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Rendered Duck Fat

Turn unwanted duck skin to liquid gold – rendered duck fat is both a delicious and frugal way to cook. A jar of duck fat does not come cheap but it is almost costless to make at home! The French loves to cook with duck fat. Anything and everything tastes better in duck fat. Duck fat is great for pop corn and duck confit. Or just use it in place of olive oil when you roast potatoes or vegetables, pan fry an egg, in stir-fries and salad dressings. Scroll down this post for detailed step-by-step photos.

Related Recipes:
Duck Fat Potatoes Recipe
More Home-made Oil Recipes:

I started to learn this because I cook Chinese-style duck soup fairly regularly where the skin needs to be removed to prevent an oily film on the surface after cooking. After some time, I reckon I need to do something about the wastage ;) Nowadays I even asked my mum to freeze her unwanted duck skin for me, much to her bafflement at first. Once you make rendered duck fat, you will never throw the skin away again!

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe
You will get: (1) golden duck fat oil right after rendering. When chilled in the fridge, the oil turns into (2) a creamy white solid state resembling butter.  As a bonus treat, you get (3) the crispiest duck cracklings which is a result of the duck skin deep frying in its own oil during the rendering process.

Crispy Duck Fat Recipe
These duck fat “crouton” cracklings are incredibly crispy. They make a great snack (on their own or lightly salted) and as salad toppings.

Duck Fat Recipe
When chilled in the fridge, the duck fat solidifies into this dreamy creamy texture.

Duck Fat "Butter"
The solidified duck fat is spreadable, like butter.

Cooking with duck fat
Duck fat can be used for a variety of dishes. Here they are used to cook baby potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Duck Fat Potatoes Recipe
Duck fat gives roast potatoes an ultra-crispy bite, thanks to its high smoking point. Check out the recipe for duck fat potatoes here.


Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
Remove the skin and fats from the duck while avoiding the skin. P.S. These duck meat were meant for cooking Chinese szechuan vegetable duck soup.

Duck Skin
Freeze the duck skin and fats until a good amount are collected (for me it’s two ducks worth of skin). Thaw them before use.

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
Cut them to uniform small sizes like this…

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
… or even smaller like this (depends on the size of duck cracklings you like).

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
Place all the cut duck skin to occupy the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pan (I am using a 28 cm wokpan here).

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
Pour in water and when it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer…

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
… this is what the rendering process look like at the 15 minute mark. As the water evaporates, the fat is rendered out, cooking the skin in its own oil.

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
This is what the rendering process look like at the 30 minute mark. Rather than checking the time (most recipes I tried recommended 1 hour which was why I burnt them on my first attempt), observe the colour of the duck cracklings. It is almost done here. You don’t want to take your eyes off them from now on.

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
Turn up the heat slightly for just a few more minutes (about 3 minutes), and it is done! You can see that the duck cracklings are now shrunken and golden. Turn the heat off, otherwise everything will be burnt.

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe (Step-by-Step Pics)
Filter the oil through a sieve to separate the cracklings. They are perfect :)

Rendered Duck Fat Recipe
Store duck oil and cracklings in separate tightly lid jars. When chilled, the golden duck oil turns a solid creamy beige. You can also freeze the duck fat in ice-cube trays.

6 comments on “Rendered Duck Fat”

  1. My mom used to make something very similar. She also added some shallots…now you have me miss home :-( Those duck fat croutons are so perfect for a lunch salad with some winter greens!

  2. Can you do the same process with pork fat? I never knew you add water…
    Thank you

  3. Hi, do u add water or oil in step 2?

  4. Thanks!
    I duck fat to make a roux, so the taste gets in the whole dish I’m cooking.  It’s great in gumbo, Creole roast beef, etc. 

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