So, you’ve made your stock or gravy, but there’s that yucky layer of fat floating on top. The good news? It means that you have used some very flavorful ingredients. The bad news? Too much fat in the diet is a health risk. The solution? Separate the fat from the good stuff!
You can always go to one of Grandma’s solutions - use a spoon or ladle to skim off as much of the fat as you can without throwing out too much precious stock or gravy, or you can chill your concoction until the fat solidifies so you can pluck it off the top. Both methods are time consuming, can be messy and are not very efficient.
Fortunately for modern cooks, there are tools available to help! Gravy and fat separators are engineered to do the job quickly, neatly and efficiently. And they don’t cost an arm and a leg!
Types of Fat Separators
There are two basic types of fat separators, both taking advantage of the fact that fat rises to the top while juices and other liquids fall to the bottom, and both are easy to use. One looks a bit like a teapot and uses a spout that pours the liquid you want to keep from the bottom of the pitcher. The other has a stopper at the bottom that allows gravity to release the juices without pouring.
What to Look For
Using the right tool for the right job is just as important in the kitchen as it is in the workshop, but it’s important to consider each cook’s personal preferences when choosing a fat separator that will simplify kitchen tasks. Consider:
Size - Do you routinely prepare large amounts of stock? A larger fat separator will get more done with each step. Are you a small batch cook or have very limited storage space? A smaller unit may be your best choice.
To use a spout type gravy or fat separator, prepare your stock, gravy or pan juices and pour or ladle them through the strainer into the separator. Wait a few moments for the fat and juices to separate - the fat will rise to form a layer on top. Gently pour the “good” juices into a bowl, ready for the next step in your recipe. Watch carefully and stop pouring when just fat remains in the pitcher and discard the fat - but not down the drain - it could clog your pipes!
The OXO Good Grips Fat Separator has its own heat-resistant strainer and stopper with a shield that prevents gravy from spilling over the top while pouring. It's heat resistant, BPA free and dishwasher safe. Measurement markings and a comfortable, non-slip handle are convenient features. Available in 2-cup and 4-cup sizes.
Simple design makes this gravy/fat separator easy to use. It holds up to 4 cups of liquid, and the fitted strainer filters our unwanted fat, gristle and other lumpy bits. It's heat resistant up to 400°F., is microwave safe and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. 5 year warranty.
The borosilicate glass pitcher features markings in cups, ounces and milliliters for easy measuring. An FDA-approved silicone gasket creates a tight seal for tidy pouring. To filter out larger debris, pour liquids or drippings through the stainless steel strainer. There is also a fine mesh screen to filter smaller bits. This fat separator is heat safe, stovetop and microwave safe and dishwasher safe.
Heat-resistant borosilicate glass creates a flameproof, microwaveable, freezer-safe, dishwasher-safe and oven/stovetop-safe fat separator. The specially positioned spout pours only the healthy juices from the bottom keeping all of the unhealthy fat to be tossed away. Includes a removable strainer and clearly-marked measurements in milliliters, ounces and cups.
Heat resistant up to 400°F., you can add hot liquids right from the stove with no worries of cracks or breakage. For smooth sauces, filter out chunky bits with the integrated strainer. The spout stopper prevents liquid from entering the pouring spout until the fat has fully separated.
ABS-free materials are dishwasher safe. Imperial and metric measuring markings are handy.
Using a gravity type fat separator follows many of the same steps. You will prepare your stock, pour or ladle it through the strainer into the separator and let it rest until the fat and liquid separate. There will be a layer of fat at the top. Hold the fat separator level over a bowl and use the button or lever on the handle to open the stopper at the bottom of the separator. Close the stopper when you have drained the liquid you want to use and discard the fat (again, please, not down the drain).
The Amco grease separator has a spring loaded bottom opening that allows for easy release of grease-free liquids. It strains liquids through a deep removable lid and features a soft grip handle that releases liquid with a squeeze. The 4-cup capacity separator has metric and standard measurement markings. Top rack dishwasher safe.
The nylon lid and strainer fit snugly into the heat-resistant ABS plastic measuring cup of this fat separator, keeping unwanted food particles out of your gravies and sauces. The silicone plug holds securely until you release it. The large handle is easy to grip and comfortable to hold and the large spout is useful for pouring large batches of gravy or stock. Holds 4 cups. Top rack dishwasher safe.