The 8 Best Fat Separators of 2022

The OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Gravy Fat Separator is our number one pick

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The Spruce Eats / Lecia Landis

The Spruce Eats Top Picks

Our top pick is the OXO Good Grips 4-cup Gravy Fat Separator thanks to its non-slip grip and easy-to-use drain. If you're looking for a budget solution, we recommend the Fatsoff Soup Scoop Fat Skimmer.

If you make homemade stock, gravies, sauces, or bone broth, you're no stranger to the job of skimming excess fat that accumulates on the surface of your liquid recipe. Too much fat can give an oily mouthfeel and add unwanted calories to your recipe, plus it solidifies into an unsightly, cloudy layer of fat when chilled. Although refrigeration can actually help you remove unwanted fat from these liquids, fat takes hours to solidify this way. It's much easier and faster to use a dedicated fat separator during cooking.

Fat separators resemble measuring cups and are designed to drain liquid while keeping the fat layer contained. They can be made from plastic or glass and drain from a pour spout or plug in the bottom of the cup. Both styles are easy to use and most are dishwasher safe for ease of cleaning up greasy residue. Whether you're gearing up for soup season or planning the perfect holiday turkey gravy, here are the best fat separators to get the job done.

Best Overall: OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Gravy Fat Separator

4.9
OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Gravy Fat Separator

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Leakproof

  • Bottom drain for best liquid funneling

  • Soft, non-slip handle

What We Don't Like
  • Tiny debris may fall through bottom drain

Who else recommends it? Reviewed and Simply Recipies both picked the OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Gravy Fat Separator.

What do buyers say? 96% of 4,100+ Amazon reviewers rated it 4 stars or above.

OXO Good Grips designs some of the most innovative, easy-to-use, and ergonomic kitchen gadgets on the market so it's no surprise this fat separator takes our top spot. This fat separator has a drain built into the bottom of the cup so you don't have to worry about fat and liquid mixing together like with models that have to be tilted to pour.

A silicone plug keeps the drain sealed and leak-free. Owners of this model praise it for being comfortable and easy to use: simply wait for the fat to separate and then squeeze the trigger built into the handle of the cup to drain your cooking liquid away from the fat. The handle has a soft, non-slip coating to help you grip and prevent dropping if your hands happen to be a little greasy from carving a turkey or roast.

A strainer is built in the lid to catch solid bits of food and the cup has easy-to-read measurement markings. This separator is dishwasher-safe for convenient cleaning.

Price at time of publish: $28

Volume: 4 cups | Material: Plastic | Pour Style: Bottom-draining

Runner Up, Best Overall: Cuisipro 4-Cup Fat Separator

Cuisipro 4-Cup Fat Separator

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Bottom drain for best liquid funneling

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Durable construction

What We Don't Like
  • Small food debris may fall to the bottom

  • No liquid measurement markings

Our runner-up pick is another bottom-draining style fat separator. A silicone plug ensures this separator doesn't leak and is easily released with a press of a thumb release built into the cup's handle. Made of durable heat-resistant Tritan material, this separator is BPA-free, holds up to 4 cups of liquid, and is top-rack dishwasher safe.

A high-lipped filter lid helps strain liquids from large food solids when pouring pan drippings. However, some reviewers are disappointed to find small pieces of meat, vegetables, and herbs in the pan. Juices can make their way through the filter and end up blocking the bottom drain so it's best to pour slowly and carefully. The cup has measurement markings so you can quickly eyeball how many cups of liquid you have.

Price at time of publish: $40

Volume: 4 cups | Material: Plastic | Pour Style: Bottom-draining

Best Budget: Swing-A-Way Easy Release Fat Separator

Swing-A-Way Easy Release Fat Separator

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Bottom drain style separator

  • Liquid measurements on the side

  • Can also be used as measuring cup

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • Plastic may crack with repeated use

This affordable bottom drain style fat separator has a spring-loaded valve that releases liquids directly from the bottom of the container. This dishwasher-safe 4-cup separator also has a spout for pouring and measurement markings, so it can also be used as a measuring cup.

It comes with a removable strainer lid to catch larger bits of food. To use—just fill, let fat and liquid layers separate, then give the handle a squeeze to release the cooking liquid. Since liquid drains from the bottom, it’s more likely to leave drips on the counter after you’ve released the liquid than the spout-style fat separator, but the liquid is less likely to have any fat in it, as long as you stop releasing it in time.

