Side Projects

Rendering Fat in Slow Cooker/Crockpot: Super Simple!

Cut up fat.

Heat until fat liquefies out of tissue.

Strain out solids.

The End

 

It really is that easy. Animal fats like lard, tallow, etc. are my favorite to cook with. After rendering, they are stable in storage, stable up to relatively high cooking or frying temperatures, and an incredibly healthy aspect of a complete diet. Keep in mind that my consumption comes from pasture based animals and that most fat/cholesterol phobias stem from flawed studies that are now being re-evaluated.

I’m getting too off topic now especially since this batch isn’t going to be used for food at all. I am rendering this deer (venison) fat from one I killed on Thanksgiving in order to make soap!

Here is a bag of deer fat next to 2 packages of grass fed beef suet:

IMG_20150218_101519

 

Required Raw Materials:

Animal Fat

Required Tools:

Knife and cutting board to trim fat

Crockpot/Slow cooker (or pot for stove top)

Something to stir the cooking fat

Strainer

Step by Step Guide:

  1. Obtain animal fat. Source from local butchers, farmers, hunters, etc.
  2. Trim any meaty pieces from your fat.
  3. Cut fat into small pieces or put in a food processor or a meat grinder (Ask butchers to do this for you if they are willing!)
  4. Cook over low heat stirring occationally until all liquid has rendered out of animal tissue leaving only cracklings behind (1-2 hours usually)
    NOTE: make sure your slow cooker’s “LOW” setting is actually low! If you are unsure, add some water which will cook off/separate out at the end and baby sit the rendering fat while it is cooking
  5. Strain solids out of rendered liquids. Can strain through a cheesecloth as well for an even cleaner product.
  6. Let fat cool on counter or in a fridge and separate top solid layer of rendered product while discarding lower layer of moisture.

Optional, continue cooking strained cracklings until crispy for a snack!

I wanted to keep the guide as uninterrupted text for mobile or printer users. Here are some pictures that match with each step:

Step 1: Obtain animal fats and equipment

IMG_20150218_101515

 

Step 2: Trim off any protein containing tissue from fat:

IMG_20150218_105530

Step 3: Cut fat as small as possible for more efficient heating

IMG_20150218_105326

Step 4: Cook over low heat

IMG_20150218_105317 IMG_20150218_112813 IMG_20150218_143625

Step 5: Strain solids out

IMG_20150218_143834

Step 6: Let cool then separate out solid rendered fat

IMG_20150218_185506 IMG_20150218_184213 IMG_20150218_184227

Even without cheesecloth straining, the final product is pure white and very hard, very much like a candle in consistency and feeling. And for a bonus, here it is densely packed into chinese takeout containers.

IMG_20150218_185247

 

I will document how to make this into soap very soon! Eventually, I’ll even show you how to make your lye from waste (ashes) on your homestead!

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