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How To Render Tallow :: A Simple Tutorial

April 12, 2015

How To Render Tallow :: A Simple TutorialProduct links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I am just so excited to teach you about how to render tallow today!

Can you just feel the enthusiasm?!

I really hope you can because it is truly authentic. I am so passionate about teaching people how amazing healthy fats can make you feel. I spent so many years of my childhood, teens, and early 20 somethings with a brain and endocrine system literally starved of fat. I grew up right in the middle of the “low fat” fad and it truly robbed an entire generation of the very substance that makes hormones, metabolism, and growth actually work.

How To Render Tallow :: A Simple Tutorial

Why Tallow?

Before we get to the tallow rendering, I really (really!) highly encourage you to hop over to this article to read some of my favorite articles about the benefits of animal fats. I want you to read it from the source – animal fats like tallow, lard, and even butter have such amazing health benefits. Not only do they make food taste so good, but they really can make positive health changes in your body from lowering cholesterol, to burning unwanted body fat using naturally derived CLA, and helping stabilize blood sugar, and increasing energy.

Also, my cookbook, Nourished Beginnings, is a fantastic guide for using your newly rendered grassfed tallow – most of the recipes include animal fats for growing kiddo’s brains.

How To Render Tallow :: A Simple Tutorial

So many uses!

Grassfed tallow has a high smoke point – so it is great for cooking, baking, and frying. Many frying oils used today have lower smoke points, and/or they go completely rancid with time on the shelf and heat added to them. Grassfed tallow not only has a great shelf life in the fridge, but you can cook with it without turning it into a trans fat, so you can keep all the amazing benefits from the fat.

And bonus! Grassfed tallow is so nourishing to the skin! I sneak to the fridge before I hop in bed every night and scoop off a little for my face, and I keep a small jar of it mixed with lavender essential oil for my baby’s bottom if she ever gets red with teething. It works so good! Sometimes my hands get a little dry and irritated in the winter months if I have had them washing dishes all day and washing hands all day from diaper changes and a little tallow on my hands before bed and my hands are good as new in the morning!

How To Render Tallow :: A Simple Tutorial

Fast prep, and no fuss

It doesn’t get much simpler than this either! Pulse it up in your processor, and into the crockpot it goes with a little water for a couple hours! Done!

How To Render Tallow :: A Simple Tutorial

Sourcing your grassfed tallow

If you don’t know where to find a source for grassfed suet, ask around at your farmer’s markets. You can also check EatWild’s website, or ask at your local WAPF chapter!

How To Render Tallow :: A Simple Tutorial

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

How To Render Tallow :: A Simple Tutorial

Tallow is a traditional fat. Make sure you get the good parts when you get an animal for the freezer.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to render tallow, tallow fat
Author: Renee -


  • Grassfed beef suet I usually do about 4-5 lbs at a time
  • Water I figure about ½ cup per pound of suet


  • Chunk up the suet into manageable pieces for your food processor.
  • Pulse the suet into small pea sized pieces, and then put it into a large slow cooker.
  • Add the water to the suet in the slow cooker and cook on low for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
  • Strain out the pieces left behind, and store your rendered tallow in the fridge. The tallow will be yellow in color when you strain it and will become cream/white in color as it cools and is refrigerated. Shelf life in the fridge is a good 3-6 months! I store a cup or 2 in the fridge and the rest I store in ½ cup portions in the freezer good for months.

Ok so keep me posted on how the rendering goes and what you use it for!

You can find more nourishing staples I like to use on my Nourishing Staples board on Pintrest!

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  • Reply Jessica April 12, 2015 at 10:15 am

    We love using beef tallow. This is a great tutorial.

  • Reply Melissa April 13, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Looking forward to trying this!

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish April 13, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    This is such a great tutorial! I’ve never done it before and you make it look easy. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Reply linda spiker April 14, 2015 at 11:38 am

    5 stars
    You are an inspiration and make everything look so easy!

  • Reply linda spiker April 14, 2015 at 11:38 am

    5 stars
    You are an inspiration and make everything look so easy!

  • Reply Tash April 14, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    5 stars
    I have never been brave enough to render my own tallow….but now it looks like I don’t have an excuse anymore! Does it come out fairly odorless?

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Tash! I think it smells like you’ve been cooking a beef roast when you are doing the rendering. The tallow itself does have a beefy smell to it initially but once it cooks it doesn’t give that flavor to the food at all. I prefer lard over tallow for baking however. Tallow is best for savoring frying like making french fries, and for other savory cooking like stir frys, sautes, etc.

