Schmaltz and Gribenes

Anybody who wants to make truly authentic Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine must first learn how to make schmaltz and gribenes. Schmaltz is an important ingredient in many Jewish recipes, and is a must-know for anybody wanting to prepare authentic Ashkenazi cuisine. Gribenes are a by-product of the process used to collect schmaltz. Some of you might find this blog a bit– well, unappetizing. To the modern health-conscious cook, schmaltz and gribenes sound like a heart attack waiting to happen. Schmaltz is full of cholesterol, but it adds a very unique flavor to dishes that is unmatched by any other type of oil. While many people find gribenes delicious, others might consider them too strange or unhealthy to enjoy. Take them or leave them, schmaltz and gribenes are quintessentially Jewish.

Though richly flavored, both dishes evolved out of frugality. In Eastern Europe and other Ashkenazi countries, chicken meat was an expensive treat. When a chicken was purchased from the butcher, every part of the bird was used. Schmaltz and gribenes are two creative ways of using parts of the chicken that might otherwise be thrown away.

Schmaltz is basically rendered chicken fat. It is collected by slowly sautéing chicken skin and fat, then collecting the liquid fat that melts as it cooks. It’s easy to make and adds an authentic flavor to many Jewish recipes, including matzo balls and chopped liver.

After collecting the schmaltz, continue to fry the chicken skin with onion to produce a batch of crispy little gribenes. They can be snacked on as-is or added as a condiment to other dishes. I like to think of gribenes as the Jewish alternative to bacon. It’s fatty, flavorful fried goodness—and it’s kosher!

You might be wondering, “Where do I get a whole pound of chicken skin and fat?” Well, you can collect it from your everyday chicken recipes (store it in the freezer and thaw before using), or you can ask your butcher. Regular butchers will sometimes give it to you for free, since it’s stuff they would normally throw away. Kosher butchers will usually charge you, though, because they know what you’re up to!

You can also collect schmaltz by cooling chicken soup in the refrigerator, then skimming the solid fat that rises to the top. I prefer the method described here, as it consistently produces perfect golden schmaltz every time.

Next week, I’ll be posting my traditional chicken chopped liver recipe, which uses both schmaltz and gribenes in the mix.  :)

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Schmaltz and Gribenes


  • 1 lb. chicken skin and fat
  • 1 large onion
  • Salt and pepper

You will also need

  • Nonstick skillet, mesh strainer, paper towels
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Servings: 1 cup of schmaltz, 4-6 servings of gribenes
Kosher Key: Meat, Kosher for Passover

To Make Schmaltz

  • Rinse the pound of chicken skin and fat, pat dry, then chop it into small 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Place the skin and fat into a skillet on the stovetop (make sure it's nonstick!) and turn heat to low. Cover the skillet and let it cook on low for about 15 minutes. Liquid fat will start to pool at the bottom of the skillet.
  • Uncover the skillet and raise heat to medium low. Let it cook for another 15-20 minutes, breaking the pieces apart with a spatula and stirring frequently, until the skin starts to brown and curl at the edges. At this point there should be quite a bit of liquid fat at the bottom of the pan—this liquid is your schmaltz.
  • Remove pan from heat. Pour the schmaltz from the skillet into a container, using a mesh strainer to catch any small pieces of skin.
  • A golden oil will result—this is called schmaltz. It can be used in a variety of Jewish dishes or as a cooking fat. Reserve the cooked skin and fat pieces, you can use them to make gribenes. The schmaltz will stay liquid at room temperature; it will become solid and opaque if you refrigerate it.

To Make Gribenes

  • After collecting the schmaltz, return the cooked chicken skin and fat to the skillet. Peel the onion, cut it into thin slices and add it to the skillet.
  • Season the chicken skin and onions generously with salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium and sauté the mixture for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pieces are dark brown and crispy. Don’t leave them alone for long or they’ll burn! You want them dark brown, but not blackened.
  • Remove the gribenes from the skillet with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel.
  • Season again with salt and pepper to taste. Gribenes can be snacked on as-is or added to other dishes as a topping.


Comments (102)Post a Comment

  1. My mother always uses shmaltz in her matza balls. I would not want them any other way. I have done so in the past as well, but now I mostly use oil. In some Kosher Butcher shops you can buy rendered shmaltz. Makes things very easy!

