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Can You Freeze Duck Fat?

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Since we are already way deep into minimalizing food waste to the greatest extent, I bet some of you are probably wondering whether or not freezing fat can be done, especially duck fat.
To that, I would say yes. You can, in fact, freeze duck fat as a way of storage instead of throwing it away.

Besides the fact that you can buy canned duck fat, it can also be produced from roasting a whole duck, duck legs, or duck breasts!

And since I know not that many people know how exactly to use duck fat, I am going to give you a little idea about the different meals that could go very well with duck fat:

Benefits of Freezing Duck Fat

Freezing offers several advantages when it comes to storing duck fat:

  • Extends shelf life: Properly frozen, duck fat can keep for up to a year in the freezer. This prevents waste and allows you to stock up after cooking duck.
  • Maintains freshness: Freezing keeps duck fat from going rancid and preserves the fresh taste. It won’t degrade in quality like it potentially could if left in the fridge.
  • Easy to thaw and use: Duck fat thaws quite quickly at room temperature or in cold water. Once thawed, it returns to a spreadable consistency, perfect for cooking.
  • Saves money: Buying duck fat can be expensive, so freezing your own allows you to get more use out of what you have.

How to use duck fat?

Searing meat: yup. Searing your meat in duck fat instead of regular butter or vegetable oil takes a simple steak to a whole new level. I mean, the mix of delicious flavors is incomparable!

Popcorn: You should definitely try popping your popcorn with duck fat, if you haven’t already. No need to add any flavor to the popcorn as it will already be flavored enough!

Duck fat roast potatoes: Roasted potatoes are almost always a constant in every Christmas meal. And my secret ingredient is duck fat. Which gives it an extra crispy edge and a whole new delicious flavor!

That’s why I like to freeze my duck fat. It allows me to have it ready whenever I fancy any of the delicious dishes I mentioned above, and many more!
Not to mention the fact that I can even freeze duck fat roasted potatoes ready to use in Christmas dinner!

How to freeze duck fat?

The only rule that you need to keep in mind before freezing duck fat is the amount you want to freeze. That depends on the purpose of using the duck fat later on. Meaning, if you don’t have a certain purpose for the frozen duck fat, then I suggest you freeze it in a silicon ice cube tray and then move the cubes to a freezer bag.

This will allow you to defrost only the number of cubes you need without taking the whole frozen amount out of the freezer, just to use a tiny portion of it!

  1. Once you have your duck fat, wait for it to cool down to room temperature before pouring it in a container and freezing it.
  2. When it is cool enough, either pour the duck fat into a silicone ice cube tray and allow it to solidify in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or pour it in a freezer-friendly container to store it as a whole.
  3. In case of using a silicone ice cube tray, then after leaving it for an hour or so for it to solidify. Unmold the duck fat cubes and place them in a freezer bag.
  4. Label the freezer bag or the container with the date of freezing and its contents so that you can distinguish it from the other food stored in the freezer.

How to defrost duck fat?

Just move the container with the frozen duck fat from the freezer to the fridge and allow it to slowly thaw overnight.

But you don’t always need to defrost duck fat first before cooking with it. For example, if you are going to use it to sear meat or vegetables, then add the frozen duck fat cubes immediately from the freezer to the pan without defrosting them!

Try to prevent any contact of the duck fat with water, including the water on the meat and vegetables you are going to cook it with. Try to dry them using a kitchen towel prior to adding the duck fat to the pan.

How long will duck fat keep in the freezer?

It can withstand freezing for up to 4 months, keeping its excellent quality. And even stay for longer in the freezer and be safe and ready to eat, but with a slightly diminished flavor.

You have another option for storage. If you are going to use it within a week, then you can just leave it in the fridge, no need to freeze it.

Storing Leftover Thawed Duck Fat

For any leftover thawed duck fat you don’t use up, there are a few storage options:

  • Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 months. The fridge will keep it spreadable for cooking.
  • Return to the freezer for a second freeze up to 9 months. Again, freeze in usable portions.
  • Render it into duck schmaltz by cooking out remaining moisture for an intensely flavored cooking fat. Refrigerate schmaltz 5-6 months.

No matter which preservation method you choose, properly stored duck fat will deliver delicious flavor in future recipes!

Frequently Asked Questions About Freezing Duck Fat

How long does duck fat last in the freezer?

Duck fat will keep for 6–12 months in a tightly sealed container in the freezer without losing quality or going rancid. Wrap well to prevent freezer burn.

Can you refreeze duck fat after thawing?

Previously frozen duck fat can be safely refrozen once. Try to avoid refreezing more than once, as this intensifies freezer burn.

Is freezer-burned duck fat still good to eat?

Duck fat with minor freezer burn is still usable and safe to consume, though the taste and aroma may be slightly affected. If it’s severely freezer burned, it’s best to discard it.

What happens if you freeze duck fat while it’s hot?

Hot duck fat should be cooled to room temperature before freezing. Freezing hot fat can cause it to separate and become grainy or waxy when thawed.

Can you use frozen duck fat for deep frying?

Yes, thawed frozen duck fat works wonderfully for deep frying. It will heat and fry items just like fresh duck fat. Be sure to strain out any residue after thawing.

How do you thaw frozen duck fat?

Thaw frozen duck fat overnight in the refrigerator or for 1-2 hours at room temperature. Do not microwave frozen duck fat to thaw, as this can cause splattering.

Is freezing necessary, or can you just refrigerate?

Duck fat can be refrigerated for 2–3 months, but freezing extends shelf life significantly, up to a year. It also retains quality better long-term than refrigerating.

Should you strain duck fat before freezing it?

It’s a good idea to strain out any solid bits before freezing, but it’s not strictly necessary if the fat appears clean. Straining after thawing ensures purity either way.


Freezing is an easy, foolproof way to make your duck fat supply last while retaining all the delicious flavor. Follow proper freezing guidelines, and your frozen duck fat will taste freshly rendered when thawed for cooking.


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