How to Render Beef Tallow
  • Quality grass fed beef fat (suet)- any beef fat can be rendered into tallow, but "leaf fat," which lies around the kidneys, is best
  • Large stock pot OR slow cooker
  • Clean glass jars for storage (wide mouth)
  • Cheesecloth or improvised cheesecloth alternative
  • Time...
  1. If butchering animal yourself, find leaf fat in a big mass around kidneys-it has a cellophane-ish coating on it and feels kind of waxy
  2. Remove from carcass and put in a bucket to refrigerate until the next day because cold fat is MUCH easier to handle
  3. Dry rendering (no water) Beef Tallow:
  4. Trim beef fat
  5. Chop it into manageable chunks, then trim off bits of meat, blood, gristle, and whatever else you may find including the "cellophane" wrapping around the leaf fat
  6. Once trimmed, run fat through the food processor (MUCH easier when cold!) until it's the consistency of ground meat (If you don't have a processor, just chop fat into small pieces)
  7. Dump shredded fat into a large stockpot or slow cooker for several hours and use very low heat to begin melting
  8. Check fat and stir occasionally to make sure it's not burning
  9. As fat renders, it slowly melts allowing"impurities" to rise to the top
  10. It's done where there's clear liquid at the bottom and crispy bits floating on top
  11. Strain tallow through a piece of cheesecloth or fabric to remove all the "floaties" (you may want to place your cheesecloth inside a colander to make straining easier)
  12. Pour into jars and allow to harden and cool at room temperature
  13. Tallow can stay at room temperature for a week or so, but refrigerate or freeze if storing longer (should last several months to a year in freezer)
  14. Use tallow for frying french fries, in pastries, and other recipes that call for shortening
Recipe by The Prairie Homestead at