How to Render Tallow

Sharing is caring!

 It’s easy to render grass fed tallow! There are a few tips to know that make sure the process is easy and the tallow turns out well.

How to Render Tallow Bumblebee Apothecary

How to render tallow

Knowing how to render tallow is an essential skill for homesteading and nutrient dense cooking. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to render grass fed tallow in a crockpot, and all the ways you can use it. 

With the popularity growing in recent years in healthier cooking oil options, this is the perfect option for your family. Even better? Rendering your own tallow is so easy and just makes food taste better. Oh yeah, it is packed full of some amazing nutrients. 

I love rendering my own tallow and I am convinced that you will as well. Keep reading to learn how to render tallow in your crock pot…

Pin it for later

How to render tallow in a crockpot #diy #crockpot #tallow #wapf

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Get my full disclosure here.

Tips for rendering tallow

Rendering tallow is a super simple process that I love to share with people. I have been doing it now for a few years, here are some tips that I have picked up along the way.

  • Ask the butcher to grind the fat for you. Then all you have to do is dump it into the crock pot!
  • If you do have to cut or grind the fat, do it when the fat is nice and cold. This makes the cutting much easier and grinding works better.
  • Keep an eye on the tallow as it renders. Turn off the heat as soon as it stops crackling.
  • Strain the tallow while it is still warm enough to flow easily, but not so hot that it might crack a glass jar.

Rendering tallow is a super simple process! Ready to make your own? Keep scrolling for a detailed look on how to render tallow in a crockpot…

What you need to render tallow

  • 100% grass fed raw beef fat
  • Crockpot (see notes on how to use the stovetop or oven below)
  • Cheesecloth or cotton muslin
  • Metal strainer
  • Ladel
  • Jars to store the finished tallow

The rendering process

Let’s get started!

Source beef fat

To begin, source some high quality beef fat. 100% grass fed is the most ideal, because the nutrient content is the highest. A local Weston A. Price chapter is a great resource in locating farms that raise grass fed beef.

Prepare the fat

Once you have some fat, you’ll grind or cut it up to make the rendering process easy and fast. If the butcher can grind the fat for you, that’s the easiest. If the fat comes to you in chunks, you’ll have to either cut it up as small as you can, or grind it in a food processor.

Begin rendering

Next, toss all of the fat into a crock pot and set the crockpot to low.  Just leave it for a few hours, and check on it every now and then.

As the fat begins to render, it will pop and crackle. Once the noise dies down, and all you see in the crockpot is lots of liquid tallow and some crispy bits, the tallow is done. If you still hear a bit of noise, keep it rendering. You do want to stop the rendering process as soon as the noise stops, though. If you keep the heat on too long, the tallow can start to burn, and we don’t want that.

How to store tallow

Once the tallow is finished and the crock pot is turned off, let it sit for an hour or so to cool. You want the tallow to still be warm enough to stay liquid, but not so hot that it will crack a glass mason jar.

Once the tallow has cooled a bit, strain it through a mesh strainer and some cotton muslin or cheesecloth. I like to store my tallow in glass mason jars. I prefer glass over plastic so that I don’t have to worry about chemicals from plastic leaching into the tallow.

Still have some questions on the rendering tallow process? Keep reading to learn all about tallow and how beneficial it is for so many things…

Rendered grass fed beef tallow

 

What is tallow?

Tallow is rendered beef fat. Rendering just means to heat it so that it melts down. It can be used in so many different items in your home. It is one of the many parts of the cow that can be used that has been forgotten throughout time, which is a shame. 

If you ask me, every kitchen needs a jar full of tallow – including yours. I am obsessed with tallow and I am convinced that you will be too once you try it!

What is tallow good for?

Grass fed beef tallow is amazing stuff… It’s one of my favorite things ever, because it is so versatile and so full of vital nutrients.

It’s a homesteading essential!

I use tallow to make our skincare products.

