The 10 Best Fat Separators
10. Norpro Strainer
9. Catamount Heat Resistant
8. BigKitchen 4 Cup
7. Vita for Home Slip Resistant
6. Swing-A-Way Easy Release
5. HIC Strainer
4. Trudeau Gravy
3. Just Go Smarter Multi Purpose
2. Oxo Good Grips
1. Cuisipro 4 Cup
What Exactly Is A Fat Separator And Why Do You Need One?
As much as it might be nice to believe, fat separators don't separate fat from your body. Rather, they are used to separate fat from pan drippings before making sauces, gravies, and soups. For this reason, they are also sometimes referred to as gravy strainers or soup strainers. They look very much like a standard measuring cup, albeit with a few minor, yet integral, modifications.
There are two main types of fat separators: pitchers and bottom drainers. Pitcher-style fat separators have a handle on one side and a long spout on the other. Unlike spouts on traditional pitchers, this spout stems from an opening at the bottom of the side, rather than the top. Bottom-drainers have a plugged hole on the bottom through which liquid can drain out when opened. Both varieties have a strainer that sits at the top of the container to catch any large chunks of meat, seasonings, or vegetables, which can be added to your sauce or gravy later, or discarded.
Having the hole or spout stem towards the bottom of the fat separator is vital. If you have ever left a pot of soup or meat-based sauce on the counter to cool, or left it in the fridge overnight, you have probably noticed that the fat and liquid naturally separate, with the fat rising to the top and the rest of the liquid sinking to the bottom. This is because fat and oil are less dense than most other liquids. Traditionally one would have had to use a spoon to slowly ladle out the fat bit by bit. With a fat separator, that tedious task is no more. Instead, one just has to leave the gravy base on the counter to cool long enough for the fat and other liquid to separate. Once that has happened, simply use the spout to pour the desired liquid into another container, or open the bottom hole via a lever to let it drain out. The unwanted fat will be left in the container to use for another purpose or discard.
What To Look For In A Fat Separator
A fat separator seems like a relatively simple invention, but there are few properties that make some models better suited to the task than others. For example, most people will appreciate having one with a clear cup. This makes it easier to see when the fat and liquid have finished separating, rather than having to guess at it with a non-transparent model. When making your purchase, it is important to choose one that is made from glass or heat-resistant plastic. Due to the nature of the task performed with a fat separator, you will be pouring very hot liquids into it, often directly from a pot that has just been removed from the stove or oven.
Another handy feature is clearly-labeled measurement markings. If you are making a recipe that calls for a very exact amount of liquid, having a fat separator with measurement markings eliminates the need to use a measuring cup, meaning one less dish to wash at the end of the night. While on the topic of cleaning, we would be remiss if we didn't steer you towards a model that is dishwasher safe. After all, who really wants to have to scrub out their fat separator at the end of the night when it is so much easier just to toss it in the dishwasher and walk away?
Since you are pouring piping hot liquids into your fat separator, choose one with a wide top opening for safety purposes. The easier it is to pour liquids into the container, the less chance there is of accidentally burning yourself by spilling some out over the edges. Another feature that can help improve your ability to use your separator safely is a comfortable and study handle. It is best to buy a model that fits nicely in your hand, providing you with a secure grip.
While not necessarily as important as some of the other properties, it is nice to have a model with an easily removable strainer. It is no fun to fumble around with a strainer overflowing with bits of steaming hot meat and cooked down vegetables that just won't seem to slip off, as this just increases the chance of accidentally knocking the whole thing over and spilling it. If purchasing a pitcher-style model, a spout stopper is another handy little feature that can help to prevent spillage.
The Dangers Of Too Much Fat In Your Diet
If just making better tasting, better quality sauces, gravies, and soups wasn't enough of a reason to start using a fat separator, then how about better health. While the human body does require an adequate amount of fat and cholesterol, it is no secret that most people consume far too much. One only needs to look at the plethora of weight-loss pills, drinks, and other supplements available on the market to know that many people struggle with their weight. In fact, according to the National Health Center for Statistics, 36 percent of adults and 17 percent of youths are obese. That's a scary thought when one considers the numerous health problems being overweight or obese can lead to.
Excess body weight is a contributing factor to the onset of diabetes. Roughly 90 percent of diabetics are overweight. This isn't just a coincidence. It is a known fact that overweight people are at a significantly higher risk for type 2 diabetes. This is because too much fat in the body impairs its ability to produce insulin and regulate blood sugar levels.
Consuming too much fat can also cause high cholesterol, which is aptly named the silent killer since people are often unaware of their situation until it is too late. Cholesterol can accumulate in the arterial walls, narrowing them to a point where blood flow is reduced, resulting in a heart attack. The combination of too much fat and cholesterol may lead to stroke. This occurs when the blood flow to the brain is severely hampered, usually by clogged arteries. At the same time, being overweight forces the heart to work harder to properly circulate the blood, resulting in high blood pressure, the number one cause of stroke.