How can I remove excess fat/oil from my slow cooker dish?

There are several methods you can use to remove oil your dish.

  1. First and foremost you can reduce the amount of fat going into the dish from the beginning.
    Choose lean cuts of meat, trim visible fat from meat and add little to no oil to your slow cooker recipes.
    Some also like to pre-brown or seal meats prior to cooking to remove some of the fat before the meat is added to the dish
  2. Perhaps the most obvious solution is to spoon that fat right out of there! Towards the end of the cooking process the fat will often gather at the top of your dish.
    You can also periodically use a spoon or ladle to gently spoon out this oil and discard it.
  3. Use the ice-cube trick. Placing ice-cubes briefly on top of the dish will cause the fat to ‘stick to’ the ice-cube (because the lower temps cause the fat to solidify).
    You can then discard the ice-cubes and the oil right along with it.
  4. Use the bread trick. Very briefly lay a piece of bread on the top of the dish. This will soak up the fat on top into the bread. Then discard the bread or even feed it to your four legged friend if you think the dishes ingredients are ok for you pet.
    But BEWARE … remove the bread with tongs as it will be hot!
    Some people will do the same thing but with paper towel instead of bread. However if either is going to break down at all into my dish I would rather it be bread then paper.
  5. Cool the dish then discard.  If you have time or are cooking a recipe in advance you can cool the entire dish down in the fridge eg overnight. This will cause the fat to solidify on top and you can then remove it prior to reheating and serving the dish.

If you have another idea we haven’t covered please add it to the comments below this post and I will include your tip in our list also 🙂

Member suggestions include:
– Par boiling meat first also to greatly reduces the amount of oil going into the dish – (like lamb and sausages) – Kerryn
This can be done with mince also.
– Using a turkey baster type tool works for suggestion #2 above also – Angie

22 thoughts on “How can I remove excess fat/oil from my slow cooker dish?”

      1. I hope I do not come off as rude, but just because other pet owners have made this suggestion doesn’t mean that it is right! There are many sources online that show that both bread and excess fat can be harmful to dogs, not to mention all the veterinarians who advise against it. Plus, the excess fat may have other harmful aspects such as a high sodium content.

        One must remember that dogs are much smaller than humans, so small amounts of these bad foods can be very dangerous to their health.

        1. Your dog isn’t going to die because it ate a fatty piece of bread. If you were feeding it to them every meal with a side of greasy hash browns and sausage you’d probably run into problems but tossing them a piece of bread like this once in a while isn’t going to send you running to the vet or them having an instant heart attack.

  1. For chicken soup, you wash the chicken in vinegar and let it sit for half an hour. Wash the vinegar off the chicken and then start cooking as per usual. This greatly reduces your chicken soup looking fatty and oily.

  2. How about Boston butt, to be used for barbecue, with a towel or wash cloth beside it to wick the grease as it cooks out of the meat? Anybody try this?

  3. There is a kitchen tool already on the market that does this exact job of removing fat and or scum from your cooking, especially whilst it is hot or still cooking.
    It is a very fine stainless steel mesh kitchen tool.

    I could leave you a photo here if you made that ability available.?

  4. Does no one remember lettuce? It’s an amazing fix for many sauces. Ice is for delicate sauces but lettuce is a huge sponge and will hold out for quite a bit before saturated with little to no residual flavours.

  5. Hilary McWilliam

    My mother taught me refrigerate overnight. The fat rises to the surface solidifies remove then just heat up the next day I do this with all my srews


    The bread technique is quite good, instead of putting bread on top, put the put the curry over the bread in a big plate(esp. for fried curries) for a brief time as per the need total goes down and gets removed.

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