Not all strainers work the same, as we discovered when our old fat separator gave up the ghost trying to do its job. It just wasn't up to the task any more.
So we went looking for something better.
Not all fat strainers are created equal, as we discovered in a hunt for a new one. The different designs we found were not all equally up to the task. Some were harder to clean, others did a poor job getting all of the fat strained off, and yet others had limited success with larger quantities of liquids in the fat strainer.
When we went looking for a new replacement for our broken one, we hunted through a lot of choices, some of which appeared to have a similar design to our old one, and others were iffy-looking in terms of functionality. We hunted through a lot of reviews and finally found five of them that could be a good replacement.
We have listed them here along with our brief evaluations for choosing each of them. We've also included a "bonus list" of 3 additional fat separators.
Cuisipro Fat Separator with Bottom Sauce Release
This is my favorite fat separator of the ones listed. It is made of silicone, BPA-Free, durable, and heat resistant.
This Cuisipro has a drip feature that releases the sauce from the bottom of the fat separator using a silicone plug that seals tightly. It disassembles easily and is top-rack dishwasher-safe.
The oversized straining separates large particles to trap them from straining with your sauces or soups. It works with both hot and cold liquids and has a 4 Cup capacity. Unlike the old-style separators, the design prevents overflow or trapping of fats or oils during release.
With over 1,700 ratings and an average of 4.5 stars, this is a winner. There is another listing which I have listed next for this product that includes a holiday 3-in-1 baster (ASIN B008N86YP6).
Cuisipro Fat Separator and 3-in-1 Baster Holiday Roasting Set
In addition to the features above for the fat separator (made of silicone, BPA-Free, durable, and heat resistant, with a bottom-release for the sauce), this bundle version also includes a 3-in-1 baster that has more features than your average baster. And I never thought of myself as a "baster-geek."
You can use it in 3 different ways:
- Use the silicone brush attachment to coat foods evenly.
- Use the shower head attachment for a wide shower and quick basting.
- Use without the attachments for a heavy stream of juice.
You are getting two complementary products in one, and as a special bonus, the two products together save you about $8-$10 over purchasing separately.
Fat Separator With Bottom Release, 4 Cup Gravy Separator for Cooking with Oil Strainer
In addition to the 4 cup fat separator with the bottom release, the seller tosses in a nice kitchen gadget — a 3-in-1 multifunctional peeler. Sure, it isn't much more than a drop in the bucket to add it, but free is free.
The reason this is #3 and not #1 is — for me — because it is stainless steel. I find it easier to get dirty and harder to clean despite the fact that it is dishwasher-safe on the top rack. I have found over time that stainless-steel doesn't stay as dishwasher safe as it claims.
Like the Cuisipro, it is BPA-Free with a bottom-release for the sauces, soups, and drippings. The design is very similar and users have rated it quite well.
With over 5,300 ratings and an average of 4.6 stars, it is popular. And some people really do prefer stainless steel as the base material. I'm just not one of them.
OXO Good Grips Good Gravy 4-Cup Fat Separator
Like product #1 above, this has a similar design handling 4 cups with a bottom release for the sauces and soups. You also have the option of purchasing it with the turkey baster rather than just the fat separator.
Made of plastic, it easily separates fat for leaner gravies, soups and sauces, and the built-in strainer catches unwanted bits from escaping during the straining process. It has a non-slip handle to release liquid from the bottom, leaving fat or oils behind.
Its silicone shut-off valve seals snugly to prevent leaks. The external drain makes cleanup quick and easy. And as a bonus, it has convenient measurement markings in cups, ounces and milliliters to serve as a measuring device too!
It has over 4,400 ratings an an average of 4.8 stars. Oxo products are highly respected and popular, which might account for the extra star ratings.
Norpro Gravy Separator with Strainer in Off-White
It is heat resistant, which is a necessity for dealing with hot liquids. It has the same 4 cup capacity, but in my opinion it just isn't as efficient. Plus, the recommendation is to hand-wash. These things are a pain in the backside to wash by hand. Reviewers mentioned that they ended up buying a small size long brush to stick down the spout to clean. Think what a pain it is to clean straws out — it's like that.
With only 156 ratings, the 4.5 star average is a bit iffy in my opinion and probably because Norpro is a recognized big brand.
Even the good reviews mention how hard it is to get all of the grease out of the spout. The design makes it hard to clean and even if the grease does not all get separated it gets stuck in the spout.
And it has a tendency to overflow through the top if the cover pops loose. This is the old style fat separator — think the one your grandmother and mother used and you probably inherited at one point. No matter its claim to be healthy, it just doesn't work as well as a bottom release strainer. Which is why we went looking for something better than this.
But it isn't too expensive and is durable, and if you want this style, this is one of the better ones of the breed.
This Swing-A-Way 4-Cup Easy Release Fat/Gravy Separator in red has good ratings on Amazon (2,216 ratings with an average of 4.4). It rivals the other bottom-release fat separators and is worth a look.
The Bellemain 4-Cup Fat Separator / Measuring Cup with Strainer and Fat Stopper is a good budget alternative. It has 1,549 ratings with an average of 4.6 stars. If you need a budget option, check this out.
The Goodcook Fat Separator is a smaller version if you don't want a full-sized four cup fat strainer. It However, it only has 408 ratings with an average of 4.5 stars.
So, you can see through my listings here that I prefer the bottom-release fat separators to the old-style ones. Of course, the fact that my old one cracked has something to do with my evaluations and shopping experience, but I really do like my new one. It's easy to use and clean, it has a cool and efficient design, and I love the design feature that allows for straining out clumps in the sauce as well as the fat.
Check these out, even if you decide to buy #5 of the old design instead of the new designs. And the add-on baster on two of these is a nice bonus. I hate cleaning basters so having more than one during the holiday roasting season is useful.