Separate (a lot of) fat from (a tiny amount of) stock?

Joined Sep 5, 2008
I opened a can of duck confit and we ate the duck confit. I'm left with a lot of duck fat that has a tiny amount of duck stock mixed in. When I put the can in the fridge, I get a thin layer of stock at the bottom and a huge layer of fat at the top.

Short from scraping the fat at the top, trying carefully not to grab any of the thin layer of stock at the bottom, is there a way to separate those two? I'd like to use both, but I know the fat will keep much longer if there's no stock in or under it.
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Drill a hole in the bottom of the can and let the stock drain out, perhaps?

Personally, I scrape off the fat, heat it up to cook out the water, and store.

Last week I rendered some chicken fat and the tiny amount of residual non-fat moisture was pure gelatin and peeled off the bottom of the fat blob, leaving the fat blob very pure.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Drilling you might get some small metal bits you can't even see, so I'd skip that. Maybe a church key to poke the hole but that could be a tricky mess unless the fat is really solid and secure.

Heat it up enough to flow then pour it into a ziplocking plastic bag refrigerated with one corner low so that's where the stock goes and wait for it to solidify. Snip off the tip of the low corner and drain out the stock. Poor man's fat separator.

Single use, so if you're environmentally motivated you have to weigh the benefit out for your personal values. My wife washes out these sorts of bags so i have some reuse bags ready for such uses should I desire and with less environment guilt.

As for the fat you could force out the air and fold the corner over and tape it shut. Or squeeze it out of the hole in the corner like a pastry bag.
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Joined Apr 25, 2017
Cut the fat in half or quarters, and use a fork to pull each section off the stock.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Thanks all for your ideas and suggestions. I ended up doing something kinda like that:

Cut the fat in half or quarters, and use a fork to pull each section off the stock.

Except I cut mine in smaller pieces (it was a large, large can) and used a spoon to peel off the thin layer of stock. Some of the fat came along with the stock, which was fine as I used it to cook some potatoes, rice and zucchini.

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