Rendering Beef Tallow in a Crockpot

by lydia on January 30, 2013

Beef tallow is made by rendering down the fat, ‘suet’, from a cow. I simply used the big package of fat that came with my 1/4 cow this past fall. If you haven’t started cooking with animal fat other than butter, why not start now? It’s an affordable way to get in some high quality fatty acids. Saturated fat plays a key role in our health. We need fats in order to utilize our fat soluble vitamins and our minerals. All our cells are lined with fat and our brain is largely fat, for healthy hormone function we need to consume good quality fat. Saturated fat breaks down into prostaglandins which we need for our bodies to inflame to heal. Now please realize we need to inflame and anti-inflame, it’s part of the healing process. The fat from grass fed cows should also be rich in omega 3 and 6, so it’s a really balanced fat to consume.
Grass-fed Raw Beef Suet, Course ground – 5 packages – Approx. 5 lbs total

Tallow is very safe for cooking and frying. Tallow fats are 50-55% saturated, 40% monounsaturated and only 3% or less polyunsaturated. You can purchase from US Wellness Meats already rendered in 5 gallon buckets or smaller containers.  You can also purchase beef suet through Tropical Traditions (see above photo). McDonald’s first fried their French fries in 93% beef tallow (along with 7% cottonseed oil) before changing over to vegetable oils with added chemical flavor enhancers in 1990.

Beef Suet

How To Render Tallow

Simply take your pack of fat and chop it up. I actually used my kitchen scissors to cut it into bits and placed it right in the crockpot. Fat tends to render more quickly the smaller it is cut. If you want you can briefly freeze the pieces you cut up then run them through your food processor to make them ‘ground’. I didn’t bother because I was using my crockpot overnight and didn’t want them to cook too fast when I wasn’t watching. I also like my pieces a decent size so I can enjoy the cracklings later.  I put the cut up fat in the crockpot, turned it on low and let it rip!

Rendered Tallow & Cracklin's

Fast forward 9 hours or overnight – Once fully rendered down and no fat remains you can take it off the heat and allow to cool a little. There will be rendered meat bits in the bottom of your crockpot, save those to enjoy eating, those are the cracklings. (One of the world’s tastiest treats that should most definitely be experienced at least once by every human being! See photo below) Pour into glass jars through a fine mesh strainer, you can line with cheesecloth if the holes are not very small. Voila, you have yourself some rendered tallow. (Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.)

Beef Cracklings

What To Use Tallow For

Tallow is safe for heat and has a high smoke point. I can be used for quick frying, baking, sauteeing and much more. I use it to saute with mostly and make the occasional sweet potato chips when I am out of bacon fat or lard. It would be great when making anything with game meats since they are so lean. For example, venison sausages. Add some tallow if you can’t get good pork fat. Since there are many people who do not eat pork this would be a great option. I’ve used it to make Yorkshire puddings as well – delish!

It’s also great for the skin. Use it in your homemade skin care products or by itself on dry skin or eczema. I think it would go a long way to add some nice smelling essential oils. The fat should keep well if sealed properly for long term storage. You can just pour it in a jar when still hot and close the jar immediately. It should keep well for at least a year at room temperature. If you have a cold cellar you can roll a block of tallow in parchment paper and keep it for up to 6 months. If you are unsure about it not spoiling, store in the freezer. Adding a little pinch of good quality salt can help it from spoiling if there is any moisture in the jar. Since it’s a saturated fat it should remain stable without rancidifying. The only issue I can think of is if it isn’t sealed tightly or if something got into the fat other than the fat itself. So make sure your jars are clean and nothing else gets in when you bottle it up. I never make enough to store much at a time. I end up using up my rendered fat pretty quickly.

Do you render your own beef tallow at home? What do you use it for?

 

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LydiaLydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone, Skype or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Contact Lydia today to get started as well as to learn more about what she has to offer you!

 

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca January 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

I rendered beef tallow for the first time a couple months ago. I have been using it to fry things in. My tallow came from a grassfed cow my siblings and I split. (the suet did), just like you used.

I am so proud of myself for learning this skill, however… the tallow STINKS UP YOUR HOUSE while you do it… so next time I am doing it outside or in my garage. :)

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lydia January 30, 2013 at 7:31 am

Yep, it stinks alright. My son came home from school at noon and said; ‘Did someone fart?’ Ha! I did it overnight the last time and the smell kinda hung around for a bit. Wasn’t too bad though.

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Kristy January 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Could I can this in mason jars for longer term storage? Thank you for the instructions!!

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lydia January 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

No, I would not can it. Best long term storage option is in the freezer.

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Robby February 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Would this work with pork tallow?

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lydia December 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Yes – you can do pork fat for lard or even lamb fat for tallow as well Robby!

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Eileen @ Phoenix Helix December 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Hi Lydia. I recently started a weekly Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable through my blog, and I would love it if you linked up this recipe. Healthy fats are so important to healing, and many people are intimidated about making their own. I love this tutorial! Here’s the link: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/12/18/paleo-aip-recipe-roundtable-7/

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Regina February 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Hi there,
I bought from a local butcher both beef suet, and beef fat. The suet came out beautiful on the stovetop. I put the beef fat (cut in small pieces) in the crock pot. I didn’t get much tallow at all from it. Should I not use beef fat?

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hari March 31, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Hi, I live in India, Iam glad to come across your site where you are advocating tallow. I have read Dr.Price’s theory about animal foods and am a little confused. The whole world advocates low fat(saturated fat is linked to alzhemiers, dementia etc— u name it ) , I love my fat on my beef and eat up all the fat on the rib eye, i do exercise and am lean. At this point i read websites who are against saturated fat and sites such as yours who are for saturated fat. At this point am 42 yrs and confused whether for the future i go on a low fat with fish and ban beef ,red meat from my diet , or at the moment i eat about a pound of fatty beef every week with some fish thrown in. Can i continue the way i eat now ? I wold be very obliged to receive an answer.

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Rachel - Modern Life Survivalist May 2, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Hi Hari,

My husband and I are on a high saturated fat diet, eating grass fed meat and butter, and grass fed full fat raw milk (just like you would in India). We are lean and feeling healthy! We adopted this diet after getting sick with allergies with our standard American diet.

If you have Netflix, you can watch documentaries such as “The Perfect Human Diet” or “Fat Head.” Both are just introductory and quick background on that is called the Paleo diet (high sat fat, low carb).

Hope this helps!
Rachel

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hari May 4, 2014 at 9:03 am

Thanks for your kind response

Reply

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