I am a big fan of bacon. And fat. I use a lot of bacon bits. Between lettuce salads and meat salads, it can get expensive. I decided to try to make my own. It was extremely easy and a huge success. I used a 3lb package of bacon ends and pieces (uncured, no nitrates or added salt) and ran it through my hand crank meat grinder. Then I put it all in my cast iron dutch oven and cooked it on the stove on medium heat. (I did a test batch in a smaller pan first)
It takes awhile for the last of the stubborn fat to melt, so I turned down the heat and did more of a "slow deep fry" What I found was that they weren't quite done when I thought they looked done. Every few minutes they looked better and better so don't be afraid to let these slow deep fry for ten minutes or more checking frequently. After that, I folded over some cheese cloth and secured it to the top of a jar with a ring. Then I ladled the fat and bacon bits letting the fat drain down and when the cheesecloth was full, transferred it to a clean half pint jar.
I ended up with 3 half pints of bacon bits and 2 pints of bacon grease for cooking. I was paying 3$ for 3oz of bacon bits loaded with nitrates and salt. I'm pretty sure this is the better deal. I froze my extra jars of bits (being that my canner seal is still not here) but I don't see any reason why I couldn't can these for a longer shelf life.