Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 13, 2008 07:45 PM

Anyone got a good de-fatting equipment/techinique?

Well, I'm just too brutish to carefully skim the fat out of a sauce or stock. The method I use most often is just throw it in the freezer or 'fridge until the fat separates out on top and I can just go in there and remove the solid fat. But that also takes too long! Plus, I'm totally Obssessive Compulsive about it. I don't want to waste a single drop of my precious stock/sauce while defatting it. One thing I was thinking about doing is poking the bottom of a water bottle to drain the stock from the fat that way. Any other ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There's a gadget you can get to help with this - I've never used it myself, but my grandmother had one in her kitchen, which bodes well for its helpfulness.

    Basically, imagine a liquid measuring cup, but with a spout that is joined at the bottom of the cup rather than near the top. Fill the cup with your stock, let it settle for a couple of minutes, and then pour. Because the spout opening is at the bottom of the cup, when you pour, the stock - which has settled at the bottom - will come out first, and the fat - which has risen to the top - will come out last. Simply stop pouring when the liquid changes from mostly stock to mostly fat.

    As I said, I've never used this device (much less this particular brand), so I can't vouch for it. But I thought I'd pass it along - at a minimum, it's a relatively low-cost experiment.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chloe103

      Used one for years. Works OK, except for the small amount of fat in the spout and the inability to separate fat from stock COMPLETELY.

      1. re: chloe103

        That device is called a gravy separator and it's the best thing for the task.

      2. Sure. Use a gravy separator. Makes degreasing a snap, and I can't understand why they're not better known.. I've been using the same one for many years now.
        Just Google on gravy separator. They're not expensive, though I wouldn't buy the very cheapest you can find. Here's an explanation:

        1 Reply
        1. re: mpalmer6c

          I swear by my OXO gravy separator. A must have even if it is a little bit of a unitasker

        2. To save you some clicking in case you didn't know already, both "chloe103" and "mpalmer6c" are referring to the same item, which I might also say is a very useful kitchen tool for impatient cooks like us!

          1 Reply
          1. re: homebaker

            Me too, use the gravy separator! Works great for defatting stock. Make sure you get a glass one.

          2. The 'homemade' or primitive version of this kitchen gadget is what I do: fill a ziploc bag with the liquid and let rest for a minute, cut a corner of the bag and carefully pour until the stock has been poured out and the fat remains. Might not be great for compulsive types, but works just fine in a pinch.

            1 Reply
            1. re: aussiewonder

              I also use the plastic bag technique. You do have to let the liquid cool a little bit, but I find it most effective for removing all fat.

              The other technique I use, is to put the sauce/broth/whatever into a tall glass, and use a turkey baster (you know, the thing with a squeeze bulb at the top) to suck up the liquid from the bottom, while leaving the fat floating at the top. This works great, as long as you dont have a huge amount to do.

            2. I use the same technique of refrigerating and then peeling the fat off the top. But there's no need to waste that tasty solid fat! Use it instead of butter when you're making savory pies or tarts or use it as your fat instead of olive oil for sauteeing vegetables. I also render the fat from chicken skins when I cook chiken sans skin and save the fat from bacon for similar purposes. Adds a flavor boost to lots of recipes and helps you keep from wasting the animal.