HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Fat. What's your choice ?

I've got to say lard, pork fat, is my choice of animal fat. Oh, duck fat, and chicken are superb. Olive oil is my top favorite. Butter I could give or take. Vegtable,not so much. I would like to try grape seed, or walnut oil. Sure there are others.What are the fats you tend to use most ? Olive oil, and lard for me.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I use olive oil most, but I like unsalted butter best.

    1. Olive oil and non GMO canola oil.

      1. Duck fat, clarified butter, European butter for cooking.

        Nut oils and good olive oils for vinaigrettes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: linguafood

          I'm joining your party - duck fat, ghee, Kerrygold, olive oil, walnut oil

        2. Butter. Virgin coconut oil. Olive oil. In that order.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LMAshton

            That's my trio, too. I prob. use olive oil a bit more than coconut oil.

            1. re: pinehurst

              I cook a LOT of curries, mostly Sri Lankan (my husband is Sri Lankan), and coconut oil is the fat of choice for those dishes, so coconut oil is used a LOT.

              I should probably add that coconut oil used to be in my top spot, but I've not been able to find it in Malaysia, where I am now, so I've had to stock up when we were in Singapore (Mustafa's for the win!) and my mother in law even brought some from Sri Lanka when they came for a visit, but because I can't easily get it, I now have to ration it. Which so totally sucks. If I had easy access to it, it would still be in my top position.

          2. Lipids are tools in the shop. It's best to make sure and grab the right one for the job. I mean, you might be able to hang a shelf with a hammer, but I wouldn't suggest displaying antiques on it.

            That being said, olive oil is probably my duct tape.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MGZ

              Good answer, IMHO. I like the metaphor of fats as tools. One tool can only do so much. You need a "toolkit."Same would apply to vinegars, soy sauces, starches, and so on.

              All that said, my frequently used ones are olive oil (def #1), butter, and generic vegetable oils if I'm making something highly seasoned, like a pot of chili. If I'm in a stir-frying phase, I use peanut oil, for its high smoke point.

              I also have lard and duck fat in the freezer for special applications. But I'll go months without using either.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                Probably good I find golf so damn boring, huh?

            2. Quack quack!
              And of course olive oil, and I fry fish, shrimp and oysters in vegetable oil.

              1. What's my choice regarding fat? I would like to lose some around the mid section, maybe a little off the niek, double chin area....other than that I'm ok.

                Ohhhhhhh shit I hate when I start to respond before reading the body of a post........yeah I prefer butter generally combined with evoo.

                1. I use olive oil and soybean oil the most, but everything has its place. I have ghee for Indian cookery, butter for spreading; lard and suet for baking; as well as a few jars of duck, bacon and lamb fat for other applications. There's also a bottle of avocado oil that I use for high temperature searing and dressings.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: JungMann

                    What do you use the lamb fat for? And how do you make/obtain it? Really curious as I watch people have the fat trimmed off their lamb shoulders/legs all the time @ work.

                    1. re: Ama658

                      I use melted fat trimmed from legs of lamb to saute aromatics and spices for braised vegetables or rice dishes. There is a subtle funk that harmonizes with my spice blends when I use lamb fat to season otherwise meatless dishes.

                      The ideal fat, though, comes from the tail-end of the lamb: http://www.greenprophet.com/2011/10/s...

                  2. I use olive oil most frequently as someone said below "duct tape"

                    I love the taste of things with duck and goose fat but never have them on hand

                    butter can be a simply amazingly transformative ingredient but I use more as a condiment than a cooking fat

                    lard for my cast iron

                    lately rice bran oil for frying

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JTPhilly

                      Olive oil in so many different forms. Cheap versions, pricey versions, midrange. At the moment I have 4 different olive oils depending on the need.

