Is Bacon Fat the Same as Lard?

When cooking certain dishes, you’ll likely wonder at some point if bacon fat and lard are the same thing.

Bacon fat is not the same as lard, although the two do have certain similarities. Lard and bacon fat each have some unique characteristics. Both are great for cooking a variety of foods.

What Is Lard?

Pan with lard that is not the same as bacon fat

Lard is a type of fat taken from the backside of a pig. This is why it is often called pork lard, although lard can be retrieved from the fatty tissue of many types of animals, such as lamb, turkey, beef, and duck, among others.

This is a rendered type of fat, and it has a very pleasant aroma and a high smoke point. Bacon fat also has a high smoke point, but the two are slightly different when it comes to their flavor.

What Is Bacon Fat?

When you cook bacon strips all the way down until there are no more bacon drippings left (often causing the bacon to lose some of its weight), the drippings are called the fat. This is a rendered pork fat that has a lot of flavor, which is why people have been cooking with it for a very long time. Most professional chefs know how unique bacon fat is and how much flavor it gives to any food you cook it with, which is why so many people cook with bacon fat at home.

Bacon fat that is not the same as lard
Bacon fat/bacon grease

Differences and Similarities Between Bacon Fat and Lard

One of the similarities between lard and bacon fat is that both of them have a lot of fat, such as monounsaturated fats and saturated fats. They both have high smoke points as well. The smoke point of lard is 374 degrees Fahrenheit, while the smoke point of bacon fat is 400 degrees.

There are some differences between the two. For instance, fat from bacon has a little more flavor and is usually very salty, whereas lard has a more neutral flavor and is not salty at all. While some people love the bacon flavor, it really depends on what you’re using the fat for, because many dishes don’t require a salty flavor.

In terms of what each of these fats is best used for, keep in mind that lard is great for making pie crust because it makes the crust nice and flaky. People also love using it for frying chicken or fish (lard gives chicken a nice crisp skin). In fact, you can often use this type of fat in place of butter in many different recipes. Because it is thick and has a neutral taste, lard rarely affects the overall flavor of the dish you’re cooking.

Lard melting in pan instead of bacon fat
Lard has a pretty high smoke point.

Fat from bacon, on the other hand, is a type of animal fat that lends a little flavor to every dish you make. It is good for frying eggs, drizzling over beef or veggies, seasoning your popcorn, seasoning your mashed potatoes, or even cooking your grilled cheese sandwiches. In fact, for any recipe you use that calls for butter, you can use bacon fat instead. This type of fat gives many dishes a much richer flavor in the end.

Are They Expensive?

Both bacon fat and lard are inexpensive. In fact, you can purchase or make large containers of either of these fats for under $20, and they’ll each last for a very long time because you usually won’t be using a lot of it for any given dish that you cook.