What To Use If You Don't Have a Fat Separator

••• Fat Separator. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Need to remove the fat from gravy, sauce, pan juices or broth? If you don't own a fat separator, just use one of these tricks:

If You Have Time

Pour the liquid you need to de-fat into a bowl; allow it to cool a bit; then, stick it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. The fat will rise to the top of the bowl and form a hard skin. Just scoop the skin off, and you're good to go.

If You Need It Now

Let the liquid sit for a few minutes, so the fat has time to separate and rise to the top.

Then, use a turkey baster to suck out the fat. If you don’t have a turkey baster, use a spoon. It’s not as precise, but it’ll get the job done.

Put the fat into a disposable container, and allow it to harden. Then, toss it in the trash. Do not pour fat down the drain; it’ll clog your plumbing.

What is a Fat Separator Anyway?

A fat separator looks like a pitcher or watering can with a long pouring spout. The best models have a lid with holes that act as a strainer. When you pour broth or other liquids over the lid, it catches all the large veggies and things that you’re trying to strain out. The liquid goes through the holes, into the fat separator. The fat separates out of the liquid within a few minutes and comes to rest at the top of the liquid. Since the fat sits above the pouring spout, when you tilt the fat separator to pour, the de-fatted liquid comes out, and not the fat.

Just pour until you've gotten most of the liquid out.

Then, dispose of the fat.

If you find yourself needing to strain fat often, it’s a worthwhile tool to own. Otherwise, the defatting tricks described above should work just fine.

Buy a Fat Separator on Amazon