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How to Store Goose Fat for Maximum Shelf life
Compared to other animal fats, fats from birds have a much shorter shelf life. So it is important we learn to properly store bird fats so that we don’t find ourselves with rancid cooking fats. We previously covered, extending the shelf life of duck fat for long term storage, but in this article we will discuss how to store goose fat for maximum shelf life.
If properly stored, goose fat has a shelf life of 2-3 months in a refrigerator, and as long as 12 months in the freezer. Goose fat should not be kept at room temperature, because it can go rancid within a couple of days. However, by following the proper storage technique you can ensure you and your family have a useful cooking fat to use.
What is Goose Fat?
Goose fat, or goose schmaltz, is a type of animal fat that comes from geese. Schmaltz is a broad term used to describe cooking fats that are rendered from birds such as chicken or duck.
Goose fat is used commonly in central and eastern European cuisines. However, goose fat has a long history and has been viewed as a prized fat source by many cultures and people for centuries. It is an important part of making traditional Jewish cuisine, and goose fat is highly valued in France as it is used to make foie gras. In fact, due to its unique flavor, usefulness in the kitchen, and nutritional value it has been rising in popularity in recent years.
Whether you are looking to sautee vegetables, fry food, or sear meats, goose fat can be used. Goose fat has a smoke point of 375°F, or 190°C, making it a super useful cooking fat to have in your kitchen.
In addition to sauteeing, frying, and searing, people use goose fat to make salad dressing, popcorn, and even baking, as it can be a substitute for lard in many dishes. One of the most common and popular uses of goose fat is to make roast potatoes.
For the best quality goose fat, its best to source it from farms that raise pasteurized or free-range geese. Fat and meat from pasteurized geese are more nutritious and richer in flavor.
Nutrition Facts of Goose Fat
Goose fat is made almost entirely from the macronutrient, fat. The nutrition facts for 1 tablespoon and 1 cup of duck fat are:
|Calories/Nutrients||Amount per 1 TBSP||Amount per 1 Cup|
What are the Benefits of Goose Fat?
Generally speaking, fats have a bad reputation, but they are an essential part of our diet and are needed to ensure our cells function properly. However, not all fats are healthy, and we should strive to eat the ones that help our bodies. Fortunately, goose fat is a healthy option and some of the benefits include:
- High in Oleic Acid
- Contains Vitamin E
- High in Monounsaturated fats
Goose fat is made from heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that are known to lower cholesterol. And, at 58%, goose fat has a higher proportion of oleic acid compared to other animal fats which are known to lower bad cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Additionally, vitamin E is an antioxidant and is known to have numerous benefits for skin, hair, vision, reproduction, and more.
Natural cooking fats from animal or virgin oils are healthier alternatives than fats that undergo heavy processing and are sourced from genetically modified ingredients. When possible, it is best to use cooking fats from natural sources as they can provide more nutritional value.
Tip: A quick way to determine if the ingredients have a high density of nutrients is by the richness of the flavor. The more flavorful the ingredient, the more nutrient dense the ingredients are.
How to Render Goose Fat?
Goose fat can be produced quickly using very little preparation, and about 1 hour of cooking time. The steps to render goose fat are:
- Clean the fatty goose meat.
- Cut the fatty goose meat into small pieces using kitchen shears.
- Put the pieces into a cold pan.
- Add water to the pan to prevent burning.
- Heat the pan until water starts to boil.
- Once the water boils, lower the temperature.
- After 1 hour, the liquid will appear clear.
- Then place a sieve and cheesecloth over a container.
- Use a ladle to pour the fatty meats over the cheesecloth. The liquid fat will filter through the cheesecloth and the meat will stay on the cloth.
- Let the fat from the meat drain into the mason jar.
- Then remove tiny bits from the pan, and pour the remaining liquid into the jars.
- Once it’s cool, seal it, and prepare to store it.
Tip: If you intend to store the goose fat in a freezer, you should place the fat in a freezer safe jar or Ziploc bag.
How to Store Goose Fat?
Depending on whether goose fat is store bought or rendered at home the storage process will differ slightly. Typically, fat from a grocery store will have a longer shelf life than homemade goose fat.
Also, you should know, that if kept at room temperature, goose fat will expire within a couple of days. So it’s important to know how to properly store it so it can be kept for up to a year.
How to Preserve Store Bought Goose Fat?
To properly store goose fat and prepare it for long term storage, there are three points to keep in mind to help extend the shelf life. Those are:
- Proper Packaging
- Preventing Exposure to Air, Heat, and Direct Sunlight
- Storage Location
When it comes to proper packaging, goose fat should be kept in an airtight glass container or tin can. Reducing exposure to air will prevent the goose fat from going rancid and extend its shelf life. If your store bought goose fat comes in a plastic container, we advise placing it in a mason jar for better long term protection.
Protecting from heat and direct sunlight is simple. Simply place the container in a fridge or freezer. This will ensure the fat remains at a cool temperature and is kept in a dark place.
How to Store Rendered Goose Fat?
