Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DIY: Make Your Own Tallow

So... how do you make your own tallow? I was a bit "freaked out" about the idea of rendering my own lard or tallow, until I tried it. And then I realized HOW EASY IT WAS. You don't need to be from Little House on the Prairie to learn these skills. You can do it in your own kitchen (although I will advise you to do it outside if at all possible because of the smell).

It is actually quite simple, and there are many ways to do it (i.e. you can use a pan on the stove on a long simmer) but I am going to walk you through how I do it with a crockpot.

There may be many ways to render lard or tallow -- to get the same result, I am going to use my way. If you have any pointers, tips, etc you are welcome to put comments in below, in fact, I welcome them as I always am looking for tips to make life easier!

Tallow -- comes from cows
Lard -- comes from pigs

1. Find a good source of "suet".
slab of bovine kidney fat
Suet is organ fat -- especially the fat around the kidney of the cow. It could also be called suet from a pig, so when you go to the butcher shop to request the suet, specify what you want.

We order a full cow from a local farm and split it with my sisters. They don't want the suet so I request that (and the bones, etc) from the butcher when I go to pick up the cow.

If you don't live in an area where it is readily available to do that, then just go to your local butcher shop (or ask around at the butcher shop in your grocery store -- you may be surprised that it is available there!)

Of course, the best would be finding a local, grassfed source. You may be able to buy it online (tallow) but it is probably pricey. The lard you find at most stores is so over processed and filled with chemicals I DO NOT recommend it.

This is the hardest part about making tallow. So once you have this done, the rest is a breeze.

I would recommend starting out with less than 5 lbs of it -- this will make enough to last a while -- you can use it to fry chicken, potatoes, etc. or make soap, or make beauty products like the best face cream ever.

2. Chop the suet into pieces around 2".

pieces of chopped suet

This doesn't have to be exact. It makes it "render" quicker and makes it easier to fit into the crock pot when they are smaller pieces/chunks.

3. Put the suet in the crock pot on LOW for about 24 hours.

image from Google
 This one also doesn't have to be exact. You will know when it is done. For a larger batch, you can go a longer period of time (depending on the size of your crockpot). For a smaller batch and smaller crockpot, it may take only 12-18 hours).

But, I HIGHLY recommend doing it outside if possible. This smell is not one that is appealing. And, if you are neurotic like me and can't stand the thought of sleeping while something in the kitchen (like the crock pot) is plugged in and cooking, for fear of fire, then outdoors will allow you to sleep better as well!

4. Scrape off the "impurities from the top.

This image is from Divine Health From the Inside Out
Once the allotted time is up, you will see the "impurities" that have risen to the top of the crockpot. This is the reason why we "render" lard or tallow -- fat has a way of holding on to and storing impurities (in our bodies, too). We want this to be as pure as possible. Throw those impurities away!

5. Pour into glass jars.

image from Google
Let the hot liquid sit for a bit. It will be a clear yellowish liquid. Then get your jars ready. I use canning jars but you can use old glass jars laying around (as long as they are clean).

You can use a funnel to pour or you can use a ladle, whatever is convenient for you. Fill the jars up and let them cool off a bit before putting them into the fridge. They will last longer when kept in the fridge.

6. YOU ARE DONE! AWESOME! Wasn't that easy?

image from
When the tallow cools off it will be a milky-white solid. You can use it to fry homemade potatoes/fries, or chicken. You can use it for beauty products, or soaps. And, knowing that it has no chemicals or additives in it, and is healthy, should make you feel proud of yourself! Great job!

About Me: Hi! I am Rebecca :) I am the owner of Purify Your Body Detox Foot Pads. I love natural health and wellness, and I love to eat real food. :) 

I love my family, and my pets. I actually love all animals -- they are much nicer than most humans! I don't watch TV and haven't watched a movie in the theater for more than 6 months. I would much rather read a book!

I love to garden and make homemade products -- body butter, toothpaste, perfume, cheese, yogurt, etc. It tastes better when it's made from scratch!