                    2. For cooking, Olive oil is the volume leader.
                      Next is probably walnut oil (for when a neutral oil is needed) although butter is likely a close tie, especially considering I sometimes use peanut oil or grape seed oil because the store I most frequently shop in doesn't carry walnut oil.
                      Bacon fat would be next, maybe once a week I'll cook a slice or two of bacon as a base for soup or a vegetable sauté.

                      1. Bacon fat, by far, is my favorite. Lends a hint of porky, smoky goodness to everything it touches. I also love butter, for lower-heat applications, baking (leaf lard is also good here), spreading, etc. For high heat sauteing I usually use coconut or peanut oil. I love duck/goose/chicken fat for roasting vegetables, etc. I enjoy olive oil but I tend only to use it for salad dressings and Italian/Spanish/Greek cooking.

                        1. Local very fresh butter, lard, duckfat.

                          1. Olive oil, peanut oil and butter are what I'm mostly using now. I have not quite two pounds of duck fat in the fridge that I pull out once in a while, too. The peanut oil is for most high-temperature work, mostly stir-frying; olive oil is for everyday cooking and eating. Butter is my favorite for scrambling eggs, or making omelets the low-and-slow way I learned from an Eric Ripert video.

                            I can't use the duck fat when cooking for Mrs. O, which precludes lard as well, though I have some in the freezer to add to some duck fat whenever I get around to making some confit.

                            1. Duck fat
                              EVOO
                              Ghee

                              those are my main 3, not in any order. I probably use far more EVOO by weight since it's much healthier and I like the taste.

                              I keep avocado oil (good deal/impulse buy at Costco), safflower oil, 2 kinds of unsalted butter, and coconut oil on hand at all times, and occasionally have pork fat, beef tallow or lard on hand

                              I do a lot of pre/post searing for sous vide so I use oils with high smoke points a lot, and love packaging steaks with duck fat.

                              I gotta try some lamb fat, I eat a lot of lamb and I am always looking for uses for the fat, thanks Jungmann.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                What do you use the avocado oil for? I also bought it on impulse at Costco!

                              2. Use in cooking = olive oil. That reminds me, I need to buy butter for the house :)

                                But the fats that I eat the most of are dairy fat in cheese and yogurt, nut oils in almonds and hazelnuts and cocoa butter in chocolate.

                                1. Don't think I've EVER used lard... maybe I should for something?

                                  Butter is my favorite.

                                  Followed by bacon grease! Growing up, can't EVER remember there NOT being a container of that wonderful stuff in fridge. ONly thing my grandmother would EVER shallow fry crab cakes in. A diced potato, carrot and onion, a little BG... the BEST "hash browns" imnsho! Also perfect for coating cast iron.

                                  Never had olive oil, let alone extra virgin, when growing up. It's an "essential oil" in my kitchen!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kseiverd

                                    When I was growing up the only olive oil available in your typical American grocery store was Pompeiian, which at that time was rank and unpleasantly olive-y, probably because it sat on that non-air-conditioned shelf for months. My first taste of decent olive oil was a revelation, and I've never looked back.

                                    Trader Joe's Italian EVOO is my everyday oil. The DeCecco oil I find in other stores is a bit more expensive but not like the fancy brands, with a lovely peppery flavor that I like for serious vinaigrettes, as in Julia Childs' Pommes de Terre à la Huile, the only potato salad I like almost as much as Mom's family recipe.

                                  2. Duck fat, ideally. It lends rich flavor to any vegetable or egg dish, and also creates an unmatched golden-crispy crust on potatoes. But it's expensive, so usually olive oil. Duck fat cut with olive oil is also good.

                                    1. Mostly Olive oil then butter and coconut oil.
                                      I see a few mentions of avocado oil, I have never used that. What do you cook with it or is it more for salad dressings?

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: itsmejessica

                                        I just picked it up recently but I used it to post sear some pork chops out of sous vide yesterday. Seemed very neutral. It can also heat up extremely hot so is good for putting a nice crust on meat dishes, have yet to use it in dressings but I'm gonna try it in some pesto, cut with some EVOO and see how that turns out.

