I know you will be asking yourself what duck fat is; worry not before we go further on Duck fat substitutes; I will tell you all you want to know about duck fat. Duck fat also referred to as Schmaltz, is a light-colored fat typically rendered from the skin and fat of the duck.
It is a typical French cooking ingredient used for a perfect confit and general sautés. Duck fat is used worldwide to add delicate flavor; for those who don’t know, it is the rendered fat from duck when you cook the meat.
Duck fat has a light, savory flavor and adds a lovely flavor to every dish been added to. Generally, people use it in place of cooking oils, olive oil, and butter.
You can mix duck fat with blanched, pounded garlic to make Gascony butter. Fresh duck fat is packed in jars and cans.
French fries made with duck fat (Duck Fat Fries) are famous in many restaurants. The butter is used to flavor soups and cassoulet. Alternatively, you can roast vegetables with duck fat to enhance the flavor.
If you’re looking for a duck fat substitutes, you’re in luck! This article will discuss the best substitutes for duck fat and how to use them. Let’s get started!
Best Duck Fat Substitutes
Turkey fat can be used to alternate duck fat. It tastes like chicken and has a rich flavor that can make your recipe juicy and tasty. It can be used for deep frying and tastes fantastic in soups and stews.
Moreover, turkey fat is suitable for frying and roasting potatoes, and people also like it for popcorn. Last but not least, you can spread it on the bread loaf and enjoy the rich flavor.
Turkey fat can be quickly rendered from the turkey’s skin and stored in the refrigerator for future use. Not to mention, it’s a healthier option, cheaper, and more readily available than duck fat.
Butter is a dairy product usually made from cows’ milk, but it can be made from the milk of sheep, goats, buffaloes, or other mammals.
There are different types of butter, including salted, unsalted, organic, clarified, and others. The best duck fat butter substitute is unsalted butter.
Duck fat does not have added salt, so it also makes sense to use salt-free butter. Almost everybody stores butter in their refrigerators, making it a very convenient duck fat alternative! Its soft and creamy taste allows for frying, sautéing, and baking cakes and cookies.
Butter is considered an alternative to duck fat, and it is a 50/50 combination of butter blend and duck oil. This mixture can help create crispy and deep-flavored dishes. Besides, you can use butter for preparing vegetables, meat, or seafood and as a spread toast.
However, if you want to use butter in high-temperature cooking, such as deep frying, it can be an alternative, but the taste may not be the same.
3. Olive Oil
If you can’t get your hand on animal-derived fats or prefer not to use them, extra virgin oil or light olive oil is a great Duck fat substitutes that you can easily buy in any grocery store. Olive oil can adapt well to frying, baking, sautéing, and salad dressing.
It is the best vegetarian replacement for duck fat. When using olive oil as a substitute for duck fat, you will not reach the same flavor, but your dish will come out the same way as duck fat.
However, light olive oil is a healthier option because it’s lower in saturated fats and can be used in place of duck fat without sacrificing the taste or texture. It’s also cheaper and easier to find than duck fat.
Lard is pig fat and is made by rendering the pig fat. Lard has different varieties, and they are other based on which part of the pig was used. The most common lard is produced from a pig’s back, but the fat rendered from the meat around the kidney is very delicious.
Lard is suitable for baking and frying. As far as usage is concerned, it is ideal for baking and frying. In addition, it makes a delicious ingredient for pates, fillings, and sausages.
The flavor might be slightly different from duck fat, but it is a suitable substitute. Overall, the taste is pretty neutral, and the consistency is soft, just like butter.
Ghee, also known as purified butter, is made from heated butter. This process removes the oily part from the butter to make ghee a vegetarian product.
Ghee has a mild buttery taste which contributes to a creamier flavor to the recipe making it a suitable Duck fat substitutes. Ghee is good for deep frying, roasting, and sautéing. Additionally, it can be used as butter in baking cakes, pies, and cookies.
6. Goose Fat
Goose is the closest replacement to duck fat because it provides an identical flavor to duck fat. Although the goose fat has a more pungent smell, you can use it alternatively in roasting potatoes, French fries, and frying chicken.
However, the pungent smell should not deter you from using goose fat as a substitute for duck fat. It is considered an excellent duck fat substitutes since it gives a cheesy taste and keeps the original flavor of the recipe.
7. Chicken Fat
Chicken fat is made with rendering chicken. You can use it to roast potatoes or other recipes for duck fat. However, you can make it by yourself when preparing chicken meat with the oven, the fat will melt during cooking.
Rendered chicken and goose fat are called Schmaltz, used in chicken soup, roasted potatoes, and for making mayonnaise or salad dressings or in baked products as an alternative for duck fat.
8. Vegetable Shortening
Another duck fat substitutes is vegetable shortening. It is a veggie product made from hydrogenated cottonseed oil, palm oil, or neutral oil. You can use it for frying dishes, pastries, pies, and cookies.
Both vegetable shortening and duck fat are solid at room temperature but melt when heated. However, duck fat imparts a unique flavor to dishes that cannot be replicated with vegetable shortening. When using this substitute, it is crucial to keep this in mind.
When cooking with vegetable shortening, it is essential to use a light hand. Too much shortening can make food greasy and heavy. When used in moderation, however, vegetable shortening can help to create rich, flavorful dishes that are sure to please.
Frequent Asked Questions
How to Render Duck Fat at Home?
1. Carefully remove all skin and fat from the duck, cutting close to, but avoiding, the meat. Once removed, cut into chunks, approximately 1″ x1″.
2. Place the cut skin into a heavy-bottomed stockpot or large Dutch oven. Pour about ¾ cup of water over the skin. Simmer over medium-low heat, turning the bits of skin occasionally, until the water has evaporated and the skin has fully crisped and released its fat.
Note: As the fat renders and the water evaporates, the mixture may hiss or spatter. This is normal. This process should take about an hour.
3. With a slotted spoon, remove the cracklings and drain in a bowl lined with paper towelling. Sprinkle with sea salt while warm. Duck cracklings can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, although they are best served fresh.
4. Allow the liquid fat to cool slightly, then strain into clean, saleable containers using a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.
How to Store Duck Fat?
If stored correctly in a clean airtight container in the cold part of the fridge, duck fat should keep for six months or longer. Remember, confit was originally all about preservation, which was well before refrigeration. So yeah, duck fat will keep for a long time.
How Do You Know That Duck Fat Has Gone Bad?
Though duck meat is naturally gamy, spoiled duck meat assumes a putrid odor. According to the website Chefs Best, fresh duck meat should smell clean without odors.
Sulfur, “skunky” or moldy dishrag smell is evidence of S. putrefacient and Pseudomonas, both odor-producing bacteria present on spoiled chicken and duck.
Duck fat is widely used to enhance the flavor of many dishes. However, you can use another substitute for duck fat to make any dish taste delicious. We can use any of these Duck fat substitutes interchangeably in any dish without a problem.
If goose lard is also not available, then my suggestion would be light olive oil. Olive oil is a healthy choice with almost the same nutritional value as duck grease and can be cooked at high temperatures.
The third option I would recommend is butter. People who like dishes cooked with duck lard also like it when cooked with butter. In general, if you haven’t tried a dish made with duck fat, do it. I promise that you will not regret it.
But if you already enjoy cooking with duck fat and don’t have it, feel free to use any of the substitutes mentioned above. Choosing what to use is based on what dish you make and how you cook it.