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Jan 28, 2011 08:26 AM

How do you degrease?

There doesn't seem to be any fast and easy way to degrease a pan sauce. You can stand there, bailing with a spoon while the food is getting cold. Alton Brown suggests throwing it into the freezer for a few minutes, which seems awkward. I do have one of those pyrex measuring cups with the spigot at the bottom for degreasing, but it's pretty much worthless unless you you're degreasing a large amount of stock.

How do you do it?

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  1. I have a separator and yes, you need a certain amount of liquid for it to work. But, most of the time it does a great job with the spout being just about at the very bottom.
    You can easily degrease by skimming from the top. Fortunately, fat floats. Waiting for the fat to chill and congeal of course is more effective.

    1. My method involves a pyrex measuring cup and a turkey baster.

      Pour the greasy liquid into the pyrex to allow to separate. I use the turkey baster to suck up the liquid.

      3 Replies
      1. re: dave_c

        Thanks for replies. With my separator the spout isn't close enough to the bottom. Works for large amounts of stock, where you can sacrifice the small amount below the spout, but in a pan sauce that's generally all there is. Baster sounds like a good idea, I'll try that.

        I know that one day technology will come to the rescue and there will be a home centrifuge, or something like that, that will rid us of this messy and annoying task.

        1. re: MarkC

          Mark, sacrificed brown paper bags do the trick pretty well. They suck the grease right up by just dipping the bag gingerly on the surface -- and if it picks up any prized sauce along with it, just wipe it off and place it back in the pan with the rest. The reason the grease remains on the bag (and not the sauce) is because of the initial contact made. Grease floats thankfully. Repeat the procedure once or twice and you should be fine. You can also use *paper* towels, napkins, or plates, but they're less forgiving and they can tear much easier depending on quality.

          1. re: Cheese Boy

            this is what I use. I use small brown lunch bags and a pair of tongs swiping the grease from the surface and disgard. works in seconds.

      2. I've tried various fat separators, including the ones with the curved spigot. I'm now using one I really love. It has a little door on the bottom which you can open and close. You pull the trigger until all the juices flow out, and leave the fat in the cup. It's up to you when to stop releasing. Sorry, I'm not describing it very well. Here's the link to it. http://www.amazon.com/Amco-Swing--Rel... You can see it's been given a 5 star average by the reviewers. How often does that happen? I swear by this one, and I bought a couple to give as gifts to my family this past Christmas.

        3 Replies
        1. re: goodeatsgal

          Thanks again, folks. Cheese Boy, your idea is a good one, except I live in a timber-poor country (Israel), and we don't use brown paper bags much. Off the top of my head I can't think of where to get one. Goodeatsgal, this looks like the best solution so far. It occured to me that there should be some way of draining the liquid from the bottom of the cup. This beats the pants off those silly spigots.

          1. re: MarkC

            I do basically the same thing but use paper towels. Just lay one across the top of the food and the grease is instantly absorbe. Put the dirty towel on a paper plate and repeat if necessary until all the grease is gone.

            1. re: Neta

              +1 Except I don't use a paper plate, just put on regular plate and throw in trash.

        2. Pretty old fashioned, but I juse a small ladle, and scoop the excess of the top, dump it into a jar. I can't imagine that I'd want all the grease gone which chilling it would do to it. I just made this wonderful Mexian potroast dish in the crockpot, and by the end of cooking time quite a bit of grease was floating on top. I used the kittle flat ladle which does a great job skimming without going into the sauce and I was satisfied that I got the majority of the fat. For stock absolutely Alton Brown's way, I do it all the time. Making stock is a two day affair for me.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chef chicklet

            Lettuce leaves soak up a fair amount of fat...don't remember where I heard of this, but have used it successfully.

            1. re: Liz K

              Paper towels can get every bit of fat removed from the top. Osso buco last night. Strained sauce into a small s/s bowl, and removed 100% with three paper towel 'applications'. Also, I buy the cheapie paper towels from Walmart. I imagine a better quality p/t would accomplish this with only two.