  2. Haven’t even thought of this in years and years…..but I saw someone say they eat it on “corn rye”! There is no corn rye outside of the new york metro area! Come from Brooklyn originally, then moved to NJ, where, yes, we could get corn rye, but not in North Carolina!!! Help!

  3. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    yummy: Try living in the west central coast of Florida you cant get schav or borchut in the super market. Have a friend bring cases wheen she comes from NY also 4 dozen bagels.

  4. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    My mother made schmaltz and gribenes but didn’t separate them. She put the onions right in with the chicken fat and skin and that way, the onions gave the schmaltz a wonderful flavor. I still make schmaltz that way. I use it for knaidlach, chopped liver, and a delicious Passover matzah farfel kugel.

  5. Lydia, sometimes I do it the way your mom does, too. I prefer the method I described in the blog because it gives a clear, golden schmaltz– and you can add onions to it if you want that oniony flavor. When I use the onions in rendering the schmaltz, it tends to be darker in color and needs more straining. But that doesn’t really matter for most savory dishes. Either method works great! :)

  6. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    hi tori,
    wow everything looks fab. hope you had a wonderfultime(looks like you did)
    just wondering when i’ll receive your cookbook? my friends and family are waiting to see my name and kugel recipe immortalized .lol i know they will want to purchase books of their own.please respond to my comment thank you
    sincerely,susan yeager

    1. Hi Susan, as soon as the cookbook is published we will notify everybody on my website and blog– and as a recipe contributor, you will receive your own copy in the mail upon publication. 😉

    1. Red, schmaltz keeps well in the refrigerator. Like most cooking fats, it has an impressive shelf life. The longest I’ve kept it is about a month (I tend to use it up quickly when I have it on hand). You can probably keep it even longer if the container you store it in is sterile and you use a sterile tool when removing some from the jar– this will help you avoid cross contamination. You can also freeze the schmaltz. This will extend the shelf life even longer!

    2. I freeze mine in ziploc bags (flat until they can stack nicely) and they are good for 1 year!!! (they never last that long b/c I use them!!!) I have a rotating stock. I am so glad I found this page!!! :)

  7. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Fellow schmaltz lovers might be interested to learn that although it and rendered chicken fat have been synonymous for the last century or so, our Ashkenazi ancestors in eastern Europe usually made it out of GOOSE fat, which must really have been amazing!

    Although I’ve been eating Jewish food for 59 years, I only learned this recently from a book I think Tori and all her fans will enjoy called 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman, which came out in June from Smithsonian Press.

    97 Orchard Street is the address of the building that is now New York’s Tenement museum. So in addition to Jewish food, the book offers fascinating history about the foodways of Germans, Irish, and Italian immigrants too.

  8. Lovin’ the!
    I have been making Matzo Ball soup forever and always prefer my soup from scratch; boiled chicken, boiled bones & veges, etc
    I love my Schmaltz, it is my favorite kitchen create. After I make my chicken soup from scratch, I recover lots of flavorful schmaltz from the top of my jars and save to smaller jars and wondered today how long it would last beyond my smell test. Thanks for the answers.
    Good Nosh!

  9. I now make my schmaltz w/gribenes in the microwave! I use a 4 cup glass measuring cup and it works fine! Renders faster and much easier to clean up.
    BTW Borscht in jars is available in west central Florida at Pubix. If for any reason your store doesn’t stock it, just ask the manager and they will get it for you!

  10. Dear Tori,
    Love your website! I lived in NYC and suburbs for 15 years and miss the Jewish deli scene terribly. Make my own latkes and serve them with applesauce. Love stuffed “cabbitch”. I worked side by side wth a Latvian Jew who escaped death in a German concentration. He paid me one of the nicest complements after overhearing me handle a tough question from a customer — he said, “Peg, you’re too “schmart” to be a shiksa!” (His tongue was buried in his cheek . . .)

    Best to you, Peg Durham, St. George, Utah

    1. Sheila, great idea on the microwave render, I’ll have to try that next time!

      Peg, thanks for the kind comment! Happy you are enjoying the site! :)

  11. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    My grandmother made these all the time – and kept the griben in a coffee can – my afterschool snack was smalz and griben on pumperknickel – On a recent trip to Poland, you can buy griben made with goosefat and in addition to the onions a bit of dried apple is added in – yum!

