Rendering fat from duck or goose skin

Chefs use duck and goose fat for culinary purposes as these are stable fats and can be re-used. Therefore they make wonderful fried potatoes and other delicacies. Goose fat is fairly liquid at room temperature. But duck fat needs a few degrees higher to melt (as it contains slightly more saturated fats than goose fat). The fatty acid compositions among goose fat, duck fat and olive oil  are quite similar, as may appear from Fig 3 in the Knowledge section on Fats.


The average fat content of a domesticated duck or goose ranges between 25 and 40%. But for a wild duck or goose this may be only half of that. And most of that fat is concentrated immediately under the skin. This helps to insulate the body from the cold water. The fat functions also as food reserve, enabling long treks.

Store the rendered fats for a year in the refrigerator and longer in the freezer.

Special equipment

  • heavy bottomed skillet
  • mesh filter or metal siff
  • (metal) funnel

Rendering fat from duck or goose skin.

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Cuisine: Chinese, French



  • skin of a duck or goose



  • Slice the duck or goose skin in square inch parts and put them in a flat pan with a heavy bottom
  • Add a half cup of water and heat the pan on medium heat
  • Now and then turn or stir the skin pieces. Continue with this process, until all the water is evaporated/cooked off. At that time continue to heat for a while and then poor the oil contents over a fine mesh sieve in a jar, keeping the skin pieces separate
  • Let the oil cool down and thereafter place the very light yellow colored molten duck fat in the refrigerator
  • Meanwhile continue to heat what remains of the skin pieces at a slightly higher heat: more, darker fat will be rendered, which can also be used, but has some smell and the remaining crisp ‘fritons de canard’ are delicious when lightly salted.
    The whole process takes a full hour.


Method: pan frying
Food allergy & intolerance information: none


  1. for goose fat or pig fat, a similar procedure is followed

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