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Question about Tallow?

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Soapman Ryan

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I bought rendered beef tallow from essential depot. When I received it Feb. 2016 it had an off putting faint odor to it. I made some cold process soap with it. There was still half a container (16oz) left, so I stored it in the fridge. I went back to it today to make some more cold process soap, and boy did it stink. Essential Depot's site states use within 3 months of opening.
It's only been two, so my question was: Has it gone bad and can it still be used?
I added fragrance oils to it and the odor still came through.
I'll have to see how the soap smells tomorrow.
 

lenarenee

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It sounds like it was old/going rancid when you bought it since it's been stored in the 'fridge for less than 2 months and you describe it as stinky. Some people don't like the smell of tallow because it can smell like beef or cow (but still something recognizeable).

You don't like the smell with or without essential oils, but you could at least tolerate a few weeks ago. I would think about tossing it. Or go ahead and make soap and then see what you think, but you risk wasting lye and any colorants you use.

For what it's worth, I've bought commercial tallow, and Fannie and flo's tallow and none of them had any smell....complete zero.
 

Susie

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Some folks have more sensitive noses than other folks.

If you do not like the smell, toss it. If it smells rancid, toss it. If you don't smell rancidity, use your best judgment.
 

KristaY

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Can the oil washing technique be used in this situation? Like what they do with used fryer oil?
 

IrishLass

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Sometimes it's as Susie said- some folk's noses are just more sensitive to certain smells, but to be sure that that's all it is, I would get a family member or friend to smell it and give their opinion.

In my experience with tallow- it should last a long longer than just a few months, especially if stored in the fridge. The tallow from Columbus Foods is excellent and lasts a very long time- well over a couple of years if stored properly. I store mine in the freezer for the most part, but I move portions down to the fridge as needed. Sometimes a good part of the portion remains in the fridge for a few months before being used up, but it has always stayed good for me without any off-smells.

Maybe the one from ED wasn't rendered well enough?

You could always try cleaning it by placing it in a big pot with enough water to cover that has been mixed with a few tablespoons of baking soda first. Bring to the boil and then turn it down to a low simmer, cooking and stirring for about 30 minutes. Then take it off the heat and let it sit in the fridge or some place cool overnight. When completely cooled, remove the solidified tallow and throw everything else out. Keep stored in the fridge. I have never tried this myself, but I know of a soaper on another forum who has (only instead of tallow, it was with some stinky lard) and it hers came out great. It took the smell right out of it.


IrishLass :)
 

Soapman Ryan

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You could always try cleaning it by placing it in a big pot with enough water to cover that has been mixed with a few tablespoons of baking soda first. Bring to the boil and then turn it down to a low simmer, cooking and stirring for about 30 minutes. Then take it off the heat and let it sit in the fridge or some place cool overnight. When completely cooled, remove the solidified tallow and throw everything else out. Keep stored in the fridge. I have never tried this myself, but I know of a soaper on another forum who has (only instead of tallow, it was with some stinky lard) and it hers came out great. It took the smell right out of it.


IrishLass :)
IrishLass, thanks for the suggestion and the information you posted before it. But, I only have 16 of 32oz remaining. So it will be tossed. I'll have to try a different supplier on my next tallow sample purchase.
 

lionprincess00

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Yes, if not rancid and it smells when you bought it, I'd wash it in warm water (heated on stove) three times. Id personally also salt it out. My home rendered tallow smells like nothing and is pure white. If I bought some meaty smelling, thrn I'd guess it wasn't cleaned enough. If it went bad, I'd toss it. Next time, freshly purchased, if smells, I'd clean it up to three times, or at least til it smells like nothing and the water beneath the hardened fat disc (after refrigeration) is clear.
 

lenarenee

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This is good to know, I'll give them a try. I found them on etsy. (https://www.etsy.com/shop/FannieAndFlo)

Thanks all who replied.
I'll throw the remaining out.
ETA:
My first post to you said I've never bought any tallow that had a scent, but that doesn't mean that a perfectly fine tallow/lard product would never have a scent - but it should be one appropriate to the fat, instead of rancid.

Fannie and Flo are wonderful people to deal with as they absolutely know their product, are very transparent about their rendering process and very proud of their product. I've purchased products from both price lines (at the time there was a 2 or 3 dollar difference per pound. I'm more than happy with the cheaper stuff - which is still an excellent food quality fat. In fact, a pie maker near them always purchases their cheaper lard for her needs.
 
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Arimara

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I've used ED's beef tallow before and I liked the smell. Maybe it could be the batch you bought? In any case, sometimes it better to ask another person for an opinion about the fat. Their input could help you determine if it's rancid or not, especially if they have experience with tallows in some form.
 

RobertBarnett

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My essential depot beef tallow doesn't smell. Though after getting fifty pounds locally for $25 I won't be buying more from them. Though I would if I couldn't get it locally.

Robert
 
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