An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Exhibit A

I just want to point out that I’m paying attention, UNIVERSE. And that by stubbing my foot on one of Marlo’s more hefty toys last night and breaking the third toe on my right foot was your way of saying WOMAN. WAS YOUR TAILBONE NOT LOUD ENOUGH.

So what you’re saying is that I have to walk around the house wearing shoes and a helmet at all times. I mean, is it that literal? Or is it more metaphorical? Am I supposed to slow down, is that the message? Anyone suggesting that someone with two kids and two dogs should slow down obviously did not take physics. Universe, are you single? Do you even have kids? Because if you get to sleep in on Sunday morning I CANNOT TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY.

Apparently it’s trying to talk to me about cooking as well. In fact, I bet the Universe has Child Protective Services on speed dial and gets an itchy finger every time I look at the stove. I will admit, I’m just winging it in there. I’ve watched other people cook, and I’m good about picking up on details. I mean, I can make a mean pot of rice. And when a bowl has “dishwasher and microwave safe” stamped on its bottom, you can bet I think it’s telling the truth. Who am I to doubt the bowl?

You guys. That bowl was lying. At least, that is the defense I used when, after successfully cooking seven strips of bacon, I poured the leftover grease into this bowl:


At least I know you’re not supposed to pour the grease down the drain, AM I RIGHT!? Give me some credit! I picked up on that detail! PLUS TEN POINTS FOR ME.

But I guess “microwavable safe” does not cover the temperature of bacon grease. And I should have immediately sensed trouble when I heard the plastic of the bowl popping as the grease filled its sides. Nay, I trusted the bowl. I believed in the bowl. I rooted for that damn bowl. GO BOWL GO.

And everything looked fine as I transferred the bowl to the countertop next to the sink. I could see the grease cooling, congealing a tiny bit, and I might have thumped my chest with my fists and yelled WHO’S IN CONTROL NOW, BITCHES!

And then not a half second later that bowl disintegrated. And hot, sizzling bacon grease pooled all over the countertop down into the sink. And into the drain.


My reaction was not unlike that time when I was a freshman in college, and my sister had asked me to babysit my two-year-old niece, the cutest, blondest little thing who suddenly started projectile vomiting the goldfish crackers I had given her for lunch. And I was all, STOP! DON’T! GROSS! Thinking that those commands would put an end to that orange volcanic eruption. And five minutes later when it was over I was all, WHY DIDN’T YOU STOP?! WERE YOU NOT LISTENING?

That’s called Quality Babysitting.

I just stood there watching in slow motion as the bowl melted into a puddle, not knowing what to do, so I just screamed STOP! DON’T! Because a four-year degree from BYU taught me nothing.

Jon came running in to see what the hell was going on, and I physically obstructed his view from the mess. I didn’t want to hear it. I could envision the tone in his voice as he shook his head and muttered HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER. The same tone he used when I attempted a back hand spring on a trampoline after two huge glasses of homemade wine.

That was a fun trip to the ER.

But I couldn’t hold him off, not if I wanted to make sure that the sizzling bacon grease didn’t melt the pipes under the sink, so I frantically turned on the water and and started blowing air with my mouth. Surely that would help cool things off.

And once he started to shake his head, I was all, dude, I didn’t take a class on microwaves. How was I supposed to know that bacon grease is hotter than a meal you zap for five minutes? I mean, I know you’re not supposed to put tin foil in a microwave, and it’s not a good place to store cats. I’ve got the basics down.

Oh! But get this! Jon is old enough that he DID take a class on microwaves. Because when they bought their first microwave the store offered the whole family a free class! I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Come on. It does not get more Renaissance Man than that.

I headed toward the recycling bin to throw the bowl away, but Jon was quick to stop me. Oh no. There would need to be a written record and photographic evidence of this event. Because ten years from now when we’re fighting over who is right, he is going to pull this up and go THERE. THAT’S WHY.


  • leafgirl

    Yep we keep the old soup cans under the sink for such purposes too.

    Side note – am I only the one that when I look at the melted bowl picture, its like one of those trick photos and it looks like its actually melting down further to me. Actually making me a little nauseous.

  • Midnight


    I use the paper towel method myself; while it may be wasteful, at least I don’t have to wash (or throw away!) the bowl I poured it into, since I just wipe it out of the pan and into the trash.

  • Tricia

    I think the universe is telling you that you need a lot more Calcium in your diet. What’s next, your hip?

  • Bratfink

    Sorry Dooce, I’m with Jon. Photographic evidence!

    It’s exactly what I do to The Boy when he does something…. errrrr… interesting.

