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Garlic 06-23-2013 04:16 PM

There is fat, and then there is grease, right?
 
OK, so I know many of use save our rendered bacon fat.... and it's pretty awesome. But then there is the fat that is released from browning ground beef, which I don't think of as fat; I think of it as grease. And when it comes to the fat renderings from poultry, I kind of think of it as somewhere in between the two.

Which of those fats do you use or not use?

Also, I smoke a lot of pork shoulders, and after cooking the meat has reduced by about 50%.... and the drippings go into a collection pan at the bottom of my smoker.... I wouldn't likely use those either.

Ntombi 06-23-2013 04:28 PM

If I'm cooking something immediately after cooking chicken or ground beef, to go with those meats, I might use the grease. But I don't deliberately save it for future use like I do with bacon fat.

Aleina 06-23-2013 04:31 PM

This is my opinion only. We have learned / think that all environemental poisosn like mercury, antibiotics we take are stored away for safekeepinng in fat cells. Losing they get released in the bloodstream so if I can avoid it I do not eat the fat from animals that have been masproduced and injected with whatever. I figyre my body has enough to do as it is with the things I cannot avoid.

Patience 06-23-2013 04:40 PM

I agree with you Aleina. I will not eat feed lot raised beef, as these poor animals are injected with growth hormones, and I certainly wlll not the fat from them.

emel 06-23-2013 04:40 PM

Your goal should be maximizing omega 3's while minimizing Omega 6's.

Easy, right? Nope. Good Lord, go find tons of geeky tweaky stuff on this....here, I'll start:

Quote:

What are Omega 6 and omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids?

A fatty acid molecule has a chain of carbon atoms linked together with hydrogen atoms attached on one side. In a saturated fatty acid each carbon has a single bond with the neighbouring carbon atom and a single bonds to two hydrogen atoms (Carbon atoms always make 4 bonds). In an unsaturated fatty acid chain one or more carbon atoms is linked to its neighbour with a double bond and only one side hydrogen atom attached. Mono-unsaturated fats have one carbon to carbon double bond, and poly-unsaturated fats, two or more. Here is a triglyceride (the usual form that fats are found – 3 fatty acid chains linked to a glycerol molecule or backbone at one end) that has two saturated and one mono-unsaturated fatty acid chain.



This is Linoleic acid – also known as Omega 6. The reason it is called omega 6 is because the first double bond is at the 6th carbon atom from the Omega end as shown:



Here is a 3D ball representation:



An omega 3 fatty acid therefore has the first double bond at the 3rd carbon. Here is alpha linolenic acid, showing it is 18 carbons long with 3 double bonds:



Even though these are shown as straight lines in the diagram – in reality the double bonds make the fatty acid bend and swivel. This is what makes the unsaturated fat liquid as opposed to solid at room temperature.

Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are 2 different classes of polyunsaturated fats. They are both important, because they are made into powerful regulatory hormones. Omega 6 fats are primarily converted into a range of pro- inflammatory hormones and omega 3 into anti-inflammatory hormones. Perhaps it would help to think of the analogy of hot and cold taps. Hot being omega 6 and cold being omega 3. We need a balance of hot and cold to get the right temperature. Due to the abundance of omega 6 in our diets from chemically extracted vegetable oils, (see graph below and the recent increase in salad oil, shortening and margarine) and a lack of food sources of omega 3 like cold water fish and grass fed / wild meat we have an imbalance. An ideal ratio is 4:1 up to 1:1 of omega 6 to omega 3. This is a long way from the standard American diet which gives 20:1. Imagine the hot tap (inflammation) on full and the cold tap (anti-inflammation) on a dribble. Inflammation is rampant.


Per capita fat supply USA 1909 – 1999 (Krispin Sullivan)
There are potentially 2 different ways to rectify this. One is to add a high dose of omega 3 to balance the amount of omega 6 we eat. The other is to minimise omega 6 and increase the omega 3 just enough to give an ideal balance. Which is the best solution?

