Tallow is made from rendering (separating out the impurities and water) animal fat. For beef tallow, you want to use been suet, or the fat around the kidneys of the animal. My goal is to improve my regular recipe as well as make an excellent shaving soap.Contrary to popular belief, animal fats (lard and tallow) do not clog pores, and they make a nice luxurious soap.
I almost bought tallow from one of the soap supply websites but the price held me back. Instead I ordered some beef suet from my local grocery store’s butcher. I was told .69-.99/lb and when it came in yesterday, it ended up being 1.49/lb. Not much of a savings over buying from one of the websites! I went and bought it, but also called around and found a real butcher shop that sells if for .79 – they will be my go to place after I’ve used up this 20lbs!
I brought it home and repackaged all the fat into 1 gallon baggies and put it out in my (currently FREEZING) garage, in a box, to save freezer space. And then the fun began!
I ground up about 3.5 lbs of suet (in my food processor that’s actually a blender with with a fancy separate container and blade). Apparently, I can’t do this neatly. I had bits of fat everywhere. It took an hour to clean that up. Dumped it all in the crockpot, added a tablespoon of salt, a couple cups of water and turned it on high.
Hours later, I wasn’t seeing very much happening so I turned the oven on to 250F and put the crock in there. It still look a long time but it finally melted down enough to do something with. I lined my regular cheapy colander with cheesecloth and poured the mess into a bowl then added the considerable amount of not-yet-melted suet back into the pot and let it do it’s thing in the oven. Once the bits started looking cooked, I strained this bit out and stuck the bowl in a cold room to let the fat solidify over the water and gunk.
Now I had tallow, but it wasn’t as clean as I wanted, so back in the pot with some more water to render again.
Melted down, strained, and back in the cold room. This morning I had about 2.5lbs of nice white tallow ready to make soap with.