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Old 10-17-2007, 06:02 PM   #1
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Storing/Saving Duck fat?

I just de-boned my first duck.... It went suprisingly well. The question now is what to do with all the Fat/Skin? I have read here and in other places that duck fat is wonderful to saute with. So id like to save it, but im not sure how to store it?


Right now i have removed the skin/fat and i have it in a stainless steel bowl. Do i render it and transfer it to a jar and refrigerate it? if so how long does it keep? should i put in in a ziplock as is and freeze it?


any help would be greatly appreciated. i've got like 2 pounds of yummy duck fat here waiting to be stored.

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Old 10-17-2007, 06:24 PM   #2
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Yes, you want to render the fat. Cut the skin into bite-size pieces, e.g., 1/4 by 3/4 inch. When you're done, these will be cracklings, which you could just eat as a snack (salt lightly) or use to garnish whatever dish you're making with the duck (heat slightly just before using). Also, cut the fat in medium dice, just so it will render more easily.

Place in a saucepan just large enough for the fat-and-skin to about half fill the pan. Cover and simmer until fat mostly renders out, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook off the water. Use medium heat. Should take about half an hour, maybe longer. Not that I'm obsessive, but I find the cracklings generaly hit just the right texture at 300 degrees. Let cool slightly and strain out the cracklings. Store fat covered and chilled.

Always lasts several months for me. Never had it hang around long enough to find the limit. An excellent cooking fat. Especially good for potatoes.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBear42 View Post
Yes, you want to render the fat. Cut the skin into bite-size pieces, e.g., 1/4 by 3/4 inch. When you're done, these will be cracklings, which you could just eat as a snack (salt lightly) or use to garnish whatever dish you're making with the duck (heat slightly just before using). Also, cut the fat in medium dice, just so it will render more easily.

Place in a saucepan just large enough for the fat-and-skin to about half fill the pan. Cover and simmer until fat mostly renders out, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook off the water. Use medium heat. Should take about half an hour, maybe longer. Not that I'm obsessive, but I find the cracklings generaly hit just the right texture at 300 degrees. Let cool slightly and strain out the cracklings. Store fat covered and chilled.

Always lasts several months for me. Never had it hang around long enough to find the limit. An excellent cooking fat. Especially good for potatoes.
thanks man....

so the fat just renders off leaving the skin? do i need to drain the fat and then continue cooking the skin to crisp?
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:05 PM   #4
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I drain the fat, then save the skin to fry. I keep the fat in the fridge. Keeps well, but doesn't last long!
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:58 AM   #5
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Another way to do this with alot less hassle is to simply dump all of your fat and skin into a pot of boiling water, and keep it at a bare simmer for at least 2 hours, and probably no more than 4. This will render your fat into the water. After you're done rendering, strain the liquid into a new large container, and throw your skin away. Toss your duck water into the fridge overnight and the fat will rise to the top, allowing for easy skimming the next day.

As an aside, the remaining water will be lightly flavored like duck. Should you find yourself in need of a liquid to add to soups, etc. duck water is great. Not as flavorful as stock, but certainly moreso than water. It makes a good in-between should you need one.

Finally, if you cook ducks often, I would save all of the fat you render each time, and when you have enough do some confit'd duck legs. If/when you decide to do this, talk to me about the proper method, b/c I'm of the opinion that the restaurant I work at pretty much has the best duck confit ever. OK- maybe not ever, but it definitely blows away any other confit I've ever had.



Oh yeah- duck fat will keep in the fridge for like 6 months at a time I believe, perhaps even longer. Also, I don't see why you couldn't freeze it if you wanted to.
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:04 AM   #6
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To clarify, the cracklings (skin) are done (crisp) at the point where I said to strain. There's another way to cook duck, where you braise it skiin-on, remove the skin, skim fat from the braising liquid and cook skin in the fat to crisp, all of which comes to about the same point as my original post. Either way, once you've chased off the water (not much left at 300 degrees), the skin is crisp.

I agree with college cook, btw, that his/her method will work, and be a good deal easier, if all you want is the duck fat. I'm kinda fond of the cracklings, though, so one of these two ways is how I always do it.
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:14 AM   #7
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Out of curiosity, college cook, speaking of confit, what do ya'll do differently? To my mind, the tricky part if figuring out how to cure it at a cool-but-not-cold temperature, i.e., about 45 degrees. What do you figure is the key?
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:50 AM   #8
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Whichever method you use, you can freeze the duck fat to use later. We do it all the time.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:52 AM   #9
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thanks so much guys....

im not familiar with the term 'confit' can someone give me a crash course?
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:22 AM   #10
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thanks so much guys....

im not familiar with the term 'confit' can someone give me a crash course?

Duck confit is duck, usually the leg/thigh, cooked in duck fat at a low temperature.
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