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are far more unstable than mono-unsaturated and saturated fats because of all the carbon to carbon double bonds. These double bonds are easily oxidised, so PUFAs are more susceptible to oxidation – called lipid peroxidation Lipid peroxidation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This oxidised fat can cause cellular and DNA damage. The more PUFA in a cell membrane the higher the risk of oxidation, and consequent damage. More in this case is not better. Adding large amounts of Omega 3 to balance omega 6 is not the best solution.

So the best way to improve the balance on omega 6 to omega 3 is to reduce omega 6 as much as possible. Of course some omega 6 is essential as it is needed as a building block for eicosanoid hormones. In a normal diet it is virtually impossible to go low enough to cause omega 6 deficiency. When we bring the total amount of omega 6 in our diets down, we can then easily add fish (like salmon and sardines) or fish oil to get the ideal ratio between omega 3 and 6. How low should we go with omega 6? 1 -4% calories is recommended by most Paleo researchers. In a 2000cal diet this 2.2 – 8.8 grams omega 6 per day. (Edit: 24th July 2012 – I went to an omega 3 symposium recently and the recommendation from Dr Alex Richardson is 2 – 3% calories from omega 6 PUFA. That is just 3 – 5 grams a day. You would easily get that just be eating meat and seafood, let alone adding nuts or oils) Current thoughts are to focus on total amounts consumed each day not the ratio in different foods. Using 3-6 differences in essential fatty acids rather than 3/6 ratios gives useful food balance scores

How to decrease your Omega 6.

Most paleo eaters are aware of the need to decrease omega 6, however my observation is that following the eating guidelines does not automatically mean people reduce omega 6 enough. Look at the CrossFit nutrition outline “…base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar.” What do many eat for snacks? Nuts. Particularly almonds. And many use almond meal as the basis for grain food alternatives like pizza bases. Just 100 grams of almonds – 3 small handfuls gives you a whopping 12 grams of omega 6.

So here’s what I’ve done to help you out. I pulled together some nutrition data from Nutrition facts, calories in food, labels, nutritional information and analysis – NutritionData.com and made up some tables showing you the omega 6 content of oils, nuts and seeds, and meat. Aim to get no more that 6 – 10 grams of omega 6 per day. Omega 6 oils should be replaced by those containing predominantly mono-unsaturated fat like olive, avocado and macadamia nut oil, and saturated fats like coconut oil.

Following that is a table of fish and seafood showing the omega 3 content per 100 grams of fish, make sure you add in enough omega 3 to give you around a 2:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3. Instead of eating fish you can take fish oil. However I recommend you choose your oil carefully. Oxidation is a problem, I choose fish oil I know has been tested for oxidation, and smells and tastes fresh and clean.

Note: There is a lot of variation in the measurement of omega 6 and 3 content in foods, depending on the food the animal is fed, the food sample measured, variation in fat content between animals etc. I have tried to pick a representative measurement. Think of this as a guideline, it may not be 100% accurate for the food you are about to eat.

Then if you google to find where this quote comes from, there's tools to help you see foods with good omega 6 to omega 3 ratios.

Argh. LOTS of stuff to learn about this.

Mistizoom 06-23-2013 06:24 PM

Rendered chicken fat is schmaltz. It's a great fat to use in cooking, very common in Jewish recipes. However I get the most schmaltz when I broil chicken thighs, and since I usually season them pretty agressively it is way too salty for me to save and do anything with. I don't save fat from cooking ground beef, but I have saved fat from cooking a beef rib roast in my rotisserie. Tallow (rendered beef fat) is an excellent fat to use in cooking as well. I might even but some grassfed tallow from an online store called Fatworks.

ETA: Fatworks has pastured duck fat too. I think I am going to get both.

Ntombi 06-23-2013 06:31 PM

The seasoning is one of the reasons I don't save chicken fat. If I'm cooking veggies or something to go with the chicken, it's useful, and I simply don't season them as much as I normally would. But I wouldn't want to save it for later when I'm possibly using a different flavor profile.

Bacon fat is just bacon fat, so I don't have that issue.

