Saturday, May 14, 2011

How to Render Chicken Fat

If you hate wasting food as much as I do, you may already be familiar with rendering fat from chickens. If you haven't, that's fine! I had never done it before either, but it really is very simple and pretty cool!
For my rendered fat I used the trimmed fat and the skins from the breasts and necks of two chickens that I fabricated (How to fabricate a chicken). Any of the chicken skin or trimmed fat should work fine.

§  Chicken skin and trimmed fat from 1 chicken (3-4 lbs)
§  Water

1.       Cut the skin and fat into 1 inch pieces and place in a small-medium saucepan.
2.      Add enough water to just cover the skin.
3.      Bring the skin and water to a simmer and let the water evaporate as the fat is extracted from the skin.
4.      After 30 min, strain the liquid into a glass container and see if it separates. If there is still fat on top and water on the bottom, return the liquid to the saucepan and simmer for 10 more minutes then check again. Repeat this step as needed until all the water has evaporated.
5.      Allow the fat to cool before storing.

Chicken skin and fat, normally discarded

Cut into pieces.

Added enough water to just cover. This will
steam the skin and extract the fat.

As the skin steams/simmers you will see the
fat rise to the surface (fat is lighter than water,
thus it will float above the water and not mix)

Straining the skin from the liquids.

If you look closely, you can see the yellow fat
layer above the white-ish water layer, meaning
more water still needs to evaporate.

You can see here, once all the water is gone,
there will be about 1/3-1/2 cup of fat.

Rendered fat ready to cool and be used!


  1. I've never rendered chicken fat like this before. Will have to try - great tutorial!

  2. do you know of a different way? besides just panfrying it i guess...this is how i've always heard of people doing it and it was pretty cool i thought, but if there's a better way I'd be interested to hear it. thanks Tessa!


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