Cooking Guide

Duck Fat Vs Chicken Fat: Which Fat is Healthier for You? Find Out the Surprising Answer!

Most people who cook with oil know that olive oil is not ideal for pan-frying.

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Moreover, it will be much cheaper if you can take advantage of the residue fat from chicken or duck that you used for the main course to cook other dishes.

But which one is better, duck fat or chicken fat? Let’s figure it out now in this article.

What is duck fat?

Duck fat is a fatty substance that comes from the rendered, non-rendered, and skimmed fats found in ducks.

It is a type of animal oil that is often used in cooking.

Duck fat has a high smoke point and it can be used for frying, roasting, or baking.

This type of cooking oil has many benefits to offer, such as being rich in vitamin D and E as well as omega-3 fatty acids.

What is chicken fat?

Chicken fat is a type of animal fat that’s extracted from the skin and other tissues around the joints and internal organs of chickens.

It’s often used in cooking as a substitute for butter to add flavor, but it also can be consumed directly.

Chicken fat is rich in vitamins A, D, and E; omega-3 fatty acids; and linoleic acid.

It’s important not to confuse chicken fat with lard or bacon drippings (also fats).

While these may have some same health benefits as chicken fat, they are much higher in saturated fats than what you would find in chicken fat.

What are the differences between duck fat vs chicken fat?

Duck fat is healthier than chicken fat, so it’s more expensive than chicken fat

Duck fat is more expensive than chicken fat because it offers a healthier alternative to the traditional cooking oil.

It contains less saturated fats which can lead to heart problems and also tastes better as opposed to most other oils and animal fats, so people are willing to pay for this good quality product rather than settle for lower-quality options.

Animals bred for their meat or eggs produce different types of fatty acids than animals that are not bred for this.

For example, chickens raised by people who want chicken food products will produce fatty acids differently than those chickens raised by farmers who only want to grow plants or vegetables.

Pigs eating GMO feed will also have a different type of fat in their body.

Ducks on pasture (outside) eat bugs and worms, as well as plant fibers.

They swim around all day long outside, so their nutrients are supposed to be healthier.

Duck fat has a higher smoke point than chicken fat, which means it can be used for frying at higher temperatures without burning

Duck fat is special because it can withstand higher levels of heat, such as frying at a much hotter temperature than chicken fat.

Therefore, duck fat is more efficient for frying foods because it has a higher smoke point, which means you don’t have to worry about burning your favorite dish anymore.

Chicken fat is more common in the United States than duck fat

Despite the healthier fact, duck fat is not as popular as chicken.

The reason is people eat more chicken than duck, therefore more chicken fat is available.

Moreover, since duck fat is a little more expensive a majority of Americans who are middle-class are likely to stick with the cheaper option.

The flavor of duck fats tends to be richer and more complex than that of chicken fats

Because they contain higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-6s and monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid, duck fat seems to taste richer.

Another reason to explain this difference is that the flavor profile may also depend on what type of animal the meat comes from – ducks have a stronger, gamier taste whereas chickens tend to have a milder taste with less gamey notes.

Therefore, duck fat is usually used to make confit and pâté while chicken fats are not typically used for these purposes.

What are the similarities between duck fat vs chicken fat?

Now you know the major differences between duck fat and chicken fat, but do they share any similarities? Here are some:

They are both poultry fat

Chicken and duck are both poultry, therefore the fats from these animals are actually the same.

You can extract it from the orgasms of the duck or chicken, or under the skin.

The texture of rendered or non-rendered chicken fat and duck fat is also alike as well.

They can be used interchangeably

If you want to look for an alternative to your traditional cooking oil, then either choose duck fat or chicken fat.

They can work the same when it comes to frying other ingredients.

However, as already mentioned, chicken fat has a lower smoking temperature, so you better keep your eyes in the dish to avoid burning it.

They can last long if properly stored

Animal fat is easy to concentrate and freeze.

You can divide it into serving sizes and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

By doing this, your chicken fat and duck fat can last for months.

Which one is better?

In the end, it really comes down to personal preference to decide which fat is better.

If you have a favorite or if you want to try something new, go for that and see how it fares!

There’s no way of knowing what will happen until you do so.

You can always cook with both fats in rotation; just make sure they are stored properly and separately from each other.

We hope this article has helped answer any questions about duck fat vs chicken fat cooking oils!

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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