If you’ve ordered a Blue Apron duck dinner recently, you actually got a secret bonus treat in your box: Duck fat. Chef Emily Ziemski is here to tell you how to make the most of this delicious treat.

Just look at those delicious pools of fat

A duck dinner is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do you get a delicious meal, but afterwards, you’re left with reserves of delicious duck fat. Whatever you do: Don’t throw it away! Cooking with duck fat is an easy way to imbue any dish with an extra bit of super savory flavor. Its silky texture is beloved by many, and it’s a common staple at local farmers markets. Healthwise, its fat closely resembles olive oil! This French cuisine staple has earned its title as a pantry essential in my heart, and with a long shelf life and endless applications, it’s easy to make it work in your own kitchen. 

duck buns
Togarashi Duck Steam Buns

How to store duck fat?

After you’ve finished cooking your duck, and once your pan of fat has cooled, carefully transfer your rendered (melted) fat to an air-tight jar or other glass container. If you wish, straining the fat through cheesecloth or any fine-mesh strainer helps remove any bits of meat that may speed up the spoiling of the fat. A plastic container would work too, but it’s more susceptible to retaining a slightly greasy finish forever after use! 

For best keeping, store your precious fat in the refrigerator. It solidifies much like coconut oil will, which makes it easy to measure or scooping. If you haven’t cooked with duck recently, you can also purchase jars of rendered duck fat at many grocery stores or butcher shops. There is no shame in store-bought fat, but be warned: it’s expensive! 

How long does duck fat keep?

When stored properly (read: sealed), the fat will last 6 months in the refrigerator. If frozen, it will keep up to a year.

Cooking with Duck Fat

You can use duck fat as a general cooking substitute for oil. It’s smoke point (the temperature at which oil stops heating and starts to burn) is 375*F,  which is higher than both olive oil and butter. That means it can be used for more cooking applications, like a shallow fry or a sear.

How to Use Duck Fat

  1. As a spread on toast. Top with scrambled eggs for best results––this has been scientifically proven (by me). 
  2. In baking, as a substitute for butter or oil. The best use would probably be a cookie (sea salt chocolate chip + duck fat cookie? Hellooooo), a brownie, or a pound cake/loaf. The fat will add just a bit of savory flavor to round out the baked good. This is especially great for bakers who don’t want their treats to be overly sweet! The creaminess plus the umami richness that this fat provides will make you question ever using plain butter again.
  3. In a homemade dressing! Duck fat would make a delightful vinaigrette for a Cobb-style salad or a wedge salad
  4. A tried and true favorite: Duck fat-roasted potatoes. In a cast iron pan, toss potatoes with a few tablespoons of the fat, sea salt, and some herbs (dried or fresh), then roast in the oven. The fat creates a delightfully irresistible crust on the potatoes, while also lending its signature savory flavor. It’s the perfect side or, honestly, main course. This is a dish I would highly recommend if you’re trying to impress a new quarantine boo, or wanting to treat yourself to something lovely! You’ve earned it.

Look for duck featured on the Blue Apron premium menu.