Absorbing grease during cooking reduces fat and can make food more crisp. You can remove grease entirely or use grease produced by meats to cook vegetables or make sauces and gravies. You won't reduce the total fat of a meal this way, but it will be very tasty and you won't have to deal with disposing of the grease or use additional oil or butter to make your side dishes, which saves you money.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Paper towels
- Vegetables to absorb grease: lettuce, potatoes or eggplant
Tilt the frying pan slightly, allowing grease to collect in the low side of the pan. Dip a paper towel into the grease. Discard the paper towel once it has been saturated with grease.
Lay a lettuce leaf on top of soup or sauces. The lettuce will absorb grease from the surface in a few seconds. Dispose of the lettuce leaf.
Place pieces of raw eggplant into dishes near the end of the cooking process so the eggplant will not change the flavour of the dish. Eggplant is very porous and will absorb large amounts of grease. Remove the eggplant pieces and discard before serving.
Place a dish of vegetables in the oven under meat being cooked on a rack. The grease will drip from the meat onto the vegetables flavouring them and helping them cook. When you use this method, you do not need to use any oil or butter on the vegetables. Toss them a few times during cooking to make sure they are thoroughly coated with the meat drippings so they are cooked all the way through and don't dry out in the oven.
Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange them in the bottom of a glass or cast iron baking dish. Place a chicken prepared for roasting on top. The potatoes will absorb the grease from the chicken, as well as any salt and spices also used on the chicken as it cooks creating delicious roasted potatoes.
Spoon grease off the top of dishes as they are cooking and set the grease aside in a bowl. Use this grease later as the base for gravy. By using grease, flour, and milk or stock to make gravy rather than using a prepackaged gravy mix, you can be sure the flavours of the meat and gravy will complement each other.
Tips and warnings
- Never pour excess grease down the sink. Instead, pour it into a container such as an empty can, a glass jar or waxed paper container such as a milk carton.
- Do not pour hot grease into plastic containers because it may melt them.
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