WHY MAKE YOUR OWN BEEF TALLOW?
- It is easy.
- 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.
- 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.
- Using tallow in gravy gives it a rich mouth feel.
- 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
- Strainer screen
- Containers to use as molds to freeze the tallow
- Trim as much red meat from the white fat as possible.
- 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.
- Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the crock pot.
- Turn the crock pot on low.
- Add the fat.
- Cook for several hours on low, stirring occasionally.
- Cooking is complete when all the white fat has turned into a clear liquid.
- 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.
- 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.
- Put the molds in the freezer until the fat turns a hard white.
- 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.
- I vacuum pack the tallow blocks and return them to the freezer until I need them.