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Skimming is also known as degreasing.
Few foods are more satisfying and nutritious than a steaming bowl of chili on a cold day. Chili is packed with protein and fiber, but can also be loaded with artery-clogging fat. Skimming the fat off your chili is the solution. Skimming is the act of lifting off the layer of fat that rises to the surface of foods, such as chili, soups, sauces and stews. By removing the excess fat, your chili not only tastes less greasy, but also is more heart healthy.
Turn the stove-top burner off and grasp the handle on the chili pot, using a hot pad.
Tip the pot of chili at a slight angle to allow the floating fat to accumulate on one side. Keep the pot tilted throughout the process.
Skim a large spoon across the surface of the chili gently lifting off the fat. Repeat the process until you've removed most the surface fat. Soak up the small amount of grease remaining on the surface using a paper towel or wrap two ice cubes in a small piece of muslin and skim the cloth across the top of the chili to pick up excess fat. Discard the fat by setting it aside in a container to throw out later. Do not pour the fat down the sink.
Turn off the stove-top burner under the pot of chili. Set the pot aside and let it cool for several minutes.
Place the partially cooled pot of chili in the refrigerator. Let it thoroughly cool, allowing the fat to solidify on the surface of the chili. This may take several hours.
Remove the pot of chili from the refrigerator. Using a large spoon, skim the hardened fat off the top of the chili. Discard the fat.
Items you will need
Hot pad or oven mitt
For less greasy chili, trim all visible fat from your meat, use less fatty cuts and include no additional fat, such as bacon. After browning the meat in a minimum amount of oil, such as canola, drain the excess fat from the meat before adding the remaining chili ingredients.
Avoid stirring your chili too often. This keeps the fat from floating to the surface. As you near the end of the cooking process, reduce the heat to low and let the chili sit for about 20 minutes to allow the grease to rise to the top before skimming.