One day, I was canning a LOT of homemade chicken stock. I’ll fast-forward to the end for a second. This is part of about 17 gallons of stock:
Now I have nothing against healthy fats and oils – they’re good for you! When you are canning stock, however, you are supposed to de-fat it – get most of the fat out, otherwise the oil prevents a good seal on the jar lids. The usual way to do this is to take your hot stock, and chill it until the fat hardens so you can easily scrape it off.
Well, that seemed to me like I was doing double-duty on the heating thing. The stock was already hot, and it needed to be hot for the canning process. It didn’t want to double-heat it. So I skimmed as much fat off as I could with a ladle. That was slightly tedious.
I remembered the idea behind a little gizmo that allows you to pour broth in a measuring cup, with the spout on the bottom so the clear liquid pours out, leaving the fat to float on top. Those work wonderfully, but I haven’t seen one that will hold more than a quart – usually they only hold a pint. That’s when the idea hit me. I pulled out my one-gallon drink dispenser, preheated the glass with some hot water first, then poured in the stock. After a few minutes, the fat settled on top, and I began filling my jars. That was a little tedious, so I just filled a stock pot.
As the liquid neared the bottom, I had to tip the jar a bit to keep the fat from flowing through the spout.
There were a few drops of fat left on top, which I blotted up with a quick dab of paper towel.
And THAT time-saving, labor-saving, energy-saving tip definitely works for me!
Check out my other WFMW tips.