Don’t forget about everything that you can use tallow for in the kitchen! For cooking, you can:

  • Fry potatoes in it
  • Create the best homemade French fries ever
  • Use it anywhere you’d use a fat in cooking, to sauté or brown
  • Make the most gorgeous pie crusts ever, using a combo of tallow and butter
  • Melt it and use it in baking

Any way you use it, you can’t beat the high smoke point and amazing array of nutrients in grass fed tallow.

handmade grass fed tallow soap

Where to get beef fat for rendering into tallow

When making your own tallow, I recommend finding a local source to purchase grass fed beef fat. A local Weston A. Price chapter is a great resource in locating farms that raise grass fed beef. 

You can also visit your local farmers market or butcher and ask them. Since most farmers know each other, chances are good that someone will be able to point you into the right direction!

How to render tallow on the stove

If you don’t have a crockpot, you can do the same method described above for rendering tallow but in a stock pot on the stove. Simply cook with very low heat and keep an eye on it as the tallow melts. Then, strain and store as described here.

How to render tallow in the oven

To render tallow in the oven, place the raw fat in a metal pan and set the oven to 190ºF (88ºC). Check on it now and then. When it is finished rendering, strain and store. 

You can also put the raw fat inside a metal strainer in the oven, and put the metal strainer inside the pan. This way, you can periodically pour off the tallow as it melts into the pan below. This avoids letting the tallow sit in the heat the entire time, which can make it darker in color. 

Dry rendering versus we rendering

There are two schools of thought for rendering tallow and those are either dry rendering or wet rendering. Both work well and will get you that nutritious tallow that you can use for cooking and creating.

Dry rendering

Dry rendering is the method used to render tallow with no water added, the same method I’ve described here. It is simply just the fat being melted.

I like this method for cooking, because the tallow retains lots of flavor that really adds to foods cooked in it. This is also the fastest and easiest method!

Wet rendering

For the tallow that I use for soap making and skincare, I prefer the wet method. This method uses water and salt to gently render the tallow, keeping the heat lower and drawing impurities out of the fat.

Tallow rendered with this method is very light in color and doesn’t have that beefy smell that you’d rather not have in your jar of tallow balm. I show the entire process for how to wet render and purify tallow to make it odorless and white here

Either method works for cooking. Give them both a try and see which you like best! 

What is the ideal temperature for rendering tallow?

Whether you are rendering tallow in your crockpot or a pot on the stove or in the oven, it is important that you keep the tallow at a consistent temperature of 190°F (88°C). 

This temperature will help the tallow render gently, so that it doesn’t burn. 

How long does it take to render tallow?

To properly render tallow can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours, depending on the size of fat chunks. The smaller the fat pieces the quicker it will render, which is why I recommend using ground fat. 

Generally I have found that my 6 quart crock pot takes around 10 hours to fully render the tallow. 

How long does tallow keep?

Properly rendered tallow will keep for several months at room temperature or longer. For cooking, I like to refrigerate mine. For longer term storage, I freeze my rendered tallow. Tallow will last for many months in the refrigerator and years in the freezer. 

Benefits of beef tallow

It is no secret how much I love beef tallow! There are so many great things about it and so many uses for it.

Some of the benefits that tallow has are: 

    1. Rich is nutrients
    2. Reduces inflammation
    3. Nourishes the skin
    4. Rich in antioxidants
    5. Contains stearic acid, which helps repair damaged cells
    6. Promotes stable blood sugar

More tallow recipes

How to render and purify tallow so that it is odorless and white

Tallow soap

Pure tallow soap

Shampoo bars with tallow

Tallow balm

Salve with tallow

Lotion with tallow

DIY heat protectant for hair

Have you ever rendered any animal fats?

What did you use them for? Let me know in the comments!

Join our traditional health community, and grab a free DIY skincare recipe ebook when you subscribe!

Organic Skincare Recipes Ebook

Shop this post

Crockpot

Mesh strainer

Organic cotton muslin

Organic, 100% grass fed beef tallow

Want to shop for organic handmade skincare products?

Check out the Bumblebee Apothecary Shop here.

Follow along with Bumblebee Apothecary

YouTube 

Instagram

Pinterest

Facebook

Thanks for stopping by! Be well! 🐝

If you make this recipe and love it, please give it 5 stars! Also, tag me on Instagram @bumblebeeapothecary

21 thoughts on “How to Render Tallow”

  1. Hi Marisa!
    I’m researching different slowcookers/crockpots to start rendering tallow – thanks for the step-by-step guide. I saw most crockpots have a pan with ceramic coating. Is this harmful? I’m looking for one with a stainless steel pan, but so far all are with a ceramic coating.