  12. One of my favorite memories from childhood was my Nana making schmaltz, then gribenes, but she didn’t cook it till it was crunchy. Instead, she cooked until the onions were transparent & then added chopped hard boiled eggs & we ate the mix on matzo. To this day, I make it every time I render my schmaltz!

  13. I wish our meat markets around here processed their own chickens…I would so like to do this without having to remove the skin from any other chicken that I would normally eat skin on. I could see this becoming an addiction easily.

  14. Tori,

    I recently discovered your blog and love it. I checked out some of the recipes and am anxious to try them. If there are any recipes you need, let me know since I do have a pretty good collection.

  15. Up until I reached my teens I enjoyed grebenes both as a snack and mashed into my mashed potatoes and chopped liver, Then some spoilsport said to me schmaltz and grebenes have killed more Jews than Hilter. I have just turned 77 and as I write this my saved chicken fat and skin are being made. Why not?

    1. Marty-

      I’m two years late to the party but I was 80 on May 2 (2013) and gribenes are my pork rinds. Schmaltz keeps me beautiful and strong. Cholesterol is a goyish plot.

    2. I agree with you and Malka. I just started a low carb, high fat diet to combat diabetes, and fat is saving my life. I need all the schmaltz and gribenes I can make. Hope to make it to 77 and 80 and beyond.

  16. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Tori…I am loving this site & blog…My dad’s mother from Lithuania always made gribenes after the schmaltz process…we would eat it on bread shmeared with the schmaltz…it’s a wonder I’m still alive…she was a sweet woman (grandmother) but spoke not one word of English…still, she would “schtupp” me with yummy goodness every time I saw her…to this day, nobody’s food tastes like hers…I guess it’s hard to reproduce “granma’s food”, no matter how hard you try or how kosher the ingredients…I remember her picking out live fish from a barrel at her fishmonger in Philly, then clubbing them with a stick and bringing them home to make her own gefilte fish…OMG, so good! She also used to make some sort of baked fish, that was a little sweet and may have had some cinnamon and other spices…I sure would like to know what that was and try to duplicate…it was awesome…too bad there’s no one left in my family to ask, so I’ll throw it out here on the blog and see if anybody knows!!! Everytime I think of her (she passed in the early 70’s), all I can hear is “Jakeleh…esse gezundteheidt”…damn I miss her!!!

    1. Wow, Jack, what a great post! I’m so happy the blog is bringing back some happy family food memories for you. It’s as if your grandma is in the room, the way you describe her… I can just imagine her with the fishmonger. Talk about fresh gefilte fish! I don’t know the particular cinnamon fish dish you’re talking about, but I do have some Jewish friends with a Lithuanian background that I can ask about it. If I find out the recipe I will definitely let you know! (Alas, I can’t promise it will ever taste as good as when grandma made it…) 😉

  17. Do you pronounce this gry-“beans”, or more like the Italian ending gry-“benais” (as in bene! bene! [good, good])?

    heh, heh, heh.

    Really, shouldn’t there be at least a double ‘s’ on it? When I was a kid growing up, we pronounced all the ‘e’s as ‘i’s. Well, that’s just an accident of a difference in accent. But the double ‘s’ really does need to be there for folks who didn’t grow up eating this kind of stuff, don’cha think? For easy pronunciation’s sake?

    I’m making a pile of gribiness for a whole bunch of Caribbean folks tomorrow out of the chicken skin they ordinarily throw away (!) when making jerk. They also throw away the lungs (I think they’re lungs, at least) of the chicken we used to call “a gutte zoch” (a good thing)! They’re still my favourite part of the chicken. Meanwhile, my band mates’ve tried to shock me with things like chicken feet soup, and can’t believe I grew up on the stuff! My sister used to chase me around the kitchen while working the tendon to make the feet claw in and out. Turns out that same thing was going on in kitchens with kids all over the Caribbean (now I think about it, probably all over the world). They can’t believe anyone would eat what I explained to them was gribiness and useful schmaltz; but many of them can’t wait to try it at our steel band party in Oakville Ontario tomorrow.

    Thanks for your recipe. I’m using it. Now…where are those scissors…

  18. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I came across your recipe. I have wanted to find some way to use the chicken fat and skin from the whole chickens I buy (it’s just less expensive to cut it yourself). I just finished this and am excited to use the fat in cooking, maybe in beans or potatoes, or maybe I can find some fun recipes on your site. The gribenes, I just tried, and they were great. Also my toddler loved trying them too. Maybe I can throw them on a green salad like bacon bits? Thanks for the ideas and I enjoyed the comments too.

