Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rendering suet into tallow...

 We ordered a quarter beef from our local butcher recently, and I asked them to save some of the suet to render into lovely tallow that will be used for frying everything from doughnuts to chicken.   Here's how I did it.  First you start out with the beef fat frozen from the box.  I refrigerated a big hunk of it overnight and in the morning, I chopped up the suet into small pieces and placed it in my crock pot.  I set the crock pot on high for about an hour to heat it up and then turned it down to low for the rest of the rendering.  The process took about 3-4 hours before I was ready to strain off the cracklin's from the melted tallow.  Just so you know, my Hubby thinks the rendering smell is strong, and it is, but I rather like the smell of it. I did make a point to open the windows today.

Tallow is an excellent source of niacin, vitamins B6, B12, K2, selenium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and riboflavin. Grassfed beef tallow contains high ratio of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is a cancer-resistant agent. Contrary to the popular conception, tallow is good for health as tallow fat is similar to the fat/muscles in the heart. Recent studies have shown that human beings need at least 50% of saturated fats like tallow and lard to keep the heart pumping hard and healthy. Tallow from pasture-raised cows also contains a small amount of Vitamin D, similar to lard.
Source: Beeftallow.com
- See more at: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/02/how-to-render-beef-tallow.html#sthash.umNFJ3rO.dpuf
I used a metal strainer lined with paper towel to strain off the bits of crispy fat from the melted fat.  After the majority of oil was strained, I pressed down on the cracklins to release more oil.  I came up with three pints of rendered fat.  When it is in liquid form, it has a yellow tint to it, but when it's cooled and hard, it turns white.  I put my tallow in wide-mouth pint jars so when it comes time to use it, I won't be fishing it out of a narrow-mouth quart jar.  Tallow is a very hard fat, harder than lard, and scooping it out can be a difficult chore.

I'll store two of these in the freezer and one in the fridge to use right away.  As I remember, my mother-in-love always had a pail of store-bought lard that she kept at room temperature in her baking cupboard.  She never refrigerated it, but simply dipped out of it as she needed it.  Since this fat does not have any preservatives, I think I'll keep it refrigerated like I do with my bacon fat.  I like to save bacon fat for frying too.  It gives everything such a punch of flavor.  Who doesn't like bacon fat?

 You may ask why I would want to render beef suet into tallow.  Well, there are many good reasons.  One reason is because tallow is good for you and has many health benefits.  From BeefTallow.com:

Tallow is an excellent source of niacin, vitamins B6, B12, K2, selenium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and riboflavin. Grassfed beef tallow contains high ratio of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is a cancer-resistant agent. Contrary to the popular conception, tallow is good for health as tallow fat is similar to the fat/muscles in the heart. Recent studies have shown that human beings need at least 50% of saturated fats like tallow and lard to keep the heart pumping hard and healthy. Tallow from pasture-raised cows also contains a small amount of Vitamin D, similar to lard.
Source: Beeftallow.com
- See more at: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/02/how-to-render-beef-tallow.html#sthash.umNFJ3rO.dpuf

It is also an excellent fat for deep frying at high temperatures -- much better than vegetable oils.  Did you know that McDonald's used to use tallow to fry their famous French Fries?  And our foremothers used to render beef and pork fat for their cooking and baking purposes as well as for soap making and candles.  Nothing went to waste, not even the fat of a butchered animal.

Here is the finished product, all creamy white and ready for cooking.  I'll use a little of it for frying in my cashew chicken recipe tonight (using walnuts instead).  The weather is supposed to turn really cold here in the next few days.  An Alberta Clipper is moving down from the north and will bring cold temps with highs only in the 20s, maybe some snow too.  Brrrr.  I'm thinking about making one of our traditional, cold-weather Doughnut Suppers this week.

Other how-to links on rendering beef and pork fat:
Cheeseslave
Prairie Homesteader

13 comments:

  1. A friend gave me a bowl of tallow which is in my freezer right now. I was going to try something with soap making with it. I've been wondering other uses too. Thanks for this post!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this.....

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  3. I just saw a jar of tallow on pinterest and was disappointed that the link didn't say how to make it. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I will be trying this sooner or later.

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    1. There are several ways of rendering suet. I have done it on the stove before, but the fat gets pretty hot. The crock pot is my favorite method because you can melt it at such a low heat. You throw the fat in and forget it for a few hours. Works great.

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  4. You are like Ma Ingals. I would not know where to begin. I'm glad you share with us, so we can learn about this sort of thing.

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  5. Wow -- I thought this was going to be a post about making candles LOL. I didn't realize you could use tallow for cooking. Heck, I didn't realize you could even render it yourself. You're an AMAZING fount of information Jody!

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  6. Cashew/or walnut chicken sound delicious ! You sure are good at home making.

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  7. You're a blessed woman, having so much tallow. It's going to make some mighty fine eating...mighty fine.
    I wonder if I'll be seeing that Clipper towards the weekend? sure hope not.

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  8. I'm glad people are finally starting to understand that we need some saturated fat in our diets. I'm not sure I'll end up making tallow myself, but it's neat to know it can be done!

    xofrances

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  9. I have never done this but great idea for deep frying. Next time I order beef, I will have to get some suet!!! Clarice

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  10. Well, look at that! And in the crock pot. Pretty clever, Jody!

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  11. Glad to see you doing this, Jody! Good fat shouldn't be wasted. I rendered down my sheep's fat and made the nicest, whitest soap out of it. I don't think my family would appreciate the taste, though. I sure could go for some good lard! Happy Autumn!

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