How To Render Tallow On The Stove Or Slow Cooker


If you want to make more from scratch and tired of paying the ridiculous prices for good quality oil or butter you will love rendering your own fat. You can easily render tallow at home or lard if you choose. It doesn’t require any fancy equipment just a few items you should already have at home and fat! I have a video for you just a little farther down below!

Rendering fat is something that has been done for hundreds of years and was something I loved reading in little house in the prairie! These natural fats was a staple part of their diets and use for cooking, flavouring and making soaps.

Tallow comes from cow or sheep fat, while lard comes from pig fat. While both fats are known to be pretty good, I do prefer to use tallow.

An easy guide on how to render beef tallow in a crockpot or on the stove top. This simple dry rendering technique is easy and stores very well!


Where To Get Beef Fat?

If you raise your own cows for meat and butcher, you can get cut the fat when your slicing meat. There are different types of fat I honestly use any fat I can get my hands on from beef, but some are better than others. I have read from many places the best fast is called the leaf fat. The leaf fat is found near the cows’ kidneys and has a milder flavour.

Now if you plan on turning your fat into soap, using it for cosmetic purposes or frying in it probably doesn’t matter too much where the fat is on the animal. If you want to make mayonnaise with it or add it directly into dishes you probably want to go for the leaf fat if you can.

A place you can get beef fat from is your local butcher. Butchers are constantly cutting fat off their meat and will generally have an ample supply of fat. They do not normally charge very much for the fat at all, I have been paying a couple dollars for a few kgs, so it works out great. Just ask your butcher if they have in or if they can save you fat and they are pretty happy to oblige.

Is Tallow Healthy?

Let’s start with the simple answer yes. Tallow is a great source of saturated fats, and has nutrients like vitamin A, D, K, E and B12! We need all these nutrients for many different functions in our body. Tallow has a high smoke point as well so it doesn’t burn like olive oil in high temperatures. If you are wanting to fry food, it is a lot better for you to fry with tallow.

Tallow contains other things like linoleic acid which helps the body with inflammation. Now remember our brain is made mostly of fat and needs fat so don’t shy away from a good natural fat source! Just eat in moderation like everything else that’s good in life.

Tips For Rendering Tallow

  1. You want to work with cold or frozen fat. It’s so much easier to chop up cold fat than room temperature fat and less messy!
  2. While you can use a food processor to really chop up your cold fat, I will warn you it’s a bit of cleaning up to do and the fat likes to stick so you will need very hot water for cleaning.
  3. Make sure to cook the fat slowly on the lowest temperature so it does not burn.
  4. I have stored my fat in large jars before and this proved to be very difficult to take out! Store in smaller jars. Or if you are doing a smaller amount pout into silicone moulds. Once it cools pop them out and store in the jar or ziploc bags. You can also pour into a baking pan lined with parchment paper and once it’s cooled chop it up and store in jars or ziploc bags. So much easier to use this way.
  5. So, your tallow last as long as possible I recommend storing it in the fridge or even freezer if you have a large amount.

How To Render Tallow On The Stove Top

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Supplies You Need

  1. A large enough pot to fit your fat into comfortably or Slow Cooker! (This is a nice large and affordable slow cooker!)
  2. Strainer
  3. Glass jars with lids for storing your fat.
  4. Cheesecloth This is an affordable organic 8 pack cheesecloth. You can use cheesecloth for more than just cheese!

Rendering tallow is actually incredibly simple!

  1. You want to cut up your beef fat into smaller pieces.
    • Work with cold fat not room temperature fat it’s easier to work with.
    • You can then add into a food blender if you want but this honestly is a lot more cleaning I rather do it by hand.
  2. Now add the fat into your pot or slow cooker and cook on low heat.
  3. You do not want the fat to burn, cook it nice and slow on low. This can take a few hours but it’s better than burning it if on the stove top. In the slow cooker this process can take 12 or more hours but it’s pretty much hands off.
  4. Give it a stir every so often as the fat is cooking. I stir it more often when I am cooking on the stove top and maybe stir it 2 or 3 times when it’s in the slow cooker.
  5. When all the crispy bits are floating on the top your fat is done being rendered.
  6. Remember at this point it’s still hot! You will want to strain your tallow with a strainer or to really get it clean add a cheese cloth on top of your strainer and strain it that way.

7. Now you can pour into your jars, silicon moulds (if doing a smaller amount) or line a baking pan with parchment paper and pour into that.

8. Once your tallow is hard you can store it several different ways. You can store it in a sealed jar in the cupboard, store it in the fridge it will last about a year this way or store it in the freezer. It can last for many years this way! If you poured your beef fat into baking pan just chop up the fat and store either in a jar or freezer bags.

How To Use Tallow

There are so many ways you can use this amazing fat!

  1. You can use tallow for all your frying needs! You want to cook up some chips or fry some chicken, use tallow. It’s reusable for several uses!
  2. Tallow can be used as the fat instead of using oil in homemade mayonnaise. Just make sure it’s at its liquid state when making mayonnaise.
  3. You can use tallow to make body products like lotions, add into face creams, sunscreens and more.
  4. If you want to make soaps you tallow for lovely homemade soaps!
  5. You can also use tallow to make candles, so many amazing ways to use this product!

Questions And Answers

Can You Over Render Tallow?

Yes, you can cook it too long and it burns. I have made this mistake, and it isn’t the most pleasant tasting. Don’t cook it until it turns brown, once the crispy pieces are floating you can take it off the heat and start to strain it.

How Long Does Homemade Tallow Last?

Tallow can last a pretty long time.

  1. You can store tallow in an airtight container in a cupboard for about a year.
  2. Tallow can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for about 1 and a half years.
  3. Or if you freeze tallow in an airtight container or ziploc freezer bag it can last in the freezer for up to about 3 years.

Can You Reuse Tallow After Frying?

Yes, tallow can be reused after frying 3 to 4 times. After each use make sure to strain it again to take away an impurities and store it properly in an airtight container. If its colour starts to change and the smell it’s time to let it go.

Does Tallow Go Rancid?

Yes, tallow can go rancid. You want to store your fat in an airtight container, so it doesn’t oxidize with air.

What Colour Should Tallow Be?

You want your tallow to be a pale yellow or even closer to white colour. If its more of a brown colour its been burnt and won’t taste very good.

How Long Does It Take To Render Tallow?

Now this depends on the amount you are rendering but it can take about 3 to 4 hours to render on the stove.

I found in a slow cooker it took about 12 hours to render my beef fat which was about 3kg/ 6.5lbs.

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