Rendering Fat into Tallow
Render fat?! If you had told me a few years ago I’d not only not be chopping off every last bit of fat off my meat but actually collecting every last bit of it like precious gold and displaying it on my kitchen counter like a prized possession I’d have laughed you straight out of the room.
Isn’t Saturated Fat something we should avoid?
If there is one thing paleo is not is low fat. The recommendations from government agencies are to avoid fat, especially saturated fat as it is said to raise blood cholesterol. Of course we know from the extensive research of Chris Kresser, Chris Masterjohn and Jimmy Moore that the cholesterol we consume in our diet has very little to do with elevated levels of blood cholesterol but that’s a whole ‘nother post (which I promise to tackle soon).
What’s so great about saturated fat anyway?
In the real food world, we not only fail to avoid saturated fat, but actually make sure to include it in our diet daily since we know from Dr. Weston A Price’s extensive research that saturated fat is crucial for so many functions in our body:
- Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of the cell membranes. They are what gives our cells necessary stiffness and integrity.
- They play a vital role in the health of our bones. For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, at least 50% of the dietary fats should be saturated.
- They lower proneness to heart disease. That’s right, saturated fat is heart healthy!
- They protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, such as Tylenol.
- They enhance the immune system.
- They are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids.
- The heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.
- Short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids have important antimicrobial properties. They protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
On that note, pile on that coconut oil, lard, tallow, butter and any other animal fats you’d like from properly raised animals of course!
We recently bought a whole steer from our local farmer so of course, rendering our own fat into tallow was something we had to do asap! We used this same method for both beef and lamb fat.
Rendering Fat into Tallow
What you will need:
- A large stainless steel pot (we use this stainless steel pot that comes with this set)
- Grass fed beef fat, as much or as little as you’d like
- Food processor (I love this food processor)
- Large canning jars (where to buy canning jars)
- Cut the fat into small chunks, removing any meat that still may be attached.
- Put the small chunks into the food processor and process until they are small and evenly distributed.
- Place in the large pot and heat slowly.
- Cook on the lowest heat setting – roughly one hour per pound of fat.
- The fat will melt and there will be small bits that float to the top.
- Once these bits are golden brown and the fat itself is a beautiful golden color you are ready to strain the mixture.
- Strain out the brown bits and pour into the jars.
- The tallow will be golden and once it cools should be yellow in color – the color is unique to grass fed tallow!
You can store the fat at room temperature (I keep it on the kitchen counter with a lid on) for about a week. In hotter months or if you don’t use it up within the week, keep it in the fridge to keep it from going rancid.
What is your favorite cooking fat?