How to Render Tallow (Beef Fat)

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.

beef tallow post

Steps To Rendering Beef Fat

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?

tallow vertical

9 thoughts on “How to Render Tallow (Beef Fat)”

    1. I store it on the counter…and to be honest, I generally use it up within 2 weeks or so. Longer than that, put in the fridge to keep from mold forming, especially in hot weather

  1. This may be a silly question, but I’m just starting to look onto alternatives to the olive or coconut oils I usually use. Does tallow have a taste at all?

    1. no…not really.It adds some flavor when cooking, but I don’t notice a “tallowy” taste. More like subtle hint of meatiness

    1. You can in cooking and some soap applications but lard is a softer fat and it’s not suited for candles by itself or any “harder” applications; that said, in most ways it’s interchangeable.

  2. Thank you for sharing all of this! God bless you, I am trying to learn to do everything from scratch;making what we need for our family; which can save a ton of money for a family of 6.I’m a young Momma and don’t have anyone to teach me this kind of stuff ;so I am grateful that their is women like you that share these kinds of things, thanks again:)

    1. Heather Harris

      I’m so glad you stopped by! Please let me know if there is anything you’d like to see or learn about!

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