Tallow – DIY

WHY MAKE YOUR OWN BEEF TALLOW?

  1. It is easy.
  2. It is frugal.  Why waste a natural by-product of our barbecue, smoker, or ground meat project?  Store-bought tallow costs about 40x as much as the same quantity of gasoline.
  3. It is great for frying.  It has a smoke point of 420 degrees so you can fry food at a hotter temperature which means the food will actually absorb less of the fry oil, be crispier and healthier.
  4.   Using tallow in gravy gives it a rich mouth feel.
  5. Tallow can be used to make soaps and candles.

There are a lot of websites that say that tallow needs to come from the fluffy white fat around the kidneys of grass fed organic beef.  I guess that is ok if you have a source for that but just about any hard white fat will render into tallow.  I always trim the hard white fat from brisket before I smoke it.  When I grind brisket into hamburger, I usually remove about half of the fat.  It doesn’t have to go to waste.   I just freeze it in vacuum bags until I have enough to fill a crock pot about 2/3 full.

ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:

  • A crock pot
  • A food processor or a meat grinder
  • Hard white beef fat
  • Cheesecloth
  • Strainer screen
  • Containers to use as molds to freeze the tallow

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Trim as much red meat from the white fat as possible.
  2. Grind the fat or cut it into small chunks and use the food processor to cut it into chunks that are less than 1/2″ in any dimension.
  3. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the crock pot.
  4. Turn the crock pot on low.
  5. Add the fat.
  6. Cook for several hours on low, stirring occasionally.
  7. Cooking is complete when all the white fat has turned into a clear liquid.
  8. Turn off the crock pot and let the mixture cool enough to handle.  Warning!  Hot grease can cause severe burns so there is no need to hurry, here.
  9. Spread cheesecloth over a funnel or a wire strainer and pour the liquid through it and into something you can mold with.  I prefer using silicone bread or muffin pans for this but I have used plastic drinking cups in a punch and they work.
  10. Put the molds in the freezer until the fat turns a hard white.
  11. Push the fat out of the molds.  Any particles that did not get strained out will have settled on the bottom of the molds.  Just cut any layer of non-white off with a knife and discard it.
  12. I vacuum pack the tallow blocks and return them to the freezer until I need them.

 

 

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