Are you planning to buy a fat separator and would like to be informed of its proper usage ahead of time? Then you have come to the right place because I’ll be teaching you how to use a fat separator properly.
After hearing some good things about how a fat separator can make your stock lean and your gravy healthier, I decided to buy one. Although I didn’t know how to use it at first, I got the hang of it after several uses. I also referred to some helpful online articles to help me operate my fat separator correctly.
If you want to learn the steps on how to use a fat separator properly, continue reading below.
What You’ll Need:
A fat separator is also known as a gravy strainer or a soup strainer. It is a great equipment in separating the liquid fat from stock to make lean soups. It is also designed to discard the fat from drippings of meat before turning it into a delicious gravy.
Since you’ll be dealing with hot stock or drippings, it is more advisable to use a fat separator made of glass. Fat separators will have a measuring guide to tell you how much ounces was poured into the equipment. As a result, you get the right measurements for the best gravy or soup as much as possible.
If you would like to prevent yourself from a getting a unit with a slippery handle, you may use a plastic fat separator but make sure it is heat resistant and BPA-free. Such models allow for the liquid to be released from the bottom.
Meat stock or broth
You may use any type of stock you have like beef, pork, or seafood. A stock is specifically used as a base for soups and sauces. Creating stocks involve boiling animal bones or meat in wine or water. Several spices may also be added to create more flavor and aroma.
If you have no meat stock or broth available, you may use any of these alternative ingredients.
You may enjoy a healthier gravy by discarding the liquid fat in a fat separator. You may pour the gravy directly into the kitchen equipment to strain the lumped ingredients and fat before serving. You may create your own homemade gravy by following your favorite recipe.
Pan juices are the natural juices emitted by meat while roasting. You may use the pan juices for gravy, just like this recipe here. If you have some pan juices from the roasting pan, remove the solid ingredients with a fat separator.
A bowl may be needed to contain the fat-free liquid from the fat separator. The size of the bowl should correspond to the amount of stock, gravy, or pan juices that you’ll be straining. Practically, if you’ll be straining a volume of stock, you’ll be needing a large bowl as well.
A heat-resistant bowl should be used. A glass bowl is more preferable to a plastic bowl because you will be ensured that no chemicals will be leaching into your soup or gravy. If you must use a plastic bowl, make sure that it’s BPA-free.
If you have a large pan that is difficult to pour into the fat separator neatly, then you may use a ladle. Just scoop the liquid and transfer it carefully into the fat separator. You may get your fat separator closer to the pan so that the transference of liquid will be easier.
If your type of fat separator has no strainer, just like this, then you need a strainer to separate the solid ingredients from the liquid. A regular strainer will do.
To get an idea on how to use a fat separator correctly, you may refer to this video.
Here are the 5 steps on how to use a fat separator correctly.
1. Prepare your stock, gravy, or pan juices
You may prepare your stock by simmering the bones or meat of beef, pork, seafood, or chicken with wine or water. Adding some herbs and spices will make the stock taste even more delicious.
You can also remove the fat from the gravy before you serve it in your favorite dishes. If you want a smooth gravy without the unwanted bits of ingredients, then using a fat separator may be a nice idea.
If you’re roasting some meat in your pan, don’t throw away the juices because you can use it in making a gravy sauce. You can follow this simple recipe of making gravy from roast turkey juices in this video.
2. Pour the liquid into the fat separator
Before you pour the liquid into the fat separator, make sure that you have placed the strainer on top. If your fat separator has no built-in strainer, you may use your regular strainer to remove the solid ingredients from the liquid.
For those using a built-in strainer, I’m sure that you’ll notice that the strainer does a great job in catching the herbs and spices, like bay leaf, peppercorns, or onions. You may pour the pan directly into the fat separator, or you may use a ladle if the pan is too large to handle.
3. Wait for the liquid to settle
After all the liquid had been poured into the fat separator, wait for the juices to settle. You may wait for the liquid to settle for about a minute or so.
At this stage, you’ll probably notice that the oil starts to separate away from the stock or juices. Usually, the oil gathers above the stock because fat and water never combine. The spout on your fat separator works by drawing the liquid from the bottom.
4. Pour the fat-free liquid into a bowl
If you use a pitcher-type fat separator, just tilt the equipment until the fat-free liquid slowly comes out from the long spout. Imagine pouring a glass of water into a glass. Pour the liquid gently.
If you’re using a model with a bottom liquid release, you may press down a lever to release the sauce at the bottom. You may stop pouring the fat-free liquid when you reach to the layer of fat that was floating above the liquid.
5. Use the fat-free liquid for gravy or soup base
When you’ve finally transferred the fat-free liquid into a bowl, you’ll surely notice the oil left in the fat separator. Discard the fat and the unwanted bits in the strainer before you clean it in the washer.
You can use the fat-free stock as a soup base. You may also use the fat-free juices from the pan as an ingredient for your sauce or gravy.
Pro Tips from the Experts
Use large fat separators
In a product test conducted by Cook’s Illustrated on fat separators, they express their love for large separators. Approximately, a fat separator with a minimum of four cups capacity is best to handle large volumes of stock and pan juices. Large separators also feature large mouths, which allow you to pour the liquid easier without creating a mess.
Unlike a small separator that may require you to repeat the fat separating process due to their limited capacity, a large fat separator may allow you to do the process in one setting. This especially comes in handy if you’re cooking in a pinch.
Use plastic fat separators for safety
LEAFtv recommends the use of a plastic fat separator because it is safer than its glass counterpart. Whenever you get grease on your hands, using the glass handle may be a bit slippery. This increases your risks of breaking the kitchenware or worse spill the liquid, which will create a big mess in the kitchen, not to mention dangerous of the hot liquid you are handling.
Modern plastic fat separators are more resistant to falls and breakage. If you worry about the chemicals leaching into your stock or pan juices, choose a BPA-free model. It is also ideal to choose a high-quality plastic unit, which resists heat effectively.
Use a glass fat separator for easy cleanup
De’s Home Style Food Crafting suggests the use of glass fat separators over their plastic counterparts because they’re easier to clean. You may put it in a dishwasher or you can clean it yourself. Just wash it with a hot soapy water.
If you can find some stains embedded onto your glass fat separator, you may clean it with a denture tablet. Yes, you read it right, you can make use of your denture tablet if ever you have one. Just fill the glass pitcher with water and drop a denture tablet. Just wait for the fizzing sound to stop.
Try a Fat Separator Today!
Did you enjoy following the steps on how to use a fat separator correctly? This tutorial was important to me because it has helped me enjoy my gravy and soups in a healthier way. Just follow the 5 easy steps provided above, and you too can start eating healthy.
If you have anything to share, don’t hesitate to leave your comments below. You may also share this wonderful article on your social media to inform your followers.