Bacon Grease as Engine Oil?

   08.10.20

Bacon Grease as Engine Oil?

(Image: Screenshot from video)

Our old pal at Project Farm dove into some bacon grease a while back, or at least he did a bunch of testing with it, to see if it’s feasible to use it as engine oil.

What’s that you ask? Why would anyone ever do that? You’d have to ask his viewers, because like all of his videos, he made this one in response to viewer requests.

So you’re on a camping trip with ten pounds of bacon and somehow lose the oil out of your engine. The ol’ mental wheels start to turn and you decide to 1) drown your sorrows by frying & eating all that deee-licious bacon and 2) dump the resulting grease into your engine so you can drive back to civilization (questionable goal; why not stay in the woods?).

He sets out to test the lubricity of bacon grease compared with engine oil, and even runs a lawnmower engine with bacon grease in place of the oil.

The lube test is especially impressive, with bacon grease doing a considerably better job protecting a test bearing than 10w30 engine oil. Wow!

From there he runs a lawnmower engine with conventional 10w30 engine oil and monitors the temperature of the crankcase and cylinder head.

Oil temp at 15 minutes:

  • 10w30 = 201 degrees F
  • Bacon grease = 217 degrees F

Cylinder head temp:

  • 10w30 = 377-387 degrees F
  • Bacon grease = 410-420 degrees F

The engine ran about 25 degrees hotter with bacon grease — but it ran for an hour and at the end of the test he still had good compression (essentially the same as before the test).

Perhaps most stunning is the almost-complete lack of buildup inside the cylinder head! If you have ever pulled the head off a small engine, you know they are usually really crudded-up with black carbon. The same holds true with the spark plug, which was barely fouled at all.

Best of all, when he filtered the oil through a paper towel there were no detectable bits of metal.

Seems like the old timers really were wise when they always kept a jar of bacon grease around. You never know when you’ll need it to season up a batch of greens… or to lubricate an engine when you run out of oil!

Enjoy the video.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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