If someone had told me just a year ago that I would be worrying about losing a finger while chopping up a huge chunk of beef fat I might have died laughing, but guess what I did just yesterday? Yep I rendered my own tallow. After seeing several blog posts addressing real food and cooking with tallow I decided to go for it. After securing a 5 lb chunk of suet from my local farm market I got to work.
The first thing I did was let the suet thaw for a couple of days in the fridge as it was frozen solid. Several people mentioned that the suet is easier to grind and work with if it’s partially frozen but I found that mine was quite solid so I chose to work with it chilled but not frozen.
Then I chopped it up into medium sized pieces with a knife and ground it in a food processor until it was the consistency of ground meat. Next I dumped all of the ground suet into a crock pot and cooked it on low. My suet only took about 3 hours to render but length of time varies based on the amount of tallow being rendered. You know it’s done when you have semi clear liquid with little hard bits floating on the top.
All that’s left to do at this point is too strain the tallow through a cheesecloth lined colander and pour it into a mason jar or other heat safe container to cool overnight. Once your tallow cools it will turn a milky white and be solid at room temperature. At this point you can either store it in the refrigerator for several months or freeze it for up to a year.