Wartime Dripping is Yummy


So OK I hear you saying…..gross!!!!


But I can tell you something, after a few weeks on rations, when you realize just how little fat is in your diet from cheese & butter (rationed) and of course no longer able to consume potato chips or high fat snacks, dripping soon becomes a tasty and desirable addition to your diet..


A little dripping mixed in with those boiled veggies or a blob smeared and melted into your baked potato livens up those blander dinners at the end of the week when rations are running low.


How to collect dripping

  • Bacon dripping is the best
  • Fry bacon in pan until slightly crisp
  • Remove bacon
  • Pour left over fat into heatproof bowl (strain if you wish)
  • Place somewhere cool like in your fridge where it will harden
  • Use like butter for cooking or smearing on hot foods

I know it doesn’t seem possible that you can have dripping in your diet and lose weight but it’s true!

C xx

40 thoughts on “Wartime Dripping is Yummy

  1. I meant to say that it is surprising just how much dripping one can accumulate from frying up a few rashers of bacon…..I guess once hardened it could be used in pastry making? I haven’t tried that yet but will!!

    C xx

    • I’m 67 and my granny had a purpose made dripping pot. It’s a pottery dish with an inset removable strainer over that, then a pottery lid (the strained out bits are what would be spread on bread -aka meat essence to my Geordie lad), the remainder in the bottom was for cooking. Drippings have always been collected from cooking meats, mainly beef, lamb or chicken as pigs fat is lard but it’s often mixed in the domestic kitchen. I agree that the bacon produces the tastiest product but adding it to the mixture would only be useful in savoury dishes, so we always had pork ‘drippings’ separated in another pot.

  2. Oh, I use this all the time. I never throw away bacon grease, my Southern roots keep me from it. I use them to fry potatoes and onions in. Along with a piece of cornbread, you have a meal. Nothing is better than a TBS of bacon grease in green beans or butter beans. Mama made gravy and used bacon grease to start instead of oil. Add a can of stewed tomatoes to the gravy and you have a Southern favorite, tomato gravy. You can use green tomatoes too. Just pour it over bisquits.

    • I have a jar in my icebox all the time, just adds that special touch and makes it like my mommom made when I was little. 🙂

  3. I found your blog only last night. Been reading it all night, I never read blogs. I am so impressed by you. You are a very strong, very wonderful, warm, funny lady. You inspire me and I am happy to know you are back on. I mean how awful would it be to discover you and then no more to read about you and your journey. I hope you dont mind but I am going to join you on the weight loss journey and because of you, this time I am not going to be afraid of somtimes failing and getting up again. I cant tell you just how much you and your blog means to me. No matter what ups or downs please continue. I am starting at 271 pounds. Oh, lol I had to look up a lot of terms you used like stones and such. I got quite a education through the night. Just wanted you to know how valued you are.


  4. OMG that is SUCH a nice comment- thank you!

    It would be awesome to have someone losing weight at the same time …. it’s always difficult especially during days that are long and hard and if we fail we think- ah sod it!

    I don’t know about you but there kind of comes a time when you KNOW that finally it’s your time to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    I do hope you will succeed- any weight-loss wether its just a few lbs or a few stone (ha ha!) is a SUCCESS…it’s then just a case of repeating the little successes until they add up to a HUGE BIG ONE- that’s the way I’m looking at it anyway!

    Looking forward to your updates!

    C xx

    • Hi,
      I am also following you as well too! I have a family of 8, I am a stay at home mom, and struggling business owner of sewn products”. We only have 1 income coming in and I am trying to make the best of everything. I also eat kosher as well due to my religious status of being Jewish. I was looking for recipes that will stretch my families weekly budget but, also to start eating healthy. After our 6th child, who is now 3, and weening of breast feeding, I need to get back to healthy. I am going to be 38 years old this year, and I weight 274 lbs, and I am 5’1″. This is by far the heaviest I have ever been all of my life, and I am upset (depressed) about it as well. But, I always try to keep a smile on my face hoping for the best to get back to a healthy weight and more energy. After all, I want to be able to life a healthier lifestyle. When I found your site, I thought, “There has to be another way other than just eating all vegetables.” I am a “meat eater”, I love meat, but, I have great discipline when it comes to planning something I put my mind too and sticking to it. I also have always admired and adored 1940’s styles since I was a young girl. My parents didn’t make much and we always wore jeans and tees. My mom, when she started working started making me and my sister dresses. So, I felt like a girl. Anyway, now, today, I thought, “I maybe a housewife, but, I don’t have to look like one. I should look up the 1940’s styles that I admire and bring it out and make it mine.” So, I am now embracing what I enjoy seeing on the outward with the 1940’s fashion, and after reading everything and your journey through your blog, you have inspired me that I can embrace my inward and lose weight and actually feel great about myself! Here’s to a wonderful and exciting new beginning for me and a photo of me on my later journey yet to come for the outcome. Shalom my friend! Thank you for helping us who are struggling to lose weight and keep it off, you make your journey easy for us and to stick to a plan! Again, Shalom and G-D Bless you!

