Turns out, bacon isn't just a delicious breakfast addition, it can actually be incredibly useful when used around the house. From unsticking difficult windows to shining your scuffed boots, bacon is not only a must-have with your morning cup of joe, but also as a helpful home improvement tool. Here are 11 things you can do with bacon other than eating it with eggs. (On just a quarter-acre of land, you can produce fresh, organic food for a family of four—year-round. Rodale's The Backyard Homestead shows you how; get your copy today.)
Birds are actually The Secret Ingredient That Keeps Vegetable Beds Pest-Free, so you want to keep them coming around. One tasty way to do that is to spread strained fat onto a pinecone. Then roll it in birdseed and let set. Once the fat has congealed, hang the cone outside for your favorite feathered friends to enjoy during the colder months when food might be scarce.
Bacon fat can be used just like cooking oil and it lends tremendous flavor. After you’ve finished cooking your strips, leave some of the grease in the pan and return it to a medium flame. When it’s hot, fry your eggs as you normally would.
That paper towel you put your bacon on to soak up the grease while it cools? Fold it up and use it as a fire starter. Who needs newspaper?
Instead of using butter, grease a pan with a little fat to add a delicious smoky flavor to the bread.
Rub a little strained and cooled bacon grease onto a sticky tag or label to help it come off more easily.
Bacon fat gives an undertone of umami to French toast’s sweet breakfast appeal. It’s a perfect Sunday treat.
Heat equal parts strained bacon fat, coconut oil, and beeswax in a double-boiler until it reads 140 degrees on a candy thermometer, then strain through a cheesecloth. Pour a small amount into a half-pint canning jar, insert a cotton wick into the center, and use masking tape to hold the wick centered. Fill the jar with more wax mixture and let set completely. Snip the wick before lighting.
Whisk a little red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup into warm drippings and then toss with baby spinach for an amazing weeknight side.
Heat your oven to 300 degrees, line the bottom rack with foil and place the pan on the top rack. Heat the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove it from the oven. Use a paper towel to rub in about a tablespoon of bacon grease. Return to oven for another 10 minutes. Pour out any remaining grease, flip the pan upside down, and bake on the top rack for an hour. Turn off heat and let it cool in the oven—your pan will stay nonstick and rust-free.
Strain the liquid grease, let cool, and use with a soft cloth rag to polish leather belts and boots.
Coat a paper towel with a little strained and cooled bacon grease and run it around the edge of window to help it open and close more smoothly.