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Storing Duck Fat


maggiethecat
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Rendered fat will kepp a long time in the fridge if it is very clean. If you have any bits of meat, skin, trash, etc on the top, it will eventually get moldy. I try to keep a quart or so refrigerated and the remainder frozen. I always run the fat through a fine chinois before storing it.

Er... I wasn't serious about the marriage question.

Would it make sense to not strain the fat, chill it, and add a layer of melted shortning or oil to the top, making that pure?

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I make a lot of confit throughout the year, and I have found the most economical way to get duck or goose fat is to buy the large cans (either 28oz or 32oz, I can't remember) of goose fat from Dean and Deluca. They go for $10 apiece. I usually buy two and that is more than enough for a batch of 6 moulard legs, including the fat they are stored in.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Er... I wasn't serious about the marriage question.

Would it make sense to not strain the fat, chill it, and add a layer of melted shortning or oil to the top, making that pure?

Of course, I know that. I was just looking for an excuse to mention that the duck confit is Mrs.B's favorite food. :raz:

Never thought of that technique. Most often, I use what is in the fridge regularly. So, spoilage isn't a problem for me.

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I never freeze duck or bacon fat. The are safely tucked in the fridge and they taste great. DO I need to freeze them?

I freeze it if I'm pretty certain I won't use it in, say, six weeks. It's not so much that the fat will go rancid in the 'fridge, it's that fats, even in closed containers, are great at picking up the aromas (not to mention downright odoriferous compounds) and tastes that waft about the enclosure.

This is not to say that freezers can't harbor some pretty stinky stuff, too, especially since, in most designs, the two compartments share the same air. Frozen fat is just less susceptible.

I get away from that problem by storing fats in glass canning jars whether in the freezer or the fridge. I don't use fancy ones, just regular Ball or Mason jars. Wide mouth ones are easier to deal with. I use the same trick for anything aromatic like pestos and such. Plastic is just to permeable for aromatic stuff and stuff that might pick up the flavors. We learned that trick the year my sister popped some fresh dill into a big plastic container. We even had dill ice cream. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I agree, paying for duck fat is mad. It couldn't be easier to render down and there is something pleasantly complete about taking the carcass apart and using it all in the manner MichaelB describes. Duck is actually a very cheap meat given the fact that everything in the carcass has a use.

One thing to add - rendering the fat is a tad simpler and I think the result is, perhaps, slightly sweeter if you simply finely mince the fat with a knife and then use water to cover it in the rendering pan. Bring it to a very gentle simmer very slowly and keep simmering until the water has evaporated off. This way there is no possibility of the skin colouring on the bottom of the pan. You can keep simmering until the skin is crisped in the bottom of the pan and the result will be a perfect yellow fat when melted.

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Thanks for that post, eskimoted. That is about what I do to make lard from pork fat. I have not tried that method yet with duck fat but you have given me confidence. I have never messed with duck before.

WELCOME to eGullet. This is a fun place. I hope you stick around.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Thanks fifi.

I'm really very impressed by this site - food, or more correctly cooking, is one of my favourite things. So to find thousands of like-minded people wanting to chat about it is brilliant.

Re Duck: they are fun to cook with and the flesh and stock taste great in themselves, but the lard is so handy to have around. Anything cooked in it has a special taste. Of course, potatoes are the classic but try sauteing some spinach in a couple of spoons of it, or using it instead of bacon fat in preparing cabbage will give more subtlety to the result.

Or blanch some garlic quickly and pound it to a paste with some coarse salt then add in cold duck fat, rather as one would add oil to egg yolks to make mayonnaise; the result is a great paste you can use in lots of ways, as a spread or spread on crusty bread then grill, etc.

See you around here!

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  • 2 years later...

I have some duck fat that's been snoozing in my the back of the top shelf of my fridge in a mayo jar for over a year. It smells fine. I haven't been getting it in and out and letting it sit at room temp. attracting bacteria. Would you use it? Don't give me the home economists' official line, tell me the truth: would you use it?

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Yep. If it smells fine I sure would.

I have kept a quart jar of goose fat in the back of the fridge at least that long. (It got hidden and forgotten.) I used it and I am still here.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Thank you, thank you. Sometimes I think we get too hyper about this kind of thing, but then I don't want to go to the trouble of duck confit and have it cause food poisoning. I've had a little Tupperware bowl of bacon grease in the bottom of my fridge for years. I add to it as needed and really am not sure I've ever emptied it and washed it. My mom and her mom did the same thing, so I thought, "Can duck fat really be any different?"

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Well, when I go to the trouble to dehydrate fats and store them in jars, I really don't worry about storage time.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I agree with Abra and Fifi.

You might reheat it to a simmer then let cool before using, especially if you want to use it for making confit.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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I had a year-old batch get moldy around the edges once when I went to saute some cabbage with it. I wiped off the squirrely parts and dug out about 1/4" of fat to discard, and then I used the rest. What I didn't use that day, I pitched. (It helped that I was making duck breasts for dinner that night, so I had a whole duck and was planning to render the fat from the skin of the new bird anyway.) No harm, no fowl. :rolleyes:

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I'm sure the freezer is the best place for it. I just stuck mine in the fridge after my exhausting Day of the Ducks and never moved it beyond that point. I've pulled ouit a spoonful a few times to saute potatoes and, oh my, they're good! My intention is to make duck legs confit, so that fat is precious to me.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Lori in PA, I'm so glad you asked this question - and even more glad you got the answers you did. I've had a couple of smaller jars of duck fat (and "duck jello" sitting in the back of my refrigerator, waiting to be used for some months. Now I don't have to wonder about it.

Why I didn't make the connection between duck fat and bacon grease is beyond me. Our family kept the bacon grease jar around, not even in the refrigerator, all the years of my childhood. It was our main source of cooking fat until the country fell in love with polyunsaturated fats.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I agree with Abra and Fifi.

You might  reheat it to a simmer then let  cool before using, especially if you want to use it  for making confit.

I agree with all of you. I have done the simmer and cool every 4-6 months and have found very little deterioration of the goose fat, even after a couple of years (I found buying goose fat in cans to be much cheaper than trying to buy duck fat in those little containers, especially if I don't have extra duck skin laying around.)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I thought this thread was going to be about old ducks. Can fat be elderly? :smile:

If I live long enough, mine will be. :raz:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Absolutely.  I might not use juices that are accumulated at the bottom of the jar, if there arwe any, but the fat, for sure.  The worst it can be is rancid, and you'd smell that.

as long as the juices go into the fridge sterile and the fat layer is never broken, it should be fine.

PS: I am a guy.

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  • 4 years later...

I know that Duck fat can be stored in the freezer, but for how long. I don't mean fat that's left over from a dish I've prepared, but just a container of duck fat. I also don't take it out of the freezer and let the whole container thaw--it's just out long enough for a blob of it to be cut off.

Thanks in advance.

Chris

"What's more, I believe it's a cook's moral obligation to add more butter given the chance."

Michael Ruhlman,
Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind Everyday Cooking

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