      • Dear Roseanne… what a lovely comment to take the time to leave on my blog. I can so relate to many of the things you are saying. I weigh about the same as you at the moment and have lost quite a lot of weight many times over the years and put some back on but thankfully never gone back to being as heavy as 345 lb or so. So although I’ve struggled for many, many years and succeeded and failed, I never give up even if people make hurtful comments when I put weight back on again (most people are lovely BTW xxx). So please persevere but just accept its a long journey with failures and successes. You have a big family too! I think eating simpler does help with the grocery budget and eating less meat and cheese too (as they did during the war). I’m veggie now but I do find using pulses and grains and beans etc very economical. Good luck with your journey…. you sound like you are really positive about your future and what you will achieve so that is fantastic!! C xxxx

      • I was waiting for someone to say chicken drippings…. aka schmaltz…. I bake chicken or salmon over roasted brusselsprouts. Yum….. and save the fat to make (of course) matzah balls. Unless I’m baking, a pound of butter sits well wrapped in the freeze… not kosher, but we so rarely use it. Olive oil or Whatever drippings we have does the trick!

  5. Hi,

    Just found your blog. It’s best to clarify the dripping before using it in baking, so the flavor is removed and only pure fat is left over. You can do this in boiling water, and then allow it to cool and skim the fat off.

    Good luck with the weight loss, I switch over to ration-only too when I want to keep my weight in check.



    • Ahhhhh this is great and thank you for putting me straight. I was just storing the fat from the bacon and using it to fry some veggies in to add extra flavour! I’l give the clarifying a go!


  6. I come from an area of England where the pork butcher was an essential part of every high street. From them one could – and in some rare places still can – buy pork dripping. It is THE BEST! Rich delish fat with juicy brown jellied meaty juices in the bottom. On toast or bread with a sprinkle of salt it can’t be beat. There are many people of a ‘certain’ age who water at the mouth with the thought of it.

    I now content myself with putting some lard in with a nice fatty pork roast. We refer to bacon fat as ‘dip’ , dripping is quite a different thing.

    It’s a transatlantic translation thing!

    I have a recipe for dripping cake – also home-made or butcher made lard is good on bread/toast with a sprinkle of salt. Not at all like the white fat one buys at the supermarket.

    • Mix a cup of flour with a teaspoon of baking powder.
      With two knives, cut in a blob of chilled bacon fat. Add just enough water to make a form-able biscuit. Place on an ungreased baking pan or in a cast iron skillet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Bake at 425 for 9-12 minutes.
      Super quick home made biscuits (2-4 based on biscuit size).

  7. yeah exactly what eve said 🙂 Since the price of bacon has soared here lately my metal drippings container in my fridge is nearly empty 🙁

    • My mom was an Englsh war bride. We always had fried bread in bacon drippings. couldn’t always afford bacon when I was a kid…so crisp & yummy.🇨🇦

  8. oh yes – just after the war (I was born in 1942) dripping was the thing to have on bread! Yummy! Now retired and living in Sweden I am introducing my Swedish wife to the delights of English war- ration food; to my surprise she informs me that her father was a devotee of bread and dripping. It would seem that fat bacon was a staple of his childhood.

  9. From the 40’s to the 70’s my grandfather had a fish and chip shop in Yorkshire – everything was fried in dripping. Southern shops used oil but this was scorned by Northeners 🙂

    You can still buy dripping over here (UK) from some supermarkets – with a layer of jelly at the bottom. Best eaten on bread with a sprinkling of salt – here come the food police!

  10. Love this site! I am a chef involved in a dinner theater who prepares food with the show theme in mind. The June play called “Song of My Heart” takes place in a kitchen & is about 3 unlikely friends whose husbands are in WWII and their Victory Gardens. I have been looking for recipes off main dish-vegetables-breads-desserts popular in the 1940s to put on my menue and your site has given my several ideas to try. Can’t wait for your April, May & June recipe finds.

