When animal fats are rendered by frying or baking, they can reach temperatures of up to 500°F, at which point they become oxidized, totally indigestible, a plumber’s nightmare (both you and the sink), and deadly.
If they are rendered in water, however, they do not get above the temperature of boiling, do not oxidize, and are light, fresh, full of wonderful flavor, and healthy.
Put the fat in the water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and refrigerate. When the fat is congealed, lift it off the water and store in a sealed container. Save the water for soups or stocks.
© 2003 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.