What is tallow? Well, it is the product of what happens when you render beef fat.
To render tallow means that you have melted it down, and “extracted” the fat. It removes any leftover stuff in the fat, and makes it smooth, creamy, and easy to use. You are basically changing the composition. Rendering it is easy to do, and only takes a few hours to have enough for the entire year.
First, you will need to obtain some beef fat.
Our local butcher sells it as “suet”, and it generally runs for $.25/lb. You can also have them save it for you when you order a part of a cow. You will want to place this in a large crockpot. If it doesn’t fit in all the way, you will want to cut it to fit.
Turn the crock pot on low, and let it go for several hours.
After a while, it gets melty and oily, with the fat separating. After it has “cooked” for about 24 hours on low, you will want to get a jar or two ready. Make sure they are clean and DRY. Trust me on this. Hot oil+any bit of water= nasty, ouchy mess!
I set a canning funnel on top of a wide mouthed quart jar, and topped with a double layer of cheesecloth.
Filter your hot tallow through the cheesecloth, being very careful not to burn yourself!! You will now have very hot oil! Set it aside, out of the way for several hours. When it’s completely cool, it will be a milky white and harden on it’s own. Yummy!!! And perfect for frying potatoes, adding to biscuits or using for homemade soaps! Happy rendering!
What would you use beef tallow for?
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.