Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2010

Rendering tallow

Soap has been made with tallow and lard (beef and pig fat) for as long as soapmaking has been around. While I wouldn't want to give up plant oils, like olive and coconut, there are qualities in animal fat that can't be duplicated by plant oils. Last week I thought I would try my hand at rendering, the process of purifying fat, separating it from all the other "junk." I was able to get some nice big chunks of beef fat from a local butcher shop. This is 11 pounds of fat. I chopped it up into small chunks and put it in the biggest stock pot I have, which isn't enormous. I didn't want to risk burning it so I only used about half the fat that I had for this batch. I decided that this way, I could test the whole process without getting overwhelmed. To keep the fat from burning and stinking up the house (rendering's reputation) I added water to the pot. I didn't want to risk the water evaporating, so I added a lot--probably more water than I had fat. H