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Old 02-15-2006, 08:00 PM   #1
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Defatting Soup Without Waiting

Does anyone have any suggestions for getting the fat off the top of soup - in this case, Gumbo, without waiting for it to cool? I thinking: turkey baster, paper towels, hmmmmm.... There must be a great trick out there for doing this easily with the least amount of mess. Thank you!!!

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Old 02-15-2006, 08:15 PM   #2
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I use a large metal spoon, the size that goes along with the ladle and spatula in a set, an skim the fat off the top of the pot. You can usually see pockets of fat around the surface. You can also "herd" the fat together in a portion of the pot to make skimming easier.

I also use the paper towel trick after skimming. I lay a single sheet of paper towel on the surface, then lift it out and directly into the trash. Do this with several pieces of paper towel.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:24 PM   #3
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Somewhere I heard about draging a lettuce leaf over hot soup to remove excess fat. Can't say if it works since I haven't tried it.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:25 PM   #4
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The paper towel trick works quite well. You can also drop a couple of ice cubes in and the fat sticks around the outside of the cube. (just take it out before they melt!)
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:26 PM   #5
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patience and a steady hand with a metal spoon...the fine residue use paper towel or wonder bread.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
patience and a steady hand with a metal spoon...the fine residue use paper towel or wonder bread.
Ah - patience is a virtue...but not one of mine!
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:01 PM   #7
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All I know is skimming. Can always put a shim under the pot to make the fat rise to the highest point. And then can finish it off with the paper towel, but never do anymore.

Find the skimming works just fine.

Just my opinion, hope it works.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:36 PM   #8
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In all the kitchens I've worked in, the only thing I've seen chefs use is a ladle. If you press the ladle gently down on the surface, the oil will be the first thing to fill it. This works for chunky stews like gumbo as well.

You could put the whole thing in a colander and then use a gravy separator.

Personally, I like my gumbo fatty :) Although a lot of the fat comes from the oil in the roux, some of it is pork fat rendered from andouille. At least in my gumbo it is. And you know what they say about pork fat... ;)
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:17 AM   #9
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To quickly cool down hot stew or stock, I transfer it out of any thick-bottomed pot first. Then pack plenty of ice into a ziplock bag (gallon or quart) and immerse this in the hot liquid. When the liquid is cooled, a lot of the fat sticks to the bag.

Since I prefer thorough de-fatting, I place the whole cooled lot (w/ bag) in the freezer or fridge for a coupla hours then lift the solid fat off. If there are still tiny globules of fat floating, I strain these off.
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:22 AM   #10
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Well, for gumbo - I remove my gumbo from the heat and let it sit uncovered and undisturbed for 5 minutes. This allows fat molecules on the surface to rejoin together into larger masses and makes skimming easier.

I then use either a soup or gravy ladle, or a large serving spoon (about 3-4 Tablespoon size), to skim the fat off and dump it into an old can - I always have an old coffee can (with a plastic lid) on hand in the refrigerator for trash grease.
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