What is Degreasing in Cooking?

Whether you’re cooking a hearty stew, roasting a succulent chicken, or simmering a delectable sauce, the process of degreasing allows you to remove excess fats and oils, resulting in a cleaner and lighter finished product.

Understanding the Importance of Degreasing

Fats add flavor and richness to dishes, but too much of a good thing can overpower the overall taste and nutritional balance of a meal. That’s where degreasing comes to the rescue. By removing excess fats and oils, you can achieve a more refined taste, allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through. Moreover, degreasing can also reduce the calorie content of a dish, making it a valuable technique for those aiming for healthier eating habits.

Degreasing Techniques

There are several effective ways to degrease your dishes, depending on the type of food you’re cooking and your personal preferences. Here are some common techniques:

  1. Chilling and Skimming: For broths, stocks, and soups, allow the liquid to cool in the refrigerator. The fats will solidify and rise to the surface, making it easy to skim them off with a spoon or ladle.
  2. Using a Degreasing Cup or Separator: A degreasing cup or separator is a handy tool that separates the fat from the liquid. Pour the hot liquid into the cup and let it rest for a few minutes. The fat will rise to the top, and you can pour the degreased liquid from the bottom spout.
  3. Blotting with Paper Towels: For dishes like fried foods or roasted meats, you can gently blot the surface with paper towels to soak up excess grease.
  4. Using Ice Cubes: When cooking a sauce or gravy, you can drop a couple of ice cubes into the liquid. The fat will congeal around the ice cubes, making it easier to scoop out.

Practical Tips for Effective Degreasing

  • While degreasing, be mindful not to discard all the fat, as some can add flavor and mouthfeel to the dish. Removing the excess is the goal, not eliminating it entirely.
  • When using a degreasing cup or separator, make sure the liquid is hot, as fats tend to solidify better in warmer temperatures.
  • For dishes with a substantial fat content, it may be necessary to degrease in stages to achieve the desired level of reduction.
  • Be patient when skimming or blotting. Rushing the process can lead to missing some of the fat, defeating the purpose of degreasing.

Use Degreasing in a Sentence

To ensure a healthier and less greasy meal, the cook used a strainer to degrease the broth and remove the surface fat from the hearty beef stew.


Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, incorporating degreasing into your cooking repertoire will undoubtedly level up your culinary creations. So, the next time you’re in the kitchen, remember the power of degreasing – transforming your meals from greasy to graceful, one dish at a time.