  19. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Just made the gribenes and it turned out great, I think so anyway. I have a friend at a local high grade butcher shop and he saved me the skin and fat. I took longer than the 15-20 mins to brown them after I drained the schmaltz, about 30 mins total, just saying, don’t be discouraged if they’re not brown after the 15-20, just stick with em and they’ll get there, remember, anyone can tell you that the timer is beeping, but only experience and dedication will tell you when its done right. Thanks for this recipe, the chopped chicken livers recipe is next, obvi. Betayavon.

  20. Nothing better that potatoes fried in schmaltz. I am not Jewish and could not figure out why the home fries at this one restaurant was so good.. I had to ask and they said “schmaltz” I said what is that.. and they told me. I now save it off the stock that i make. So good! And a little will not hurt you.. Moderation!

  21. I’m 65 and have been eating this since my eyes open.One can’t make good chopped liver without schmaltz and the grib(v)eners chopped fine and added and that blessed onion.Also on a slice of Jewish rye bread from the homeland, Brooklyn,NY–toasted with schmaltz-ahhhhhhhh

  22. To the Shiksa-Put me on your mailing list! Yesterday! My dad brought my little farm Kansas girl mom to NYC where they lived in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. When I was born, we were still there; now I live in SLC and can’t buy Jewish rye bread, challah, or schmaltz. Any ideas??

    1. Sorry this reply is a little late, but Harmons grocery sells fresh baked challah bread. I think they make it on Fridays. I would call your closest store to double check.

    2. Candy, I`m a little late with my suggestion but in case the Shiksa hasn`t already helped you I`ll add my two cents. I didn`t taste store bought challah for all the years Grandma Shandel lived and spoiled us with her Iron Chef talent. No I can`t give you her recipe since she couldn`t write. My mom asked for her to tell her the recipe. hearing mom tell a friend one day she wrote Grams recipe down I asked her to find it and give it to me. Every one was pretty much the same. an example…..Take some flour and add a bissel… She never used a recipe since after 60 years and perhaps thousands of challahs it was automatic up until the last year of her life. She never made rye bread or bagels but considered challah easy to make. My first stop would be The Shiksa site and, or, google, asking perhaps for prize winning challah recipes. As a last resort drive to a synagogue and ask the Rabbi or better yet his wife for suggestions. marty

    3. My post is even older than Elizabeth & Marty’s, but I just found this site. Candy, if you haven’t yet found this restaurant, it Feldman’s Deli at 2005 East 2700 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84109 (801) 906-0369. He and his family came to Utah for the 2002 Winter Olympics and stayed and then opened the restaurant. Flies in the meats from NY, but get the breads from local bakeries. Hope you enjoy.

  23. Candy:
    After some research I found a Deli in SLC that may accommodate you…check out…it’s not a Kosher Deli, but it is a Jewish deli…corned beef and pastrami, rye bread, and there is mention of schmaltz in their Matzoh Ball soup on the menu…you may be able to sweet talk the “moishe” behind the counter into selling you some schmaltz…of course, you could make your own also, just a little bit of work…but they do not have any smkoed fish (lox, nova, sable, chubs, etc) or bagels…I’m from the Philly/South Jersey area, and a deli is not a deli without those things, but after all, you are in SLC…if you must have KOSHER, it appears there is a Chabad related deli called “Kosher on the Go” @ 1575 South 1100 East in SLC…no rye bread, but Challah…they may be able to advise you where to go for some good deli as well…they do have lox and bagels. Happy hunting!

  24. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Thank you so so much for a great technique! I had only vaguely remembered hearing about schmaltz (not being of Jewish decent) but as my husband and I have a small farm and raise our own chickens I just couldn’t stand the thought of throwing out all of the trimmings from the processing and wasteing any part of our animals after we’re worked so hard to raise them so I went in search of a recipe for schmaltz and your lovely site came up. I’ll definitely be having a dedicated fat bowl come next springs processing and look forward to trying some of the recipes mentioned. In the meantime I’ve the salvaged skin from tonight’s poached chicken bubbling away on the stove and it smells wonderful.