  • Mays45

    As a bacon connoisseur (it’s my favorite food, my dad has worked for Oscar Mayer my whole life, and I wanted to be a bacon lady in 1st grade), I know to always keep my pickle jars, or any glass jars really, for use as bacon grease receptacles. I suggest you do the same. Then, when you have a camp fire, throw the grease jars on the fire! It flames your fire up and smells GREAT! That is how we do bonfires in Wisconsin!

  • kristanhoffman

    LOL oh dear lord YOU ARE ME. Or I am you, I guess, since you’re older. (And wiser. And more beautiful. Don’t hate me!)

    Anyway, in college I had to be taught how to make Ramen. And even then I once accidentally set the microwave for 30 min, instead of 30 seconds.

    And worst of all, I once reheated a slice of pizza INTO A PLASTIC PLATE. No no, not on top of a plastic plate. Well, okay, that’s how it started. But when it came out, after much popping and sizzling and a few sparks, the pizza was IN the plastic plate.

    Yeah, my roommates imposed strict microwave supervision after that.

  • kristanhoffman

    DOH. Double-posted, sorry! Am editing now…

  • The Cotton Wife

    Bacon grease is to be SAVED! But preferably in something metal…

    Not glass. I have the story to back that up.

  • bigtonyk

    I’ve had my share of Microwave ‘incidents’ the last involved a spaghetti squash that I didn’t “vent” well enough. They, you know, blow up.

  • lis

    Save your empty canned-good cans, poor the grease in there and store in the freezer. Be sure to tell your husband you are doing it. I assumed that’s what everyone did, and hub dumped over a full, hot can in our first house. Heh.

  • kristanhoffman

    CRAP tri-posted. My internet hates me… 🙁

  • Shanni_O

    #13 posted it first but we do it in the oven too. So easy. No mess. I suggest the new non stick foil though. I crinkle it up and the grease flows down into the valley and the bacon cooks on the ridges. Lots less fat. I still blot it with a paper towel though. Leaves your cooktop open for eggs & pancakes while the bacon cooks trouble free 😉 YUM!
    —Now I hear the doggie treat commercial in my head, “BACON, I smell BACON…”

  • danagw

    AWESOME! Now you’re doing experiments. Just when I thought you couldn’t get any cooler.

  • J. Bo

    Oh, you guys make my fingers itch in wanting to give you cooking lessons. BACON GREASE IS PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS stuff! lis is right– save it in the freezer and use it judiciously in your cooking… that is to say, two tablespoons in a pan, a drained can of beans (plus a jalapeno or two, depending on your taste), salt and pepper, all stirred until hot and then mashed up– even Leta will love those “refried” beans, baby.

    Not to mention how awesome bacon grease is for fried eggs, fried potatoes, etc., etc…


  • Shelly

    It also doesn’t work to put a gallon of milk on a recently used electric stove coil.

    I feel your pain!

  • Pandora Has A Box

    I fail to see how any of this is *your* fault. Clearly the bowl is inferior.

    But plastic is inherently inferior to glass or metal, which is where bacon grease should be housed in the future. I think you get super extra bonus points for not putting it down the drain.

  • acm

    hah, I’m similarly elderly — we had a specific (hard-cover) cookbook for our microwave, that included recipes for cooking roasts and other complete meals to delicious perfection in the microwave. yeah, right! :))

  • jessicawoods

    once i poured cooled-down (or what i thought was cooled-down) cooking grease into a plastic water bottle in an attempt to save my drain any damage. I thought it would work fine. I mean aluminum cans can handle used grease, why not plastic? that was a mistake.
    not only did it begin to melt the bottle on contact- as i frantically attempted to pour it back into the pot from which it came, the oil that was being poured back in must have somehow changed its chemical compound makeup or whatever because it began hissing and popping so loudly in that pot that i ran away from it, thinking i may have accidentally created a homemade bomb.
    lesson learned.

  • TexasKatie

    Reminds me of the time when I was a kid and thought it would be a bright idea to boil an egg in the microwave. (HINT: NOT a good idea).

    Here is a tip for bacon grease, or any kind of grease. Take a coffee can and use it to hold your miscellaneous grease drippings. Stick it in a freezer and just use it over and over until it is all filled up. Then trash it once it is full. It is so disgusting what that stuff looks like when it is all filled up. GRODEY.

  • lisabethannm

    eeek! heather, don’t believe those plastic bowls are safe to heat food in the microwave either. not that my tinfoil hat is too tight — there’s just too many creepy things in plastic.
    some other time, i’ll tell you how delicious cookies made with filtered bacon grease are…

  • angelbee

    You know, I consider myself one of your oldest readers and as such I feel it’s my duty to point at you and laugh and say…Dude, you’re retarded.

    However, the way you told that frikin’ story is PRICELESS. That’s what I love the most about you, your ability to make a killer story out of the most mundane event.

  • Lynn from For Love or Funny

    Sure, your husband may be a Renaissance man, but I can’t think of anything more “Renaissance” than cooking with bacon grease!!!! YOU WIN!!!!