Price at time of publish: $31

Volume: 4 cups | Material: Plastic | Pour Style: Bottom-draining

Best for Small Tasks: OXO Good Grips 2-Cup Fat Separator

4.9
OXO Good Grips 2-Cup Fat Separator
What We Like
  • Great for small projects

  • Stopper to prevent fat in spout

  • Soft grip handle

  • Lid is heat resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Fat and liquid may mix when pouring

Do you really need a 4-cup fat separator that will take up space in your cabinet, or is this smaller one a better buy for the smaller turkeys and roasts you make? This has the same design as the standard spout-style fat separators, but in a smaller size that's easier to store. If you’re making a lot of gravy, you can simply fill it twice.

This is made from dishwasher-safe heat-resistant plastic that will easily handle the heat of your roasting juices, and it has a heat-resistant strainer lid that catches the unwanted bits. Like most, the stopper keeps the fat from entering the spout as you fill the cup, and a shield keeps liquid from spilling from the top if you pour a little too fast. What we love is the soft grip handle that's easy to hold onto and easy-to-read measurements that are in ounces and metric.

Price at time of publish: $12

Volume: 2 or 4 cups | Material: Plastic | Pour Style: Bottom spout

Best Set: Wecker 4 Cup Fat Separator and Turkey Baster

Wecker fat separator and turkey baster

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes with turkey baster

  • Heat-resistant

  • Easy to use thumb trigger handle

What We Don't Like
  • May leak over time

Whether you’re making a roast for the first time, or your old set needs an upgrade, this set from Wecker is a great option. The sturdy 4-cup fat and gravy separator has a thumb-trigger control to easily dispense gravy, oil, sauces, dressings, or stocks. A tight plug keeps things nice and clean without any fear of drips. 

A strainer catches larger chunks when pouring, ensuring a nice smooth gravy. Made of durable plastic, this fat separator is both shatter-proof and heat-resistant. The whole set is easily disassembled and can be cleaned in a dishwasher or by hand. As a bonus, this set comes with a turkey baster. Both the baster and separator are marked with clear measurements so you can cook with precision.

Price at time of publish: $20

Volume: 4 cups | Material: Plastic | Pour-Style: Bottom draining

Best Fat Skimmer: Fatsoff Soup Scoop Fat Skimmer

Fatsoff Soup Scoop Fat Skimmer

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Cost efficient

  • Easy to hang to save space

  • Simple and straightforward design

  • Great for soups

What We Don't Like
  • Takes a little practice to master

  • Difficult to use in shallow liquids

If you don’t have space for another measuring cup, this unique skimmer might be just what you’re looking for. This removes fat directly from the pot or roasting pan–just press the bottom of the skimmer’s bowl on top of the fatty liquid and the fat that comes through the raised hole collects in the bowl.

This won’t work with shallow liquids, so you might need to tilt your roasting pan to collect the liquid in the corner so it’s deep enough, or transfer it to another container. It would, however, be excellent for removing the fat from the top of the turkey soup you’ll be making in a few days.

Price at time of publish: $12

Volume: Varies | Material: Plastic | Pour Style: Ladle

Good to Know

Store any leftover gravy in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Once it cools, the fat will likely separate. Gently stir it as you warm it in a saucepan to reheat it.

Best Microwave Safe: Trudeau Fat Separator

Trudeau Fat Separator

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Clear measurements on side

  • Microwave and dishwasher safe

  • Easy to use and pour

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • Plastic may crack with use

The wide, low shape of this fat separator is reminiscent of a gravy boat, but it’s made for separating fat from juices. Rather than an external spout, this adds an integrated pouring spout that’s designed to take the liquid from the bottom of the cup first, leaving the fat behind. It has measurements on the side in US and metric, so you can see how much liquid you’ve collected.

It has a strainer lid to keep the larger bits out of the juice, is heat-safe to 400 degrees, and microwave and dishwasher-safe. While this isn’t designed to be attractive for serving, it would work well for family dinners to pass around an au jus.

Price at time of publish: $14

Volume: 4 cups | Material: Plastic | Pour Style: Top spout

Best Glass: HIC Harold Import Co. Gravy Strainer and Fat Separator

HIC Harold Import Co. Gravy Strainer and Fat Separator

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes wide and mesh strainers for debris

  • Attractive glass design

  • Measurements in metric and 1/4 cup increments

  • Resists stains and smells

What We Don't Like
  • Will break if you drop it

  • Slippery if your hands are greasy

If you’re trying to keep plastics out of your kitchen, this glass fat separator is exactly what you need. It’s made from sturdy borosilicate glass that’s heat-safe to 300 degrees, so you can pour very hot liquids into it without fear of cracking.