  25. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and ideas! And to all of the people who left comments, thanks to you as well. I learned much today, and look forward to trying my first taste of schmaltz and gribenes. I confess to being a Gentile, but hope I will be forgiven once I embrace additional traditions from my Jewish friends. Your traditions and celebrations are inspiring, and I have incorporated several into my own. Mazel tov!

  26. My background Eastern European and my babushka always used schmaltz in her chicken hazel (staff chicken skin,here you call it kishka,she staff it with matzo meal and schmaltz .Even mash potato and shmaltz
    I remember black bread with shmaltss and bit of salt .Incredible taste

  27. I often think of how I ended up in the U.S. and the hardships endured by the ones who struggled to get us here. My mom would often reminice about the old country. Her pet chicken having to be eaten when food became scarce, starting to smoke cornsilk rolled by her brothers when she was 5 and hungry.Being sent to the SawMill when there were a few potatoes to feed her and her brothers. The mill operator was fond of this little girl and gave her as much of the fine sawdust she could carry home to be used as flour for verenikas. Times are hard for many these days and there is a lot of uncertainty and it`s easy to forget how lucky we are to have gotton here.Marty

  28. I am not a member of the tribe nor, as an aging agnostic, am I ever likely to be. Schmaltz, however, has been on my round toit list for quite some time since it is on the paleo list of good fats. Your blog finally inspired me to break out all of the fat left over from making cat food and make some schmaltz. I’m glad to have it in the pantry but I suspect that it will never supplant bacon fat on my go to list.
    Gribenes on the other hand!! There must be a law about anything that good.

  29. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I remember eating gribenes at my great-grandmother’s house, it seems there were always some on Sabbath. I make them on very rare occasions due to having to keep my cholesterol down. Although I do keep schmaltz from my home made chicken soup. As an aside I have and use her Sabbath Candle sticks which were a wedding gift in 1905. I plan on giving them to my grand daughter so she will have her great-great-great grandmother’s Sabbath Candle sticks.

  30. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Hey Tori! I am an old Danish woman who has enjoyed all the writings above. Today I watched Nigella`s foodprogram at tv and wondered what is schmaltz and gribiness? Now I know and I can tell You, we do nearly the same in Denmark but use fat and skin from a pig. In Winter we eat roast pork where the skin is cut in ribs and everybody fight to get the crispy skin called flæskesvære. We melt fat with chopped onions, Thyme and minced skin and sometimes with an apple. The fat taste the best if we put fat from a duck in it. This must be our schmaltz. the minced skin is crispy and we use it on leverpaste, potato on open sandwiches. Its called fedtegrever.This must be gribiness. We do not eat these colesterol bombs daily even if it taste delicious. Funny that we do the same. I know I will like your food and understand that you cannot eat Pork. When I make chickensoup I later use the fat to make chinese dishes. Hope you understand my 50 years old school English. Love Lene

    1. I understand perfectly Lene, thank you for sharing! I love hearing how different cultures approach the same basic cooking techniques. Duck schmaltz is super tasty!

  31. Thank you for your reply! Yes,it is funny how we use the same basic cooking techniques all over the world. In Denmark we love (some off us) duck Smaltz, but it is too fluid to spread at the open sandwiches so we have to mix it with fat from the pig and this is done every chrismas by old housewifes.

  32. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Oy! How I love schmaltz and gribenes. I make it a lot. I make it from chicken, goose and duck. All have a different flavor. Sometimes, I will saute the above with onion, carrots, celery and garlic. I will also occasionally add a touch of olive oil to the saute. My bubbe taught me how when I was growing up. The schmaltz gives steak and burgers a wonderful flavor. Also, fry eggs in it.

    BTW, Publix markets has frozen schmaltz. If the don’t carry it, ask the Grocery Manager to bring it in. It is on their list.

    Also, put me on your e-mail list.
    L’olam lo suv

  33. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars

    I don’t know if this has been addressed in the above comments, I don’t have the opportunity right now to check it out. But my question is this:

    I was thinking about marinating the chicken skin along with the chicken for your Tequila Lime Chicken recipe, then removing the skin and making gribenes from them. Yummy…except for the resulting schmaltz. Would it also be flavored? And if so….for the good? I don’t imagine a lime infused knish dough would be too appetizing…although definitely different! Perhaps for a citrus dessert kind of knish? Hmmm…my imagination is beginning to wake up.

