My first tallow

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kc1ble

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So I've been wanting to make a tallow shaving soap and have been unable to source affordable tallow so I got "old fashioned" and rendered my own. A little google study, a trip to the supermarket and a few hours in the crockpot. The result, I am now the proud owner of 2+ pounds of tallow. Now just to find the perfect recipe for a base.


It is much whiter than it appears in the picture, my camera and photography skills are not the best.

I think this may prove my addiction to the soap making hobby.
 

mzimm

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So I've been wanting to make a tallow shaving soap and have been unable to source affordable tallow so I got "old fashioned" and rendered my own. A little google study, a trip to the supermarket and a few hours in the crockpot. The result, I am now the proud owner of 2+ pounds of tallow. Now just to find the perfect recipe for a base.


It is much whiter than it appears in the picture, my camera and photography skills are not the best.

I think this may prove my addiction to the soap making hobby.
I predict you will never fall out of love with tallow! So satisfying to use, especially if you render your own. Was it mostly muscle fat (beef trimmings) or mostly suet (organ fat), or a mix of both? 2 lbs is a lot!
 

kc1ble

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I predict you will never fall out of love with tallow! So satisfying to use, especially if you render your own. Was it mostly muscle fat (beef trimmings) or mostly suet (organ fat), or a mix of both? 2 lbs is a lot!
Thank you, I am anxious to try it. It was suet that I got at the grocery store.
 

Susie

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I preferred this to the other tallow percentages, I tried from 25% tallow with OO, CO, and castor oil to 80% tallow with CO and castor oil:

Lard 40%
Tallow 40%
Olive Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

I bought my beef trimmings from a butcher shop. They charged $1/lb. I am not sure I will ever render tallow again, but it was an education.
 

kc1ble

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I preferred this to the other tallow percentages, I tried from 25% tallow with OO, CO, and castor oil to 80% tallow with CO and castor oil:

Lard 40%
Tallow 40%
Olive Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

I bought my beef trimmings from a butcher shop. They charged $1/lb. I am not sure I will ever render tallow again, but it was an education.
Thanks, I'll post your recipe in my notebook and give it a try. I expect with the tallow and lard it will be a bright white bar. Does it lather well without any CO?
 

topofmurrayhill

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I preferred this to the other tallow percentages, I tried from 25% tallow with OO, CO, and castor oil to 80% tallow with CO and castor oil:

Lard 40%
Tallow 40%
Olive Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

I bought my beef trimmings from a butcher shop. They charged $1/lb. I am not sure I will ever render tallow again, but it was an education.
Have you tried IL's suggestion of 65% tallow 35% lard? I have always used these fats to one extent or another but never as the sole oils like that. I was thinking of trying it.
 

Guspuppy

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That is some nice looking tallow! I've been thinking about rendering, my butcher shop sells suet in 'logs' (I think it's the fat that hangs off the neck?) for .50¢ a pound. I wasn't sure if it would come out so nice and clean though. Now I really want to try. :)
 

kc1ble

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That is some nice looking tallow! I've been thinking about rendering, my butcher shop sells suet in 'logs' (I think it's the fat that hangs off the neck?) for .50¢ a pound. I wasn't sure if it would come out so nice and clean though. Now I really want to try. :)
I think it would definitely be worth a try. Its a simple process and takes little attention once you get it cooking.
 

mzimm

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That is some nice looking tallow! I've been thinking about rendering, my butcher shop sells suet in 'logs' (I think it's the fat that hangs off the neck?) for .50¢ a pound. I wasn't sure if it would come out so nice and clean though. Now I really want to try. :)
Unless they've told you it's fat off the neck (which wouldn't technically be termed suet), then what you'll be getting is organ fat. Many people (butchers included) think all beef fat can be called "suet," but it very specifically refers to the fat that accumulates around the organs of the animal, as opposed to fat scraps that are trimmed from the muscles. True suet has no meat attached, is globular and lumpy, and breaks apart easily in your fingers when squished. It's a pleasure to render, and the oil produced is smooth and creamy, with very, very little waste. $.50/lb is a great price!
We are about to go in on the purchase of a grass-fed beef, and since the others don't want the fat, I have asked for all of it, with further instructions to the butcher to separate the scraps from the suet, and to run each portion through the grinder for me. Last year when we bought from the same farmer, it was a monumentally daunting job to chop up the pieces, run them though my Kitchenaid grinder attachment, and then render. Halfway through it dawned on me to separate out the globulous hunks of suet and render them separately. All the tallow was quite good, but the suet tallow was awesomeness! You will love tallow in your soaps!
 

