4

votes

Skimming off fat when making broth?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 11, 2011 at 5:34 PM

I'm making broth, and after starting cooking it, I googled for some recipies. One of them stated "continously skim off the fat and foam as you cook". At first I was like WTF, but then I started thinking about the O-6's.

What do you guys think of this? The chickens and duck I'm making it of is grain fed FYI.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

All chickens and ducks are fed grains. Are you saying the ones you are using are conventionally raised as opposed to pastured? I definitely wouldn't keep the fat if you are using conventionally raised birds, but you don't have to skim off the fat. As others have pointed out it can easily be removed once the broth has been strained and refrigerated as it rises to the top and solidifies.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 12, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Totally- the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on November 12, 2011
at 12:36 AM

+1 - this is what I do, let the fridge do the skimming.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 11, 2011
at 07:30 PM

Good call! I'll reconsider...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 11, 2011
at 07:30 PM

Fair question, but I thought that low heat in a crockpot would be okay as opposed to a high-heat industrial process or boiling. My crockpot barely bubbles at all.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 11, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Yup. Don't skim continuously. That's boring. Just get rid of it after the fact or save if it's good fat.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:42 PM

It makes it that much harder to clarify, as well. I can't say that I can taste the difference between perfectly cooked clear broth and one that's been a bit overheated and mixed some scum in, but that doesn't mean that I don't try to be a little better each time. My best method so far is to get the broth no higher than 190F and cook overnight, skimming off whatever rises to the top for the first hour.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:40 PM

thanks much, Evelyn!

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 11, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Oops, this is mine: http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-4-Cup-Separator/dp/B0002YTGIQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t Which reminds me, it has a cover/strainer ... where did I put that??

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 11, 2011
at 06:31 PM

No, mine is plastic. It's an OXO I got at Bed Bath & Beyond or Chef Central. One Quart size. I've not had any problem using it with hot broth or putting it through the dishwasher (are those paleo?). Usually I use a large metal mesh strainer and bowl to dump stuff out (I put all stuff in chix) then pour from there to the separator. I suppose that's extra dirty stuff, but it beats a mess! I was looking for a pic for you and found you can get a glass one: http://www.forkandbottle.com/shopping/kitchen_gadgets.htm (scroll down). I'm too much of a spaz for such a thing!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:11 PM

First time making bone broth (beef marrow and other bones) two days ago. This is what I did. Cooled it ...cracked it off the top....cooked eggs.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:06 PM

I've tried those twice, but they were plastic and cracked immediately when I poured hot broth into them. Do you have a glass one?

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on November 11, 2011
at 05:45 PM

+1 I skimmed continuously the first time I made bone stock. But now I just wait until the next day after putting it in the fridge to cool overnight and take the fat on top after it solidifies. It's much easier and less time consuming.

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8 Answers

7
3f991b9d02d2c9b8bd91f93fdd88febc

on November 11, 2011
at 05:39 PM

You don't need to do it continuosly, after it's all cooked and strained, put it in a koolaid pitcher in the fridge and it will float up and harden, you can take it out in one piece.

If it's industrial meat you used, throw the fat away. If it's the good stuff, keep it for frying. Fried sweet potato or whatever you eat tastes awesome fried in duck or turkey fat. Beef, bison, and pork fat is good, too. Chicken fat is my least fave.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on November 11, 2011
at 05:45 PM

+1 I skimmed continuously the first time I made bone stock. But now I just wait until the next day after putting it in the fridge to cool overnight and take the fat on top after it solidifies. It's much easier and less time consuming.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on November 12, 2011
at 12:36 AM

+1 - this is what I do, let the fridge do the skimming.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 12, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Totally- the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 11, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Yup. Don't skim continuously. That's boring. Just get rid of it after the fact or save if it's good fat.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:11 PM

First time making bone broth (beef marrow and other bones) two days ago. This is what I did. Cooled it ...cracked it off the top....cooked eggs.

6
72b2f2489468df2c0ed624e40b33cbdb

on November 11, 2011
at 07:14 PM

I see a lot of answers along the lines of: if it's industrial then get rid of the fat but if its organic then keep it because this fat is healthier than industrial produced fat.

