Exactly How to Skim Fat from the Broth of Your Favorite Soups

Use our Test Kitchen-approved methods to separate fat from the broth of your favorite from-scratch soups.

There's no denying the comfort we feel when enjoying a bowl of from-scratch chicken noodle soup. You know what's not comforting? Taking a spoonful only to find the broth unpleasantly oily rather than soothing. Not to worry, that extra fat in your soup can be skimmed right off the top. Here you can learn how to remove fat from homemade broth or soup. Not only will skimming fat from your favorite soup taste better (by eliminating that oily mouthfeel), but will also shave off some extra calories.

How to Skim Fat From Broth

BHG / Michela Buttignol

How to Skim Fat from Broth

skimming fat from broth
Jason Donnelly

Here are the easiest methods of skimming fat from broth that require no special tools.

  • To remove fat from hot soup or broth, use a large metal spoon ($11, Target) and skim off the fat that rises to the top.
  • Our Test Kitchen finds the easiest way to remove the fat from the broth is to chill the broth first. Cover and refrigerate the soup or broth 6 to 8 hours or until the fat solidifies on the surface. Then use a spoon to easily lift off the hardened fat.
fat separator pitcher pouring into pot
Courtesy of OXO

Fat Separator Tools

If you regularly make homemade broth, a fat-separating pitcher ($12, Target) is a worthy investment. The handy kitchen tool has a spout near the bottom. Broth is poured into the pitcher and allowed to stand for a few minutes. Because fat rises to the top, the broth can be poured off and the fat will remain in the pitcher. Another tool to try is a fat-skimming ladle ($7, Bed Bath & Beyond), which helps catch the fat through holes in the surface.

Once you've mastered the technique of skimming fat from chicken soup, you might want to start making your own chicken broth. You can also save leftover bones from roasts and steaks (or buy them from your local butcher) to make delicious, homemade beef bone broth.

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