How to Clarify Stock

Three Methods:Straining Your StockUsing Egg Whites to Clarify StockChilling Your Stock to Clarify it

Stock is the liquid that’s made from simmering animal bones over a long period of time.[1] Making stock at home is both nutritious and delicious. Stock can boost your immune system and improve your bone density.[2] However, when making stock, the fat typically emuslifies on the top and can leave a bad tasting film in your mouth. Luckily, by following some simple techniques, you can remove the fat that rises to the surface of your stock by clarifying it.

Method 1
Straining Your Stock

  1. Image titled Clarify Stock Step 5
    Allow your stock to simmer until the soup’s fat floats to the surface. As you let your stock simmer, the fat will rise to the top creating a foamy buildup.
    • If there is an excess of foam or fat buildup, it’s possible that you have your heat turned too high. Stock needs to be slowly simmered over a long period of time, not boiled.
    • Typical stocks should be simmered anywhere from 4 to 6 hours long.[3]
  2. 2
    Skim large portions of fat off with a spoon. You can do this while your stock simmers in multiple intervals to cut down on the amount of fat you will need to strain later on.[4]
    • Stirring the fat into the stock will make it harder to remove later and give your stock a cloudy appearance.[5]
    • You can do this with a wooden or heat safe spoon.
  3. 3
    Pour your stock through a large sieve or colander and cheesecloth. You can purchase a sieve or colander and cheesecloth at most grocery stores. Line the sieve with cheesecloth and drain your stock through it. This should separate the large pieces of bone and vegetables from the clear stock.
    • Make sure to do this over the sink in case there is spillage.
    • You can also use a colander instead of sieve.
    • Do not push down on the food at any time while you are draining it.[6]
    • If you don’t have cheesecloth you can use a coffee filter.[7]
  4. 4
    Drain your stock again, using a sieve and cheesecloth. Filter your stock again. This second filtering should remove most of the fat that remains in your stock.

Method 2
Using Egg Whites to Clarify Stock

  1. 1
    Run your stock through a colander and cheesecloth. Before you use the egg white method, you need to ensure that you first remove the large chunks of food. Put cheesecloth over the surface of your colander or sieve and drain it.[8]
  2. 2
    Stir ¼ cup of cold water and egg whites in a bowl. Use two eggs and separate your egg whites into a bowl and beat them. Once your are done with that, stir in ¼ cups of cold water. The egg whites will bind any remaining particles, which will enable you to achieve a clearer stock.[9]
    • Read Separate-an-Egg if you don’t know how to separate egg whites from the yolk.
  3. 3
    Bring the stock to a boil and stir in the egg white and water mixture. Once the stock is back to a rolling boil, pour in your egg white and water mixture into the pot.
    • A rolling boil is achieved when bubbles are rapidly breaking the surface of the water. You should not be able to break the boil by using a spoon to stir your stock.[10]
  4. 4
    Remove the pot from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. All of the fat in your stock should bind to the egg whites while you let it sit. Let the stock sit at room temperature.
    • You should see your egg whites rise to the top and coagulate on the surface of your stock.[11]
  5. 5
    Strain stock through sieve and cheesecloth. Once all the fat has collecting onto the egg whites, do a final straining through a sieve and cheesecloth. Your large clump of egg whites and fat should be caught in the cheesecloth, leaving you with a clear and clarified stock.

Method 3
Chilling Your Stock to Clarify it

  1. 1
    Strain your stock through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Straining your stock is important in all methods of clarification.
  2. 2
    Chill your stock in a bed of ice. Sticking your stock into the refrigerator or freezer could potentially create bacteria. Instead, fill a bowl or your sink up with ice cubes, and place your pot, with the lid into the bed of ice. Stir the stock every 2-3 minutes until it is chilled.
    • Food that stays at 40°F(4°C) to 140°F(60° C) for more than two hours could be potentially dangerous to eat.[12]
  3. Image titled Clarify Stock Step 11
    Place into refrigerator until the fat hardens. Leaving your stock in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or overnight, will allow all the excess fat to rise to the top and harden.[13]
    • There should be a thick layer of fat on the surface of your stock, even if you’ve already strained it.
  4. 4
    Peel the top layer of fat off your stock carefully. You can use a spoon or other utensil to carefully peel away the top layer of hardened fat. After you are done, you should be left with a flavorful, clear stock.[14]
    • You can use the leftover fat as lard in other recipes.

Article Info

Categories: Basic Cooking Skills | Soups