How to Render Beef Tallow

How to Render Beef Tallow

Rendering beef tallow.

If you are:

  • new to rendering things
  • aren’t sure what “rendering” is
  • don’t know why you would want to render something
  • or what you would even do with “rendered” substances


Why do you want beef tallow?  

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  

That’s why.  


The oils in your pantry could be making you sick – really sick.  Highly refined polyunsaturated seed and vegetable oils are possibly the highest contributors to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  What are highly refined polyunsaturated seed and vegetable oils?

Canola Oil, Vegetable Oil, Crisco and Corn Oil (just to name 4).

Bad, Bad, Bad.

Not only are these oils terrible for you, when you heat them (think frying, baking, or any high-heat) they are even worse.

If you reach for these evil oils on a regular basis or semi-regular basis or limited basis- Yack!  You need some healthy fat.

There are many good healthy fats out there.  Some of them are: (real, raw) butter, (real, pastured) lard, (organic, cold pressed) olive oil, (organic, unrefined) coconut oil

and……  Beef Tallow! 

Beef Tallow (saturated fat) from clean, healthy animals raised on pasture is good for you.

  1. It provides necessary nutrition and fat for the human body
  2. It is stable at high heat
  3. It is protective against metastatic breast tumors
  4. It provides vitamin D
  5. It promotes strong bones
  6. It is a satisfying, healthy fat
  7. It adds great flavor

Yea, good Fat!

I have been rendering lard for years.  To see how I do it go here.

First, let me demystify the entire “rendering” process.  To “render” something means we are going to “melt” it.

Whether you are rendering beef fat, pork fat, or some other fat, it will involve the same 3 steps:

  1. Melt it slowly
  2. Strain out any bits of meat or tissue
  3. Transfer to long term storage

So easy.
venison 2

Here is a giant hunk of fat.  This happens to be fat from a cow we slaughtered early this year.  When we have an animal processed we pay for the services by the pound – on the hoof.

All the processors I have looked into have a different way of charging for their services.  Some charge by “hanging weight.”  Some charge based on how you are having your animal prepared (sausage, brats, bacon, burger patties, etc).  Some charge by weight “on the hoof.”  There are probably even more ways to break it down, but these are some common to my area.

When we deliver our animals to our local processor the animals walk onto a scale on the way into the holding corral.  This scale weighs the animal “on the hoof.”  It tells everyone exactly what the animal weighs, alive, on it’s hooves.  From there our guy just multiplies the weight times his per pound fee.

That is what it costs.  Period.

Kill fees – included.

Gutting, hanging, slicing, dicing – included.

Vacuum sealed – included.

Flash frozen – included.

1/4 pound burgers – included.

1 or 2 pound pkgs of ground beef  (or any size you want) – included.

Heart, liver, ox-tail, fat, bones – included.

There is no extra charge for anything.

If you do not want the heart, liver, ox-tail, bones or fat you will not save any money.

The price is the same whether you take home your entire animal or leave half of it there.




You can always give it away, or feed it to the chickens, or use it later.

Now that we have that cleared up and you have 30 pounds of fat in your freezer, let’s render it!
tallow 2

I used a serrated knife to slice the hunk of fat into manageable chunks.  This is not an exact science.  The chunks do not need to be super small or evenly sliced or square.  By reducing the iceberg of fat into smaller bergs we are shortening the length of time it will take to melt.  tallow 4

Transfer the smaller bergs into some roasting pans (or just one pan depending on how much fat you are rendering) and put them in a 275 degree oven.

tallow 3

In just a few minutes you will begin to see the fat becoming glossy and beginning to melt.

tallow melt

In a few hours your fat will be completely melted.  If you want to help it along, you can occasionally smash all the hunks of fat with a potato masher.  Once everything is melted there will be bits of meat and other tissue floating or sinking in the liquid.


There are several ways to separate the bits from the melted fat.  I use a milk strainer.  You could use a colander with cheese cloth.  You could use a slotted spoon and a towel.  You could also use a coffee filter.  The goal is to run the hot fat through something that the bits can’t get through.

Once it is strained you will have perfect clear, rendered beef tallow.  
tallow Collage
I poured my strained tallow into pans to cool.  Once it cools it will be solid.

I sliced mine into squares and put them into storage bags.  I put the bags of tallow in my freezer for future use.

Rendered beef tallow is wonderfully handy to have around.

Some great uses:

  • Frying anything (animal fats are stable at high temperatures and are perfect for french fries, fried okra, fried chicken or fried green tomatoes)
  • Candle making
  • Anytime you need a little oil in a pan

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2 Responses

  1. Amalia
    December 23, 2016
    • Candi
      December 23, 2016

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