    If I should avoid this, do you have advice on which crockpot is safe to use?

    Many thanks! Rosanne

    Reply
  2. Hello,

    I have a bunch of tallow in the fridge waiting to cook before I render it a second or third time to remove the impurities to make the face cream. My skin is very sensitive. I’m prone to cystic pimples and boils. I believe that tallow will be good for my skin but am nervous to add something else but know I will have to so it’s easier to use. Both olive oil and coconut oil are in theory comedogenic and clog pores but then other oils are pufas. Do you know anything else you’d recommend?

    Reply
  3. Hello,

    I am in the process of making my first batch of rendered tallow.

    However, I am not using a crockpot (aka slow cooker in Australian lingo) but using a pot on gas stovetop.

    How long do I leave it on in this instance? And how will I know it is not done but not left on long enough to burn it?

    Any tips would be much appreciated!

    Kind regards,

    Jo

    Reply
    • I’m happy to help! The key is to keep the heat as low as possible, which is harder to do on a stovetop. The amount of time is the same, as is when to know it’s done: It’s not bubbling anymore and all the raw fat has turned to liquid, with some crispy bits floating. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  4. Marisa,
    Thank you for your tutorials on rendering and purifying beef tallow.
    Has been an experience .
    My question is. How am I to be sure that all the water is gone off of my loaves of tallow?
    I have patted them dry with a paper towel and am letting them sit on the counter with a light dish towel over them so the air can get to them before I cut them up and put them in containers for storage.

    Also. I know that you use the mason jars for storage. I was wondering if you ever stored in like 3 or 5# blocks for use in soap?

    Reply
    • I dry them and let them sit in open air just like you did, and then when I go to store them I make sure they still have airflow. For example, I like to put big tallow chunks in an open plastic bag and leave it completely open. If I freeze or refrigerate the tallow, I’ll seal the bag or container, but for storing it at room temp, I make sure there’s always airflow. Yes, weighing out the right amount for soap making is a great idea! I have done that, and it definitely works well 🙂

      Reply
  5. Hey there! I tried rendering some beef fat I got from some local farmers but it turned out kind of gritty and won’t harden up unless it’s in the fridge. Did I do something wrong?

    Reply
    • No, you didn’t do anything wrong, it just sounds like you have very soft trim fat. You can still use it for cooking, soap making, etc. Leaf fat (from around the internal organs) will be harder. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  6. So Informative. A question though, when rendering the fat by the wet method, the first time do you put the lid on the crock pot? Thanks
    Pat

    Reply
    • I’m so glad, thank you! Yes, I do put the lid on. It helps keep the water from evaporating too fast. I should probably add that to my post!

      Reply
  7. Hello Marisa 🙂
    I recently stumbled upon your fantastic website and am amazed by the usage of tallow… It’s something I’ve never heard of until now!
    I was wondering, instead of using beef fat, could deer fat be used to make tallow? My husband hunts wild deer for our meat and I will soon start making broth from their bones and wondered if their fat could also be utilised?
    Many thanks, Hayley.

    Reply
  8. Actually I meant that comment for the purified tallow post so please respond to me there because I copied and pasted and disregard this one.

    Reply
  9. Good day,

    Wow I love your recipes and would like to know if I can use them for personal use and maybe in further selling it?

    There are a big need for ladies out there that are using products that are harmful for the skin.

    I am trying out some different recipes of my own and alter for resale – to make a perfect body butter / lotion, face cream, shampoo, body soap, lip balm ect. There are so many thins once can do with tallow it is unbelievable. I would relay like your advice and suggestions in this. As I am staying in South Africa and my end goal is to start my own company that my children can take over.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my mail.

    Have a great and blessed day.

    Regards
    Lezelle

    Reply
    • What a great plan! I don’t mind at all if you use my recipes. Thanks for asking! I’m sure that as you go along, you’ll want to tweak them for your preferences anyway 🙂 I wish you the best with your business!

      Reply

Leave a Comment