                                        For the folks that use walnut oil, what do you typically use it in? Do you use refined or unrefined? Looks like the smoke point isn't crazy high, but it can get fairly hot.

                                      2. Depends.

                                        On what, you ask? Depends on the application.

                                        Lard is great, but I ain't using it to stir-fry.

                                        Vegetable oil is great for stir-fry, but I ain't using it to make pie crust (for example).

                                        EVOO is wonderful, as a finishing fat (or oil), but not so much for deep-frying.

                                        I could go on and on and on.

                                        1. Butter, coconut oil,evoo, grapeseed oil.

                                          For particular things: walnut oil, duck fat, lard

                                          Never ever: canola oil

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: magiesmom

                                            Canola oil is evil. For me, anyway. Can't stand the smell.

                                            1. re: LMAshton

                                              I agree. My wife likes it but I have banned it.

                                          2. Coconut oil, olive oil. No animal products or dairy for me.
                                            Avocados, nut butters, toasted sesame seed oil, coconut butter and pumpkin seeds are always around too.

                                            1. I love butter. American-style, plenty of milk elements in it, salted sometimes and unsalted others. My sister makes her own from goat's milk and it''s amazing.

                                              I use lard some, I render it when I have fatty pork scraps and that's pretty good.

                                              Olive oil, sharp, that's lovely, and I cook with walnut oil a lot. It's mild but has a nice flavor.

                                              1. When I lived in Australia I used sunflower oil, but it's almost impossible to find (and incredibly expensive) in the US. I know canola is 'safe' and used in almost everything you buy from a store but I can't bring myself to buy it in a bottle... I used corn oil for a few years, but I had to go on cholesterol meds this year, so I switched out to olive oil, and a 'heart healthy' blend for my occasional baking that needs oil. I don't use a lot of oil in general...

                                                I used to use a TON of bacon and I loved using the bacon fat for my eggs/potatoes, but bacon's so expensive now that we almost never eat it...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Kajikit

                                                  You might consider grape seed oil. Sometimes olive oil is just too strong for sautéing or frying, unless it is a flavor you are seeking.

                                                2. Olive Oil is my 'go to'
                                                  I have a nice container of bacon fat on hand and now I have a little cache of duck fat as well...

                                                  I use the bacon fat pretty often though!

                                                  We're not usually "butter people" unless it's really just key to a dish

                                                  1. This Reminds me of the Everybody Loves Raymond Episode

                                                    Marie Barone: I'll tell you what jar of fat. It was beautiful. It was fat from pancetta and golden brown sausage. You'd have to be a cook to understand. But it was months of carefully selecting only the best drippings

                                                    I’ve had this moment! I had a beautiful container of fat in the fridge that my step son threw away…

                                                    1. Butter, lard, olive oil, coconut oil and poultry fats...duck, goose, chicken.

                                                      1. Baking- Butter, grapeseed, coconut, rice bran
                                                        Cooking- olive, grapeseed, bacon fat, butter, coconut, rice bran, lard
                                                        Frying- rice bran

                                                        Salads- EVOO, walnut, pecan

                                                          1. The only oils I buy is EVOO and sesame, I almost never "cook" with them but only use for finishing dishes.

                                                            Other than that the only fat I pay money for is butter.

                                                            Everything else gets cooked in saved animal fats.

                                                            1. EVOO, coconut oil, good lightly salted butter, duck fat.

                                                              1. Mostly grape seed oil, some olive oil (not for cooking), some butter, the very occasional use of lard.
                                                                I'd buy more types of oils, but I'd have my small kitchen covered in bottles of oil, besides, it's too expensive, so two good oils will have to do.

                                                                1. Olive oil, butter, bacon fat, duck fat, "other poultry" fat; in that order. Also, in smaller amounts, the rendered, strained fat of other roasted animals. And nut oils.

                                                                  1. Butter, bacon fat, duck fat, schmaltz, olive oil, sesame oil, canola, mustard, peanut,