To make schmaltz (aka chicken fat!), I saved the pan drippings from roasting off six big chicken thighs this week into a container. The delicious browned bits sunk to the bottom and the fat rises to the top. It’s absolutely perfect for scooping off and using for cooking (especially roasted potatoes – recipe coming next week!) AND is a budget-friendly cooking fat. Schmaltz is basically free if you simply save the fat from your cooked chicken.
The fatty acid profile of chicken fat is primarily MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids), followed by SFA (saturated fatty acids), and lastly PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids). When looking for healthy cooking fats, avoid high PUFA options and opt for mostly high SFA/MUFA options.
High SFA/MUFA oils are less susceptible to damage (oxidation), which makes them better choices for cooking. Damaged/oxidized oils are highly inflammatory and we don’t need to be consuming those ideally.
When we talk about healthy cooking fats, the first and best place to turn isn’t to a package, it’s to what we already have on-hand if we just consider what is the absolute most traditional. My Jewish great grandmother would be pleased.
- My Take on Avocado Oil
- The Best Cooking Fats
- Balanced Bites Podcast: All About Fats & Oils
- Balanced Bites Podcast: Healthy Fats & Cholesterol with Dr. Cate Shanahan
You can also learn more about choosing healthy fats in Chapter 5 of Keto Quick Start, if you have a copy.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
I have a small jar of bacon fat in my refrigerator and have for the past 43 years because my grandmother always had a jar in her refrigerator in addition to the can with a strainer that lived on top of her stove. I’d not heard of saving chicken fat but I will now!! I get kidney suet from the butcher and use it for searing beef (sliced/shaved melts quickly).