Mistizoom 06-23-2013 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aleina (Post 16483832)
This is my opinion only. We have learned / think that all environemental poisosn like mercury, antibiotics we take are stored away for safekeepinng in fat cells. Losing they get released in the bloodstream so if I can avoid it I do not eat the fat from animals that have been masproduced and injected with whatever. I figyre my body has enough to do as it is with the things I cannot avoid.

Valid points for the most part, and that's why why it is good to eat as much pastured poultry/pork or grass-fed meat as possible. The fat from those animals is about as healthy as you can get in the modern world.

ravenrose 06-23-2013 08:00 PM

this makes no sense to me. surely bacon fat has more "chemicals" in it than any other sort of fat left from cooking meat? just because we like the taste doesn't change that...

I don't see any reason to keep one and not the others except for preference. I like chicken fat even better than bacon fat for cooking vegetables.

clackley 06-24-2013 05:33 AM

I have read that chicken fat is much higher in omega 6 oils and as such is not that great. BUT, I would agree that it is the tastier than any other. Chicken fat is less stable than bacon fat and must be stored in the fridge once it is rendered.

Saving various animal fats was something that most people did traditionally and it is now really a question of what looks good in the eye of the beholder. It can all be good.

Duck fat has become quite 'fashionable' here and can be bought as a rendered product in gourmet shops. I find it tasteless.:dunno:

suzanneyea 06-24-2013 05:35 AM

I melt down pork or beef fat all the time.

Mimosa23 06-24-2013 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ravenrose (Post 16484066)
this makes no sense to me. surely bacon fat has more "chemicals" in it than any other sort of fat left from cooking meat? just because we like the taste doesn't change that...

I don't agree. It depends on the type of bacon you use. I buy traditionally smoked organic bacon, so it's not got any chemicals in it.


Regarding other fats, I use whatever I have on hand in my kitchen, and of course it depends on recipes as well. I love fat from roasting chicken, even when it's pretty seasoned. Very nice to roast veggies in...
Goose and duck fat are yummy as well, and you get pretty much when you cook a duck or goose breast with the fat still on.
I use pork fat a lot when I make pork rillettes (poor man's pate, really good!).

RhondaC 06-24-2013 06:54 AM

I've been afraid to save my bacon fat, in case it goes "bad". Does it need to be refrigerated? How long does it stay good? Do you strain the small bacon crumbs out of it before saving?

Thanks!

Garlic 06-24-2013 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RhondaC (Post 16484464)
I've been afraid to save my bacon fat, in case it goes "bad". Does it need to be refrigerated? How long does it stay good? Do you strain the small bacon crumbs out of it before saving?

Thanks!

Well, I put mine in the fridge and it never seems to go bad... I don't strain it, but I do pick out any bigger pcs. The only bad part is reheated bacon fat sets my smoke detector off if I let it get too hot... It's not as much an issue when cooking fresh bacon for me.

Mimosa23 06-24-2013 07:05 AM

I usually plan it just so that I use the fat within a day or two. I don't live in a country with extremely hot temperatures, so i generally don't put it in the fridge. I do make sure it's covered well, just in case unwanted anymals get in! I think it keeps pretty long, as long as you filter out the bits...

I don't keep mine long enough for it to go bad, so I don't take out the bits: I'm lazy!

Ntombi 06-24-2013 07:44 AM

I keep it in a mug in the fridge. I don't strain it, or ever wash the mug out, actually. I'm trying to remember the last time I washed that mug, and I think it was when I moved a few years back. I just constantly scoop some out, add new fat to the top, no biggie.

I will say that I bake my bacon, so I don't have overcooked grease, or many bits of bacon in there either.

