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Do you save your fat?

s
Soup May 12, 2009 04:59 PM

Does anyone else save dripping/fat/grease from the different items you cook. If so which grease and how do you keep it (and for how long)?

For myself, I save sausage and bacon grease in same container, on the counter for a week at most then I throw it away.

  1. alwayscooking May 13, 2009 02:43 PM

    Ever growing containers of beautifully rendered
    chicken fat
    pork fat
    duck fat
    and even some fat back
    slumbering in my freezer, abandoned
    in favor of olive oil

    How should I use it all given my SO's desire for healthy foods and my vegetarianism? Other than get a dog. Any project other than confit?

    1. BobB May 13, 2009 11:16 AM

      I save duck & goose fat, both for frying (especially potatoes) and for confiting. I currently have about a pint of goose and twice that amount of duck. Which reminds me, it's time for another batch of confit de canard!

      1. Den May 13, 2009 07:42 AM

        Unfortunately yes...all around my middle!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Den
          NYCkaren May 13, 2009 09:09 AM

          LOL, Den!
          I don't cook bacon that often but I needed some for a recipe the other day and I did save the fat. And I save duck and goose fat on the rare occasions that I roast one of those birds. It keeps for a long time in a jar in the refrigerator.

        2. David A. Goldfarb May 12, 2009 07:23 PM

          I save and render beef fat from stock and other things--great for deep frying and a few other uses. I usually don't have enough pork fat to make it worth saving, so if I have a little from something like a stew, I'm likely just to add it to the beef fat for more flavor. I save chicken fat from stock mostly for sauteeing onions, but I'll also use it for things like confit chicken legs or wings. I'm out of goosefat at the moment, but I roast a goose occasionally, mainly to secure a supply of goosefat, and if I make a duck, I'll add the fat to the goosefat container. Goosefat is also excellent for deep frying, confit, and oiling the grill. Duck fat usually has a richer flavor than goosefat. I also try to keep clarified butter on hand. If I'm making enough bacon to justify it, I'll save bacon fat, but more often than not, if I want bacon fat in a dish, I'll incorporate the bacon (or pancetta) into it.

          With any of the animal fats, I usually render them to boil off any water and cook any protein that is prone to spoilage, filter through cheesecloth, and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Chicken fat definitely stays longer in the freezer, usually packed flat in Ziploc bags so I can break off chunks. It's generally good to heat the oil to a high temperature occasionally, say for deep frying, and refilter to keep it clean. I've kept a batch of goosefat going for over a year this way.

          I've also got garlic confit in olive oil and onion confit in chicken fat on hand in the fridge. And then there are bags with pork and beef trimmings for sausages in the freezer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: David A. Goldfarb
            Fritter May 13, 2009 07:02 AM

            " I've kept a batch of goosefat going for over a year this way"

            Break out the spuds and make some FF!

          2. DanaB May 12, 2009 06:38 PM

            I keep bacon fat in a jar in the refrigerator and use it for mexican beans, chili, frying onions, and various other recipes that call for lard or flavorful fat. I don't think bacon fat ever goes bad if it's kept refrigerated and in a sealed jar (but since I don't eat bacon all that frequently, I run out of the fat more often than not before I have to even think about it going bad).

            I recently started keeping rendered chicken fat in the freezer. I haven't yet used it, but am looking forward to using it to fry potatoes and/or for the dumplings in chicken and dumpling stew.

            1. c oliver May 12, 2009 06:10 PM

              Here's an interesting post from a few months ago:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586991

              At that point I started saving more than just bacon fat (in the fridge always). I now have a container of chicken fat and also one when I fix a particular pork roast that's flavored with fennel seed, garlic, chilies, et al. When I "make" new fat of a particular origin, I toss the old. Love it :)

              1. pitu May 12, 2009 05:52 PM

                Absolutely.
                IF I cooked bacon more often, I'd keep a grease jar.
                I save the fat skimmed from chicken broth and use it instead of olive oil, where appropriate - say for cooking down onions for a soup or veg dish.
                I save the fat rendered off lamb sausage to make lentils the next day - you get a little of the meaty flavor. (I'm a very bad vegetarian ; )
                I made pulled pork, and skimmed the grease for cooking greens. Veeery flavorful.
                I just rendered duck fat after using the breast if the bird for something else -- it's sitting in the fridge, and I better use it . . .

                Someone got to me early on with Starving Children In India talk. I hate to waste.

                2 Replies
                1. re: pitu
                  lynnlato May 12, 2009 06:01 PM

                  You're my hero, pitu. I am duly impressed. Really. I wish I took the time to save fats and utilize them as you do. It requires time and creativity.

                  Good for you for your commitment to maximum deliciousness!

                  1. re: pitu
                    greygarious May 12, 2009 06:09 PM

                    The bacon grease jar has a permanent spot in the fridge. Other fats go into their own containers in the freezer and are used for oniona, sauces, and soups. On the rare occasion they're in there long enough to develop freezer burn, I make dog biscuits and use the fat in that. There are starving puppies in India but not in my house.

                  2. Rocky Road May 12, 2009 05:51 PM

                    I'll add my voice to saving bacon drippings. I use it for lot's of things also. I store it in clean can (generally like a 8 oz empty can of tomato sauce) in the back of the fridge with a lid. I use it a lot so I'm never real concerned about rotation because with that small a can it goes fast.

                    1. lynnlato May 12, 2009 05:25 PM

                      We make bacon every Sat & Sun. I keep it in a salsa jar in the fridge indefinitely. I use it regularly to fry eggs, grilled cheese, saute potatoes, etc. I should probably find a better method that involves rotation but I haven't done so yet.

                      Why do u throw it away? I keep butter in the cupboard for longer than that w/o issue. HOWEVER, it's important that its salted. I tried doing the same w/ unsalted and it turned into blue cheese (not really, but that's what it tasted like - ick).

                      1. s
                        sknuk May 12, 2009 05:19 PM

                        Usually just bacon grease because there are a few recipes that I need just a teaspoon for and that's it. I keep mine in the fridge for several months in a mason jar.

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