Rendering Tallow in a Crock Pot

Recently we bought a quarter of beef from a local grass fed farm, I wanted to make the most of what we bought.  Not all farms include the suet (fat) with the orders.  The farm we purchased from, actually throws it away…~shudder~  After asking him about it, he happily included it in my order, for free.

Start by chopping up the suet into small pieces…the smaller the pieces, the faster the rendering process.  You can use a food processor to do this, but I did it the old fashion way, knife and cutting board.  Cut away any blood or blood vessels and discard.  You will find some plastic looking film between the fat as you are cutting, trim or pull away as much of that as possible, although it is unnecessary, I feel as if it makes a better end product so I do it.
 Filling the pot with suet
Gradually fill your crock pot will the suet, until either you run out of suet or the pot is full.
Once full, place the lid on, and turn on low.  Stir occasionally, about once every hour.
After a couple of hours, you will find that the suet is melting and your fat pieces are getting smaller.   After several hours you will find that there are only very small pieces in the pot.  Continue cooking on low until you are left with a golden liquid and only small hardened bits, also known as ‘cracklings’.
Turn off, and strain the liquid through cheesecloth into wide mouth jars…Notice I used one ‘regular’ mouth jar…don’t do that!  It’s difficult getting the tallow out later for use, trust me.  Let cool.  Once your tallow is cooled, it will be hard.  Store in the freezer for long term storage.
I had enough fat to fill the crock pot up twice.  I rendered a little less than a gallon.  I keep one jar on the counter for daily use, and the other three I stored in the freezer until needed.  I am not exactly sure how long the fat would last at room temp, but generally fats last about a year at room temp before going rancid.
You can use tallow in frying, or use as shortening.  We’ve made fries with it, and it was wonderful!  I’ve also made biscuits and several pie crusts using the tallow which turned out great.
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Katie is a military wife and mother of 4 with 1 on the way. She is passionate about family, food and serving the LORD. By day you may find her changing diapers, folding laundry, home educating her older children, and cooking three meals a day with a baby on her hip next to a sink of dirty dishes. By night she writes and shares recipes, tips, and tutorials for economical, nourishing and simple gluten-free foods at Simple Foody.

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  1. Arianna says

    I either have the butcher grind it through the meat grinder [like hamburger] or grind it up myself before rendering it down in a pot on the stove top with just a little water in the bottom to start with to keep it from burning. Then once its all liquid I will strain it though some wire mess strainers to get out any meat chunks / tendons etc. In the past I would then just let the stock pot of liquid cool over night pop the tallow out , any water in the pot would have sunk to the bottom along with any tiny bits that went though the strainer I would then cut the big chunk of tallow up into sizes suitable for soapmaking. in the future I plan on putting it into widemouth jars for storage on the shelf.
    I may try the crockpot method next time. We do not use it for cooking I always use lard for that instead [pork fat].

    • says

      I haven’t used tallow for soap making yet….but one day! We don’t get a lot of fat back from our pig to make enough lard. Thank you for sharing. I’d love to try to stove top method one day.


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