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Aug 31, 2010 12:36 AM

salvaging duck fat

Today was my 3rd time to render duck fat. The first two times I did it I ended up with this golden liquid that looked like melted butter. No prob. However this last try I left the heat a little too high and the fat looks a little dark. The cracklings I made from it taste burned. I presume I probably burned the fat but it doesn't look that dark, just a little brown.

Is this fat still any good or do I have to throw it out? I was trying to collect enough fat to make confit but I don't want my duck to have a burned taste. I understand if it's unusable for confit but can I use it for something else like roasted potatoes? Is there a way to test the fat to see if it's still good?

I'll also just add that I don't like the new look of the site. I'm not against change, I just think the old one was organized better.

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  1. Just dip a little white bread (or other neutral starch) in the fat and taste it. If it tastes fine, well then it is fine - for any use. If not, well, feed it to the cat and chalk it up to experience.

    It is the protein etc that burns in the first instance, not the fat, so you may be able to save the fat.

    If it is salvageable - and it might be, even if the cracklings are a bit scorched - be very careful to exclude every trace of burnt matter from the fat you keep. Even a little will impart a burned taste to whatever else you cook.

    1. I have the same dilemma. Tried to use Bittman's recipe for TWO ducks, which might have ruined the fat.....hmmm...guess I will have to test it with some fried potatoes!

      1. As long as you can the burnt part out, or even miss a little,makes great pan fried pototaoe..

        2 Replies
        1. re: 9lives

          I'm not sure the fat was burned, but it was darker than the canola yellow of the previous batch..

          .anyway, they were THE BOMB!

          1. re: Shrinkrap

            I have had luck filtering it through a coffee filter on the theory that it is brown because of microscopic burnt bits which the filter removes.