The design is similar to other spout-style fat separators, but with a slim, graceful spout and loop handle that makes it look modern and elegant. It has measurements in both US and metric, making it easy to know how much gravy you have. A stainless steel strainer filters out the large bits, and there is a finer strainer included to remove fine bits and sediment, so there’s no need for a second strainer.

When it’s not being used for separating fat, you can use this as a standard measuring cup, for heating water in the microwave, or perhaps even for making tea. This is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Price at time of publish: $28

Volume: 4 cups | Material: Glass | Pour Style: Bottom spout

Final Verdict

When you find your hands covered in turkey drippings and need a convenient and efficient fat separator to make that gravy magic happen, the OXO Good Grips 4-cup Gravy Fat Separator is the best choice. The Fatsoff Soup Scoop Fat Skimmer is a low-cost tool to hand on-hand for skimming fat from drippings and stocks.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the top-rated fat separators on the market, evaluating their key features, including heat resistance and filter efficiency. We carefully compared the key components of an excellent fat separator, from the quality of the strainer to the ease of use. We also looked at reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assess which fat separators were the best for all your holiday cooking needs and beyond.

Good to Know

To make giblet gravy, put the neck, heart, and liver in a saucepan and cover with salt-free or very low sodium stock or water. Simmer over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours. Drain the giblets, and chop the meat (discard the cooking liquid and gristle, and remove meat from the neck). Add the chopped giblets to the saucepan with the 1/4 cup of fat, and proceed with the recipe.

What to Look for in a Fat Separator

Material

There are three primary materials used for fat separators–plastic, stainless steel, or glass. Each has their pros and cons. Glass is sturdy and beautiful, but breakable. Plastic is durable and affordable, but plastic comes in many forms and each has different strengths and weaknesses. Stainless steel is long-lasting and nearly unbreakable, but can be heavy and prone to rust.

Size

Ask yourself what you’re going to be using your fat separator for. If you’re cooking for just a few people, you can get by with a smaller fat separator–one that maybe holds two cups. For large gatherings, however, you may require a bigger container. Four cups is a popular size, though fat separators can go upwards of eight cups.

Heat Resistance

If you’re planning to serve gravies or sauces hot, you’ll want to make sure your fat separator is heat-resistant. Some materials don’t work well with heat and can melt or crack. Before you buy, check if the model is heat-resistant or not.

FAQs

How does a fat separator work?

Cooking is as much an art as it is science. Fat doesn’t mix well with oils and juices. Over time, fat will naturally rise to the top of your gravy, leaving the tasty juices at the bottom. While you can certainly skim the fat off the top, it’s a tedious method. Fat separators do all the hard work for you. Once the two have separated, simply pour from the bottom spout (or release the bottom plug) and you’ll serve delicious gravy while the fat stays at the top.

What are the different types of fat separators?

There are a few different styles of fat separators. A classic version is a simple skimming spoon that collects fat as you run it over the top of the gravy. 

Modern models have a few different styles too. The bottom-spout or pitcher fat separator looks a bit like a teapot and pours like one too, though the spout is attached lower to the container. 

There are also bottom-drain fat separators. These use a button to lift a plug at the bottom of the container to serve the gravy, sauce, or juices inside.

How long does it take for the fat to separate?

For the most part, the length of time it takes for fat to separate will depend on what you’re separating it from. Since different sauces and gravies will have varying levels of viscosity, it can take a longer or shorter amount of time. A good measure of thumb is to wait at least ten minutes for things to settle. Since most fat separators are clear, you’ll be able to look at the contents and determine for yourself if things are nicely separated or not. 

Why Trust The Spruce Eats

This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a home cook who happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She happily makes space for any gadget that make cooking faster and easier and specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.

Allison Wignall, who updated this article, is a writer who focuses on food and travel. She’s always in the kitchen trying to recreate recipes from around the world. Her work has been featured in publications such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. THE BEST FAT SEPARATORS OF 2022. Reviewed. https://www.reviewed.com/cooking/best-right-now/the-best-fat-separators

  2. The Best Fat Separators for Savory Homemade Gravy. Simply Recipes. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/best-fat-separators-5210358

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