How to Render Tallow: Easy Crockpot Method

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It’s easy to render grass fed tallow using the crock pot method! 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

Knowing how to render tallow is an essential skill for homesteading and nutrient dense cooking.

Let’s get started! 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.

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.

The rendering process

Next, toss all of the fat into a crock pot and set the crock

pot 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.

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.

Rendered grass fed beef tallow

Rendering Grass Fed Tallow Video

Watch me go through the rendering process, step by step:

Tips to make the rendering process go faster and easier

  • 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.

Things you can do with tallow

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! Use it to make soap, shampoo bars, balm, salves, and ointments. Fry potatoes in it, or 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

How long does tallow keep?

Properly rendered tallow will keep for several months at room temperature. For cooking, I like to refrigerate mine. For longer term storage, I freeze my rendered tallow.

Give it a try!

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to render grass fed tallow in a crockpot, and all the ways you can use it. Have you ever rendered any fats? What did you use it for? Let me know in the comments!

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Organic, 100% grass fed beef tallow


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20 thoughts on “How to Render Tallow: Easy Crockpot Method”

  1. 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?

  2. 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,


    • 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!

  3. 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?

    • 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 🙂

  4. 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?

    • 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!

  5. 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

    • 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.


    • 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!


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