gdawgs

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I was at the butcher shop the other day and asked if they ever have any tallow. He said they don't have it all the time, just depends on when they butcher. Then he asked how much I needed and I told him just a bit, maybe a few pounds. So he goes into the cooler and said, "I could give you three pounds". So I'm thinking, great, free tallow. So he bags it up then tells me $1.49/lb. :( I would have waited if I knew he was going to charge me that much for it. Now I guess I have a little rendering project this weekend.
 

kc1ble

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I was at the butcher shop the other day and asked if they ever have any tallow. He said they don't have it all the time, just depends on when they butcher. Then he asked how much I needed and I told him just a bit, maybe a few pounds. So he goes into the cooler and said, "I could give you three pounds". So I'm thinking, great, free tallow. So he bags it up then tells me $1.49/lb. :( I would have waited if I knew he was going to charge me that much for it. Now I guess I have a little rendering project this weekend.
I think that's a pretty good price though, I pay 1.79 at my grocery store because we have no local butchers.
 

FannieFinch

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If you ask the butcher for "kidney fat" there will be no mistaking what it is that you want.
 

Spunky

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I just got 5lbs of tallow. I've made some mental notes of what not to do next time (I made a huge mess!) But for $1.50 for 5lbs, I have a feeling I'm going to love it. I'm hoping to make my first bar tomorrow. Then I'll go back and see if they have goat tallow and get some lard.
 

gdawgs

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Well I got my tallow rendered down. I may have made a bit of a mistake though. Every time I boil it down, I get some brown contaminants that settle on top of the tallow. I've boiled it down 4 times and I think it's as good as it's going to get.

I don't have a meat grinder so I just cut the fat up into little chunks then boiled it down. Lots of the nice fat chunks weren't melting, so I figured I'd help them along a little bit. My stick blender was sitting there, so I thought if it's good for making soap, it should be good to chop up my fat. So I let it have it. It actually worked pretty well, but I think it was too well. I believe it chopped up all the contaminants too fine and they don't want to separate out. The cross section of the tallow looks very nice and white, just the very top has a bit of brown speckles. I think I might do a little scrapy scrape and call it good.
 

kc1ble

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Well I got my tallow rendered down. I may have made a bit of a mistake though. Every time I boil it down, I get some brown contaminants that settle on top of the tallow. I've boiled it down 4 times and I think it's as good as it's going to get.

I don't have a meat grinder so I just cut the fat up into little chunks then boiled it down. Lots of the nice fat chunks weren't melting, so I figured I'd help them along a little bit. My stick blender was sitting there, so I thought if it's good for making soap, it should be good to chop up my fat. So I let it have it. It actually worked pretty well, but I think it was too well. I believe it chopped up all the contaminants too fine and they don't want to separate out. The cross section of the tallow looks very nice and white, just the very top has a bit of brown speckles. I think I might do a little scrapy scrape and call it good.
My first batch spent the entire day in the crock pot, probably 8 to 10 hours. I had cut it into small chunks. Yesterday I rendered twice as much, after I had run it through one of those cheap cast iron hand crank grinders. It took only about 3 hours in the crock pot. I will definitely be grinding in the future as it saves so much time. It took less than and hour to grind 4 pounds. Did you strain your tallow with cheese cloth? It seems to get all of the solids out for me. Good luck and enjoy your tallow.
 

DeeAnna

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Yeah, definitely strain the fat. Regular cheesecloth is a little too coarse for me, but a coffee filter would be too fine. I use a finely woven nylon fabric as my filter cloth. A good fabric store will have something suitable. Or if you check out a cheese making suppler, look for butter muslin -- that would work too.
 

gdawgs

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Ha, I think I have just the thing. I'm a bit embarrassed to say this, but I'm helping my wife sew some hand puppets for her classroom(she teaches 3rd grade). Pretty sure the fabric we are using is muslin. Looks like I'll be heating my tallow up one more time.

I did strain it through a fine sieve between the 2nd and 3rd boils, but it's not getting any more out at this point.
 

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