    Thanks for all of your good works, and your source for your gorgeous plates as well! My husband STILL has Corelle-ware, the butterfly gold kind, and there just isn’t enough words synonymous with ugly here! Operation KillCorelle has commenced! I figure one plate per payday and it should be done by Chanukkah…

  34. I am the local procurer of raw chicken skin and fat, not Kosher. I volunteer at a local Loaves & Fishes. We cut up chicken legs from thighs and roast this for dinner. I process 280 pounds of chicken every two months. I get to save the fat from the back of the thighs. It’s a large fat pad and I end up with 6-9 pounds of skin and fat. I freeze it in 2.5 pound pouches and give it away. Two packs make 2-3 pints of schmaltz and a pint of grebinez. I fry the fat and skin to brown, then remove that and fry a huge amount of onions and when they are golden I remove them and use them for chopped liver and for knish filling seasoning. The schmaltz goes into the knish filling and the chopped liver and into matza balls. Maybe some get spread onto bread with garlic salt and then toasted, just maybe. I freeze the schmaltz. Some people just want the rendered schmaltz, others want the raw skin and fat and do it themselves. It’s a lost art.

  35. Hello! I am not Jewish, but I and some members have been using chicken fat for years. My grandmother used to cook for a wealthy Jewish family and learned about the skin and onion combination from them as well. She also told me about their lavish kitchen that was essentially two kitchens as the meat had to be prepared separately. I’m not clear on why that is done though! I enjoyed reading your blog! Thanks!

  36. I had some chopped liver from a restaurant and suspected that it was made with beef liver as the texture and taste was different from what I expected. That led me to how to ‘fix’ it. Looked up smaltz and found your website. I have enjoyed the last 2 hours reading comments about smaltz. Time flies when you are having fun. Now going in search of chicken fat and skin in the stores so I can try my hand at making smaltz!!! Looking forward to the weekly newsletter and comments via e-mail. Thanks for the memories. My dad always rendered the goose fat from our New Years day dinner of roasted goose.

  37. This brought back memories & understanding for me as a child. My Mom used to save all the fat rendered from cooking various meats & store it for future use. She very rarely bought cooking oil. My Mom did a lot of what I thought as “odd” stuff in the kitchen to save money, but now I realize that during the war, they had to be creative & she just continued to do it. I have found a very old old cookbook that she had in England and I am going to try them, just for ole-time sake. Thank you for the memory.

  38. Ever since mom passed away, I’ve tried to keep up the schmaltz tradition. When I make it, it turns out fine, but the gribenes are not crunchy, though quite brown. I add the onions after most of the fat is rendered, but not after the skin has fully browned. Is there a better technique for assuring crispy skin without burning?

    1. I always end up with crispy gribenes. My technique is as follows. First I wash with cold water the collected fat and skin. I freeze the 2-3 pounds of raw chicken fat globules, which I save from the back end of the chicken at the back end of the thigh. There is usually one large flat mass of yellow fat there, about 2 inches by 2 inches by 1/4 inch. I wash these and lay them flat in large gallon plastic bags about 2-3 to a layer. I freeze these and then remove them and with a very big sharp knife I cut these into long strips about 1 inch wide. I then cut the strips into 1 inch squares. These I put into a very deep stock pot and place it over medium high heat. This comes to a boil and I boil and stir until all the fatty tissue and skin has rendered out its fat. The gribenes are allowed to continue browning until they are a pretty deep brown. I then use a Chinese skimmer, a spider, to scoop out the solid grebinez while they are frying. I place them into a strainer over the boiling fat and allow them to drain. If you scoop them out from very hot frying fat they will be crispy when they cool, but, you have to let them render ALL their fat. Do not have the fat become so hot that it burns the grebinez. It is then that I add my huge amount of chopped onions and fry them for about 45 minutes at which time they then are browned, not burned, and I remove them with more of the fat along with them and save this portion as a seasoning item…fried onion and fat. I then bottle the liquid fat and freeze it for future use. I end up with three products; one is the grebinez which I never know what to do with, two is the fried onions with lots of schmaltz along with it which I grind into chopped liver or place into mashed potatoes for knish filling seasoning. Three is the plane schmaltz which is used to pan fry a smashed potato or to season matza balls, knish filling and chopped liver. Four just spread on bread and sprinkle with garlic salt. I also paint it onto the outside dough of the knishs with a pastry brush before baking the knishes.

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