Although I keep mine in the fridge, I grew up with some relatives who kept it next to the stove 24/7.

clackley 06-24-2013 08:21 AM

I strain my bacon fat and keep it in a jar with a good fitting lid in the cabinet. I had to throw some out a few months ago because it didn't smell right but it was old and unstrained.

theredhead 06-24-2013 08:29 AM

I generally only save some bacon fat, but if I have drippings from a roast or ribs, or any other meat that's not too highly seasoned, my dog gets a lovely treat poured over her kibble. :D

Garlic 06-24-2013 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theredhead (Post 16484657)
I generally only save some bacon fat, but if I have drippings from a roast or ribs, or any other meat that's not too highly seasoned, my dog gets a lovely treat poured over her kibble. :D

Yes, my dogs love when I cook pork and ground beef! I think they :jumpjoy:

clackley 06-24-2013 09:04 AM

Careful with the fat you give your dogs. They can become sick with too much. They are really designed to eat a lower fat woe. I make my dogs food (cooked meat and a few bits of veg) and often have to skim off some of the fat or they get diarrhea.

rndiane 06-24-2013 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clackley (Post 16484725)
Careful with the fat you give your dogs. They can become sick with too much. They are really designed to eat a lower fat woe. I make my dogs food (cooked meat and a few bits of veg) and often have to skim off some of the fat or they get diarrhea.

My dog developed pancreatic from giving him too much fat...per his Vet. He was so sick, vomiting, diarrhea ....we almost lost him.

suzanneyea 06-24-2013 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rndiane (Post 16484836)
My dog developed pancreatic from giving him too much fat...per his Vet. He was so sick, vomiting, diarrhea ....we almost lost him.

The dog in your avatar? Cause I am in love with that one!

rndiane 06-24-2013 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suzanneyea (Post 16484841)
The dog in your avatar? Cause I am in love with that one!

No, little Buddy, he is is a black and tan doxie too. Sparky is on my avatar. Thank you, Sparky is a lot of fun.

Garlic 06-24-2013 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clackley (Post 16484725)
Careful with the fat you give your dogs. They can become sick with too much. They are really designed to eat a lower fat woe. I make my dogs food (cooked meat and a few bits of veg) and often have to skim off some of the fat or they get diarrhea.


Oh,yeah, they only get a few tablespoons each.

Janknitz 06-24-2013 10:54 AM

We just bought an Instant Pot (basically and electric pressure cooker that also works as a slow cooker, rice cooker, etc.). It seems to render out the fat while cooking the meat. In just one week of use, I have a big jar of schmaltz (chicken fat) rendered out of a chicken I cooked (almost a full cup!), and some tallow from two beef dishes.

We buy organic, pastured meat--and the ruminants which are pastured are supposedly high in Omega 3's, though the chicken fat is still a high percentage of Omega 6, so we use it sparingly. I'm not a huge fan of beef tallow except as a cooking fat for meat--and our dog is allergic to beef. We don't do pork, so lard is out.

theredhead 06-24-2013 11:25 AM

Don't worry. My doggie only gets the occasional fat treat. :}

AngelaL 06-25-2013 05:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ntombi (Post 16484569)
I keep it in a mug in the fridge. I don't strain it, or ever wash the mug out, actually. I'm trying to remember the last time I washed that mug, and I think it was when I moved a few years back. I just constantly scoop some out, add new fat to the top, no biggie.

I will say that I bake my bacon, so I don't have overcooked grease, or many bits of bacon in there either.

Although I keep mine in the fridge, I grew up with some relatives who kept it next to the stove 24/7.


This, exactly, for storage. I fry my bacon and leave the bits. I grew up with both my parents and grandparents keeping bacon drippings next to the stove. I keep mine in either a mug or a washed out jelly jar in the fridge. I never strain it. If I leave it out for a day or two, I don't hesitate to use it (and I live on the gulf coast where the temps get very hot)

Hot Tamale 06-25-2013 06:36 AM

I often try to plan to use the bacon grease as soon as I'm done making the bacon - for instance, I'll put that day's dinner roast or ribs or whatever right into the pan to brown as soon as I finish cooking the bacon. I do have some saved bacon fat - in my fridge in a covered container. My grandparents had it in a cup right by the stove. We also almost always had a stick of butter in a covered butter dish, soft, on the counter. How many pieces of toast and butter I had growing up I couldn't tell you, but my starting stats show what it helped me do to myself...


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