Give Your Sandwiches A Serious Flavor Boost With Bacon Fat

Quick to make, portable, and with plenty of room for customization, it's easy to see why sandwiches continue to be popular lunchtime fare. Of course, results vary about as much as the endless options of breads, meats, and cheeses. At one end of the spectrum is so-good-you-lick-your-fingers scrumptiousness, and on the other is a limp half-eaten number you tossed in the bin. But even if you fancy yourself an at making sandwiches at home, there's always room for improvement. One surefire way to give your toasties a serious flavor boost is by grilling your bread in bacon fat.

Bacon fat is liquid gold in the flavor department — luxuriously rich and decadent — and when used to make toast, all that lovely flavor gets absorbed right into the bread. And since the bread is often the most tedious part of a sandwich, this tip is perhaps the simplest way to ensure no morsel goes to waste. So, which sandwiches does this hack work best on? The short answer is — most of 'em. Come on, it IS bacon. The most obvious choices are toasted sandwiches that already feature bacon, like the BLT and the Club, but loads of sammies benefit from adding a single piece of bacon, and you can use the same pan to grill your bread. For those who regularly save their rendered bacon fat for use later, you'll have plenty of new sandwiches on which to use it. 

Toasting sandwich bread in bacon fat

When people hear the term render — as in rendering bacon fat — they sometimes feel intimidated because it sounds fancy or complicated, but that couldn't be further from the truth. All rendering means is simmering your bacon over low heat and collecting the resulting oily nectar for immediate or later use. It only takes about twelve to fifteen minutes to harvest, and you'll get not only bacon that is crisp and fatty in all the right places but all those flavorful drippings that amplify the savoriness of so many dishes. 

To pan fry your bread in this way, swap out that butter for bacon fat (or even tastier — combine them!), about a tablespoon's worth, allowing it to reach a medium-high temperature on a skillet. Once the pan has heated, lay your two slices of bread in the grease and allow them to toast for one to two minutes. Then, flip and repeat. 

In addition to the aforementioned BLT and Club, there are a variety of sandwich options that could greatly benefit from this hot flavor hack, including grilled cheddar cheese, tuna melts, Cubanos, a caramelized onion, apple, and brie combo, salmon paninis, and the grilled chicken, bacon, and avocado sandwich, to name a few. In the immortal words of comedian Jim Gaffigan, "Bacon's the best. Even the frying of bacon sounds like applause."