  11. Great to flavor cooked spinach! Grew up on it. Back then ladies had a metal grease keeper with a strainer and lid that sat on their range. Some put it in quart jars with a lid.

  12. My Granny always kept her dripping, whether it be from any roast or of fried bacon, we came from a massive family, so nothing went to waste, I can remember having dripping on bread to take to school in my lunch box and still have it today. Have you ever tried Calf Brains, Tripe or any offal including sweetbread (testicals), all I can say to you readers, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. I Love your recipes, it brings back great memories of my childhood. Thankyou

  13. My Mother used to eat dripping on toast at times with a sprinkling of salt. She said she used to eat it as a treat during the war. In Germany it was called Schmalz (or at least, that’s what it was known as in her household). When I was younger it never occurred to me where it came from, or why it would have been considered a treat.
    She said she also cried the night she sat down to eat a meaty stew, only to go feed her rabbit after dinner and find it had ‘disappeared’ LOL 🙂

  14. I have a fat pot in the fridge. All meat drippings go into it, and I dip into it for sauteing and roasting. Saturated fat is a lot healthier than oils for higher-temperature cooking – it doesn’t undergo those nasty chemical changes. It tastes better too. I’ve clarified fat and used it for pastry, and the fat makes for a great texture.

  15. The first two things Mum taught me in the kitchen were rendering and cleaning up fat and turning leftover breas into “raspings” (crusts baked in the oven and then crushed) it was my job to keep mums fat basin and crumb jar topped up!

  16. The war cookbok I’ve got has a recipe to clarify the drippings. I tried it last week. Basically collect ALL the meat drippings, let them cool. Turn into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a fast boil and then strain into a bowl and cool. Once it’s solid, gently lift off the fat and scrape the bottom a bit to remove any watery bits. From there I smushed it into a small bowl, covered it and kept it in the fridge. It had the texture and look of very very pale butter but never quite got hard. In fact it was like soft butter so easy to spread if you’d like. I used it to fry with most of the week and it was lovely-but seemed to soak into the food or evaporate so much faster than what I’m used it.

  17. OMG, my gran used to give me this as a kid and I LOVED it. Her ‘special’ was to spread it thickly on toast, then fill it with Sunday Roast leftovers.

    But I stopped having this because I thought it was unhealthy with all that saturated fat and I wanted to lose weight. But about a year ago when I researched saturated fat, I found out it isn’t as bad as I thought it was (here’s a good website on it http://authoritynutrition.com/saturated-fat-good-or-bad/.

    So now I give myself a treat of dripping every now and then. Dripping and coconut oil together is AMAZING together, especially on ‘mushy peas’ (a British dish).

  18. well, well, here I am in Alabama in the USA and am a little stunned that some of you are “discovering” the many uses of drippings. Mom always saved her bacon grease to use as seasoning or to fry other foods with, mainly potatoes. Some of the terms you use are kind of neat. Like (dripping) and (Mum). I think using drippings here in the South was originally done to add calories to otherwise low calorie diets, hence the love of fried foods. Anyway I am poking around due to WW2 reenacting as a British Para. thanks for the info

    • Dated a girl from Dothan back in the day. Just curious as to what you would think a “spider” is when in the kitchen? Not a Carolina term

      • To me a spider was a drink we had on special occasions
        Flavoured soft drink (soda to you) with a scoop fo ice cream on top It froths up if not careful loved it as a child I am in Australia ant that is what we called a spider when I was growing up can still get them in some places here or we can make them at home A coke a cola spider is nice

  19. Bacon drippings was a staple in the south (US) probably from the first, never mind the war. By the way, the comment about adding water to clarify and bring to a boil is dangerous as the grease will want to pop and sputter. There’s a safer way which is to Almost bring water to a boil. Put drippings on top a let it render. The heavier stuff will go to the bottom. The lighter lard will go to the top and will keep much much longer as the meat particles have been removed, which causes the rancidness after a while. Also, to me the best gravy is made from bacon drippings but fried chicken drippings is a close second.
    For loosing weight, I sympathize as I know it’s hard as ALL my other family members were always trying to talking of loosing weight. I got tired of the word “diet” at an early age. I don’t know why I wasn’t overweight as I ate same food, no, I ate the GOOD stuff and was active ( worked!)

    • Saving the fat was also a Cherokee custom–we did it all the time, before the Spaniards arrived and later the English. Fat was used for so many things–cooking, keeping wooden and rivercane tools (such as blowguns) from cracking, hair care…very versatile.

  20. Pingback: WWII: Food Rationing | Blog Psydro

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