  • Interlocutor

    Your story eerily parallels an experience my roommates and I had in college. Except for bacon grease, ours was the oil needed to make pot brownies. Lesson learned: pot and I were not meant to be friends. And we kept the bowl too.

  • pinkone

    I would totally have done the exact same thing…right up to the blowing on the plastic in an effort to cool it off..
    and while my hubby doesn’t go “karina karina karina” (thank god or I’d kill him for it!) I am familiar with the “what in the world were you thinking?? are you TRYING to actively burn down/destroy the house in your spare time??” comments.
    I feel your pain. and what on earth does one DO with the bacon grease once cooled? have never seen the point of keeping it. I too, am a bacon-nuker. Though my mom fed it to the dog when I lived at home. CHUCK WILL ADORE YOU IF YOU DO THIS.

  • Ray1987

    First off: I LOVE the new masthead. ;o)

    Second: Oh you two are so funny. But don’t feel too bad. I would never think that bacon grease could do that to a bowl. WOWEE! O.o

  • BargainBex

    From one non-cooker to another: I totally believe that verbal stopage commands should work in any and all cooking situations. Every time. Without question.

  • Coyote

    Awesomesauce! I’m definitely going to try that. I usually poor bacon grease onto the dog kibble, but I’m rethinking that solution now. Your idea has far more artistic possibilities.

    Remember to create some Peeps art this Easter! Arrange various colored marshmallow Peeps onto a paper plate. Microwave to your preferred level of melted ‘doneness.’ (They grow first. A lot. Extremely funny.) The Peeps will stick to the paper plate when cooled, so you can hang your new artwork on the wall by simply poking a pushpin through the edge of the paper plate.

  • HalfAss Krissa

    We have a bare, naked spot in the corner of the back yard where no grass, (or anything else for that matter) will now (or, probably ever) grow. Because we pour all grease there. Future generations that live in this house will be stumped trying to figure out what kind of radioactive shit must be there to prevent ANYTHING from growing.
    This makes me happy for some reason. 😉

  • pyjammy

    Okay, we have those bowls. Point taken. Don’t put bacon grease in them.

  • Anxious Annie

    Wow, I just googled “bacon grease melts bowls” and you came up as #7 already. I was really hoping you’d be number 1. I’ve cracked a glass salad bowl with hot stuff. I also got 3rd degree gravy burns from a microwave entree (HINT – don’t wear shorts while microwaving).

  • JustLinda

    I like the post-bacon one better. It’s like hip ART or something.

    I say you should sell it on eBay and donate the money to Haiti.

  • Amanda Brumfield

    I don’t think bowls are supposed to just melt like that. Especially if they are “microwave safe”. How the hell hot IS bacon grease? Scary.

    LOVE the new masthead.

  • verbal intent

    i’ll never forget the day that i put tin foil in my boyfriend’s beautiful brand new stainless steel microwave, not knowing any better. earned me quite an earful from his roommate.

  • honeyedhashette

    When the hubs and I were just dating I wanted to impress him with my mad culinary skillz. Fast forward into deep dinner preparation…someone (ahem…me) lacked the ability to add enough water to steam the broccoli. I burnt it. I burned broccoli! Fowl burnt broccoli stench is right up there in the “doesn’t get much worse than this smell” right alongside cat urine, burnt popcorn, halitosis…

    To this day, almost 8 years later, he will not let me forget it. Never mind that I have a food blog. That my kitchen is littered with every kind of cooking gadget you could dream of…That I take pictures of food I could, eat, order and I can whip up a mad cheesecake…maybe I should serve burnt broccoli at our anniversary…

  • alanmill

    My mom always had a grease container for this very purpose. Strains all the gunk out, and then you can use the strained grease–e.g., to fry chicken. Amazon still sells them. Just search for bacon grease containers.

  • Raggedy Sarah

    Reminds me of the time my friend put her plastic electric kettle on the stove and cranked the burner to MAX.

    And by “friend” I do mean a real friend. Not me in disguise…

  • Queen Bugaboo

    Last night I was preparing petri dishes for a lab I did today with my middle school science students. So I washed all the old plastic dishes and thought I’d plunge them in hot water for good measure. I’ve had plastic petri dishes that could withstand higher heat before, so it never occurred to me that these couldn’t. I dropped them into the hot water and they all started to melt. Oops. The kids thought my stupid mistake was pretty funny, though.

  • seattlemuse

    Not to quibble, but I don’t think that bowl is recyclable anymore!

  • mandypants

    huh. I’m glad I avoided that fiasco when I poured bacon grease into the plastic disposable cup we use at parties and write everyone’s name on them with a sharpie. Who knew that would hold up better? Although, the second time I did that to add to the grease, my husband shook his head and said, “Amanda Amanda Amanda.” I feel your pain with that tone of voice.

