 online and expected to be in the October 31 print edition. Check it out here and follow him at https://www.houstonchronicle.com/author/greg-morago. Remember, Bacon Up is available on Amazon in two sizes – OR – if you’re in the Houston area, you can find Bacon Up at select H-E-B stores and Buc-ee’s Travel Centers (including the ones in Baytown, Katy, Texas City, and Waller).
HOUSTON CHRONICLE LIFESTYLE // FOOD October 29, 2019
Cooking with Texas company Bacon Up’s bacon grease
by Greg Morago
My mother’s kitchen was an immaculate, orderly place. Never a dirty dish in the sink; no spills or splotches in the fridge; and a stovetop that gleamed.
She cooked three meals a day, and that stove still looked new. I can see it now, adorned by big salt and pepper shakers and a metal coffee can of bacon grease. She was never without bacon grease.
I don’t know if it’s that we ate a lot of bacon or that she never threw away the drippings — probably both — but the can of piggy ointment was the gift that kept giving. It went into so many of our meals: scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, pork chops and fried cabbage. There was always a generous dollop in refried beans and in the roux she built for the red chile sauce in her famous enchiladas.
Bacon grease was the salve of my childhood. I’m reminded of its delicious wonders staring at two 14-ounce tubs of rendered bacon grease sent to me recently by Bacon Up, a Cincinnati-based company that manufactures the product out of Allen, Texas. The “liquid gold” is shelf-stable, triple-filtered bacon grease that can be used in place of butter, shortening or other cooking oils. Anything, really, you’d use your own bacon grease for — frying, baking, seasoning.
Bacon Up collects its grease through a traditional smokehouse process in cooperation with SugarCreek Packing, the nation’s largest independent producer of pre-cooked bacon. It is “100 percent authentic bacon grease” that is not hydrogenated, has no trans fat or carbohydrates and is non-GMO, according to the company.
The product was introduced for retail sales in 2018 in nine Buc-ee’s in Texas. Distribution now includes select H-E-B stores, where gallon containers are priced at $16.99 to $19.99. The 14-ounce tubs will be available beginning the first week of November for $7.99. Also available on Amazon.
Like my mother, I always have a deep reserve of bacon grease, which I keep in Bonne Maman jam jars in my refrigerator. I stir a giant spoonful into my Crock Pot of pinto beans, and more later when those beans are refried. I’ve used it to fry summer corn with onions and cherry tomatoes; to lubricate a cast-iron pan for cornbread; and to make a vinaigrette for a frisée salad with lardons and a fried egg.
But I never thought to bake with bacon fat as a butter or shortening substitute. Bacon Up sent recipes, so I got to work, making biscuits and chocolate chip cookies using the product.
The cookies, which also included a shot of bourbon and chopped bacon, offered up a mellow, slightly smoky flavor that was amplified by the actual bacon (the recipe also called for butter because using all bacon grease would have been overwhelming). The biscuits came out nice with a faint, pleasant bacon flavor. Bacon Up was easy to use, and because it is shelf stable, it can be kept in the fridge or in the cupboard like Crisco.
Would I use it again? Absolutely. Its filtered purity would make it a better fat than my own rendered bacon in many applications. But I’m not getting rid of my jars of grease. And I miss Mom’s coffee can on the kitchen stove. For bacon-fat foodies, that’s something that will never go out of style. ##