Once you have prepared the goose meat, and are ready to store the rendered goose fat, the process is quite easy. Below are the steps to store rendered goose fat:
- While still hot, strain the goose fat through a cheesecloth or coffee filter to remove small bits of goose meat.
- Afterward, pour the goose fat into an airtight container (a jar or freezer safe glass will work) and store it in the fridge or freezer.
- The rendered goose fat can stay in the fridge for up to 2-3 months or 12 months in a freezer.
The secret to long lasting rendered goose fat is to ensure you remove all the tiny bits in step 1. Any leftover pieces of meat can grow mold and cause the fat to spoil.
Shelf Life of Goose Fat
Typically, when thinking of the shelf life of cooking fats, you should think about it in terms of how long it will last at room temperature, in a refrigerator, or in a freezer. The shelf life at different locations are:
|Storage Location||Shelf Life|
|Room Temperature||Not Recommended|
Can you Freeze Goose Fat?
Yes, goose fat can be frozen for up to 12 months. This is the optimal way to store goose fat if you are considering long term storage. At room temperature, goose fat will expire within a couple days, and if refrigerated it will last 2-3 months.
There is no need to defrost the goose fat once you are ready to use it. It can still be scooped up with a spoon while in the fridge. Also, it could easily be shifted to the refrigerator if you intend to use it more frequently.
Alternatives to Goose Fat
Goose fat is a versatile cooking fat and has been used for centuries in many countries. Bird fats, or Schmaltz, were used in Jewish cuisine as an alternative to lard. But because if its versatility and strong flavor, it can be used as an alternative to:
How do I know if the Goose Fat is Rancid?
To know if your goose fat has gone rancid, you can perform a quick test to see if it’s still safe to eat. Focus on the sight, smell, and taste of the fat. If you suspect it has gone rancid, its better to dispose of it immediately as it can ruin a dish and cause health problems later on.
First, pay attention to how the fat looks, and be mindful of any discoloration. If you notice any discoloration, it is likely rancid and you should dispose of it. If the fat appears fine, you can move on to the smell test.
The second point to focus on is the smell. Rancid fats have a soapy aroma that appears off, and you will know immediately if it has gone rancid. If the cooking fat passes the sight and smell test, it is most likely safe. But, if you have any doubt, you should proceed to the final test.
The final test to check for rancidity is performing a quick taste test. Taste a small amount of the fat to see if it tastes rancid. If it tastes off, you will know it is time to dispose of it.
Although you will not get sick from eating rancid fats, it is best to avoid them. Consuming them will increase the free radicals in your body which can make the cells in your body unstable.
Note: Fats do not mold, so focus on discoloration instead of looking for mold.
How to Dispose of Cooking Fat?
After using the goose fat, and you are ready to dispose of it, you should consider disposing of it in an environmentally friendly way. It is an organic material, so there are many uses of goose fat once you are ready to dispose of it. Some ideas are to:
- Feed it to your dog
- Add it to compost
- Make DIY candles
Make sure not to pour it down the sink as the fat could solidify in your drain, requiring you to call a plumber to fix the drain.
FAQ about Goose Fat
Goose fat is not as widely known as vegetable oils or other animal fats. So we often hear questions about what it is and its benefits. Some common questions we hear about are on how goose fat is used, and how is it different than other bird fats.
What are popular Recipes with Goose Fat?
Goose fat is used today to make many famous dishes. It provides a distinct flavor to enhance recipes. Some examples of popular dishes include:
- Foie Gras
- Roasted Potatoes
- Duck Gizzards
- Duck Breasts
- Yorkshire Pudding
- Chicken Pot Pie
What is the difference between Goose Fat, Chicken Fat, and Duck Fat?
Collectively known as Schmaltz, these bird fats have lots of properties in common. They have high smoke points, similar shelf lives, and are often substitutes for one another.
However, where they differ is largely in the flavor. Goose fat and chicken fat are comparable to lard. Whereas duck fat has a slightly sweeter taste. Duck fat is also less acidic than goose fat.
All in all, goose fat is a healthy animal fat that can be refrigerated for 2-3 months or frozen up to 1 year. However, to ensure it reaches its maximum shelf life, the right steps need to be taken to ensure it is stored properly.
Preppers should be aware of the healthy cooking fats available to them and how to extend their shelf life. By doing so, it will ensure they can safely feed their family and provide nutritious food.
If you would like to learn more about food storage and extending the shelf life of cooking fats, check out our other articles:
Related Article: Best Cooking Oils for Long Term Storage
Related Article: How to Store Cooking Oil
Related Article: Extending the Shelf Life of Ghee
Related Article: Plastic Buckets for Long Term Food Storage
Related Article: Long Term Food Storage in Mason Jars
Related Article: How to Store Suet Long-Term to Maximize its Shelf Life
Disclaimer: This is not health advice. This is the opinion of individuals who practice holistic living. You should consult with health experts before making drastic changes to your diet.
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If you are looking to buy cookware, you probably came down to ceramic cookware vs stainless steel cookware. Learn to see which is better for you.