  • KA

    I usually put the bacon grease in an old taster’s choice glass jar and let it cool. Then I put the lid on it and put it in the freezer to get it out of the way. I keep reusing it until it’s all full up.

    I’m glad you recorded this moment for posterity though.

  • blondefaith

    In your defense: nowhere on the bowl does it say “bacon grease dangerous” and if you think about it, melting is way safer than exploding or spontaneously combusting, so maybe-technically the melting thing could be considered safe, and then its like no harm no foul, right?

  • jadoyle

    I have no idea why I think you’d be interested in hearing this, but about 20 years ago (gawd, I’m old), I made banana pudding in a glass bowl in the microwave. When it came to a boil, I removed the bowl ever-so-carefully with oven mitts. The bottom of the glass bowl fell out in a nice little circle, and scalding pudding fell on my foot. Freakin’ AWFUL! Glad the bacon grease didn’t get ya. I used to use an old tin can for bacon grease because my dad used to keep it in the fridge and ate it with a spoon. Niiiiiiiiiiiice.

  • NatW

    Woman, you’re Southern! Didn’t your mama teach you to let the bacon grease cool, then put it in a glass jar to be used at a later date for cooking green beans, cornbread, and anything else you want to add a bacon flavor to?? ‘Cause my mama sure did! I’m starting to question your Southern credentials…I mean, yes, you say crayon correctly, but you don’t know that bacon grease should always be saved for cooking purposes? Tsk tsk.

  • sarahlawton

    If it makes you feel any better I put bacon grease in a glass that shattered. The glass was the first my Mother stole from her first ever bar at the ripe old age of 16. Oh and did I mention the bar was in Ireland? And it was the last time she was with her great grandmother before her passing? Yeah…I’d go for a plastic bowl any day!

  • barbara

    This post had me rolling.

    I know you’re not supposed to put tin foil in a microwave, and it’s not a good place to store cats. I’ve got the basics down.

    LOL, that’s one of the funniest lines ever! Thanks for making me smile on a daily basis Heather.

  • smaihlee

    I found a new way to cook bacon that totally kicks ass. Line a baking sheet with foil, then put a metal cookie cooling grid on top. Lay the bacon across the grid and cook on 375 until it’s to your desired crispiness. The grid has “feet” so the grease drips down onto the foil. Once it has cooled to the touch, you can throw the grid in the dishwasher, and ball up & toss the foil.

    I keep a couple of glass jars on hand (from pickles, peppers, etc.) for when I need to get rid of grease. Let it cool, cap it, and throw it out. Never had one break, but I do it in the sink just in case.

  • Figtron


    How can you be from The South and not know about Bacon Grease Containers? Yes, I capiltalized the first letter of each word because they are just THAT important.

    This post makes me feel so….vindicated. Turns out, you aren’t perfect after all.

    I. Am. Shattered. Tell Jon he can have his pen back when he stops with the head shaking. I hope he doesn’t tsk-tsk-tsk as well.

    Great pics.

  • kym b

    baron is right, you should cook bacon in the oven on a cookie sheet covered with foil.
    no mess to clean up.
    no grease splatter.
    no melted ikea bowls.

    and seriously, did a guy who took out both of your vehicles over a misplaced pen just give you flack about melting a bowl that costs a quarter. that dude needs to check himself.

  • MsMo

    And that’s why I only have metal glass and ceramic stuff. I new there was a reason for my awesome taste! hehe….
    I also agree with previous posts just start screaming PEN! PPEEEENNNNN! If Jon pulls out the carcass of that bowl. (I’m the creepy person that sent you a shit ton of pens, just throw on of those at him.)

    I see a next months master head!

  • JosieC

    I was so hungry for brownies once that when I took them out of the oven, I put the whole pan in the freezer. To cool them off faster. Or so I thought. I ended up melting the bottom of the freezer in our brand new (I’m talking 2 weeks old here) fridge. 10 years later, the evidence is still there and I hear about it ALL THE TIME.

    The thing with bacon grease is, it’ll boil, I think – we always referred to the smoke point of an oil when I worked in a lab (oh hell, don’t EVER get to that temperature, please!) – but probably at a temperature almost 200 degrees hotter than water will boil. So yea, that’s pretty damn hot. Hot grease can crack glass, too – cool glass plus hot grease equals exploding glass…Soooo, I don’t think your plastic bowl ever had a chance.

    Usually when I make spaghetti sauce, I clean out and save the jars. Then whenever I make bacon I let the grease cool off in the pan (not congeal yet – I just let it get to a teeny bit warmer than room temperature), then whip out one of the old spaghetti jars and pour it in. I feel bad not recycling the glass, but it’s a safer way to dispose of all that grease.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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