But one of the problems with all of the fat from broth is that if it's cooked for hours, like 6 hours or more, then the polyunsaturates will be oxidized and rancid. This would be true of all chickens, whether organic or industrial. I don't see what difference organic would make: if there are PUFAs then they will be oxidized by cooking for so long. Factory chickens might have more total n-6, but in both cases the fat on top of the broth will be rancid.

If anyone sees a problem with this logic please correct me.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 11, 2011
at 07:30 PM

Fair question, but I thought that low heat in a crockpot would be okay as opposed to a high-heat industrial process or boiling. My crockpot barely bubbles at all.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 11, 2011
at 07:30 PM

Good call! I'll reconsider...

4
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:30 PM

Scum and fat are not the same thing. Scum should be skimmed off the top because it will mar the flavor of the broth, but keeping the fat or not is a personal preference. However, it doesn't have to be done continuously. If you check it after a couple of hours and skim it all off then you probably won't get much more.

One of the reasons you should never bring your bones to a rolling boil while making broth is that it will cause the scum to redistribute into the broth where it can't be removed. (According to James Beard)

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:42 PM

It makes it that much harder to clarify, as well. I can't say that I can taste the difference between perfectly cooked clear broth and one that's been a bit overheated and mixed some scum in, but that doesn't mean that I don't try to be a little better each time. My best method so far is to get the broth no higher than 190F and cook overnight, skimming off whatever rises to the top for the first hour.

4
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on November 11, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I make stock in the slow cooker, so I'm not going to monitor it all day. I strain the finished stock through a tea towel (one dedicated to this function only) into a tall skinny pitcher. and place in the fridge over night. The hardened fat at the top is easy to pop out. I'll keep the fat if it's from GF beef.

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 11, 2011
at 05:44 PM

I differ slightly from akman because if it's pastured poultry or beef I don't skim at all. I simply stir the fat back in when I reheat the broth. Since I tend to put lean meat plus veggies into the broth, I need the fat for a balanced meal.

I've also kept the fat from industrial beef, but not poultry, in broth. For poultry, I add some other fat such as grassfed tallow or butter. If I eat too low-fat, it takes very little time for my scalp and skin to go dry.

2
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:23 PM

I think there is a difference between scum and fat.

Scum tastes kind of gross, whereas fat tastes awesome to the max.

I wouldn't be surprised if the scum is good for you. When something tastes bad, though, I typically avoid it if I can get the nutritional benefits from something else that tastes good.

2
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 11, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Most poultry is fed some grains. Birds eat seeds, and grains are bird food. Pasture-raised birds eat a lot of other stuff, and not so much grain, but most all birds need the concentrated calories, because their metabolisms are so very high. I avoid buying birds that are fed soy, but that's because my body interprets THEIR soy consumption as ME having consumed soy, so I'm a miserable camper for a couple of days after.

If possible, I hope you're getting at least organic birds -- if so, I don't skim mine. I tend not to let it boil, so it tends not to foam up, and I let the fat harden on the surface while it's cooling -- this can then be pulled off, any residual moisture rendered off, and used for cooking. Least that's what I do with mine. I tend to be skidgier when dealing with the rare non-organic bird I end up with on occasion (usually because someone else brought it for a shared meal, and I just can't bear to let the bones go to waste). Those I definitely skim, since some of the toxins they're exposed to are stored in the fat.

1
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 11, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I use a large one of those fat-separating pitchers (the ones with the spout coming from the bottom), this way I don't have to do the skimming thing, but I also don't have to wait for the fat to solidify to remove easily.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 11, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Oops, this is mine: http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-4-Cup-Separator/dp/B0002YTGIQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t Which reminds me, it has a cover/strainer ... where did I put that??

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:40 PM

thanks much, Evelyn!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 11, 2011
at 06:06 PM

I've tried those twice, but they were plastic and cracked immediately when I poured hot broth into them. Do you have a glass one?

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 11, 2011
at 06:31 PM

No, mine is plastic. It's an OXO I got at Bed Bath & Beyond or Chef Central. One Quart size. I've not had any problem using it with hot broth or putting it through the dishwasher (are those paleo?). Usually I use a large metal mesh strainer and bowl to dump stuff out (I put all stuff in chix) then pour from there to the separator. I suppose that's extra dirty stuff, but it beats a mess! I was looking for a pic for you and found you can get a glass one: http://www.forkandbottle.com/shopping/kitchen_gadgets.htm (scroll down). I'm too much of a spaz for such a thing!

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