  • Reply Jenny April 14, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! I ‘m definitely sold on the benefits of healthy animal fats, but the use of suet is brand new to me. Thank you for explaining to beginners like me exactly how to render and use it. I imagine using it anywhere I use butter or ghee. And to moisturize my hands! 😉

  • Reply Green Moms Network Week in Review April 17, 2015 at 7:40 am

    […] you embraced the fact that fat is not actually bad? Find out how to render tallow from Raising Generation Nourished so you can enjoy the amazing […]

  • Reply Gizelle April 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

    How do you do this without a slow cooker and could you do it in a powerless slow cooker like a hay box? Would love to make it.

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 17, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Gizelle! You can do it stovetop in a stockpot! I am not sure what a hay box is?

  • Reply Nicacook April 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Hi, Renee….thanks so much for this lesson. I make roasted bone broth, twice a week. I used 7 or 8 pounds of knuckle bones, and a couple of shin bones (shanks). When I pull them out of the over, voila, rendered fat. I also save the fat I draw off the broth, while it is cooking…I cook with that as well…I have fallen in love with grass fed beef, bone broth (I consume about a litre a day), the rendered fat. My next project…tallow soap…

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 19, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Nicacook! Wonderful! The rendered fat from making bone broth is so great to cook in 🙂 Tallow soap sounds lovely!

  • Reply karen April 19, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    So basically tallow is melted fat from cow, right? Like Nicacook said, i save the fat from making bone broth and use it to cook, adding them to different recipes. I never made soap or cream with it though. Sounds interesting. Thx for the recipe.

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 19, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Dr Karen! Yes it is the fat from cow. If you use the fat from making bone broth for skin care I would highly recommend using a nutmilk bag or something to filter out the pieces of sediment you will get from cooking the broth. When you render just a piece of suet like I did above it just comes out “cleaner” than from making bone broth.

  • Reply Kristen April 19, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    How/when do you add lavender oil for hand moisturizer. Do you keep it in the fridge as well? If not kept in the fridge, how long does it keep? Thanks so much for the info!

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 19, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      Hi Kristen! I make a small jar of a few TB of melted tallow and just mix in about 15 or so drops of lavender. I keep it in the fridge. I am not certain on how it keeps outside of the fridge – the skin care part of the tallow is not my expertise – if you look up making tallow balm I’m sure you can find more information.

  • Reply Chana white April 19, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    My neighbor made tallow out of hog fat. (great sausage). Is pig tallow as good as beef tallow? Thank you for the help.

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 20, 2015 at 11:05 am

      Hi Chana! The fat rendered from a pig is called lard and is fantastic for cooking in! As usual I recommend the pigs had been on pasture for superior nutrition.

  • Reply Carol April 19, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    i make tallow balm regularly, about 1/2 cup each of tallow, coconut oil and Shea butter. I add ylang ylang and bergamot essential oils, and it is heavenly. And it keeps forever.

  • Reply Ashley April 19, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    You’ve probably got a 50/50 shot with a hay box. I usually don’t bring my fats up to that high of a heat to render them but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be done. That being said you could try it with a hay box and if it doesn’t work you could try a solar oven. Would definitely be interested in finding out if the hay box works for you!

  • Reply Ashley April 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    You’ve probably got a 50/50 shot with a hay box. I usually don’t bring my fats up to that high of a heat to render them but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be done. That being said you could try it with a hay box and if it doesn’t work you could try a solar oven. Would definitely be interested in finding out if the hay box works for you!

  • Reply janice jackson April 20, 2015 at 3:10 am

    I love cooking grassfed beef bone broth and canning up for future use. I also save the tallow forsautéing. Can i just buy Suet. I shop at Wholefoods. How do i get hold to just the Suet

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 20, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Hi Janice – I don’t have a Whole Foods here but you could ask. If you check with your local WAPF chapter or ask around at farmer’s markets you can find a local farmer which would be my best advice for finding some!

  • Reply Food On Your Face: Tallow Balm - Genesis Essentials April 20, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    […] you can render your own tallow from suet (Here’s a great article on how to do just that from Raising Generation Nourished), or you can buy it already rendered. I purchase from my local farmer, but you can use this tallow […]

  • Reply bb April 22, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Hi, I was not aware that you were supposed to add water in with your fat when you render tallow? I’ve made it before and just melted the fat, strained it through a fine mesh strainer, and put in jars. It solidified and I scooped chunks out and melted in the pan when I was going to use it. What is the purpose of the water, does it make a better end product? Thanks!

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 22, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Hi bb! The water gives a smoother finish in my opinion but you can leave it out and still have it work if you want!

  • Reply Kimber April 30, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Renee! About how many cups of tallow does 5 lb of suet make? And what do you consider a good price for grassfed suet? (U.S. Wellness meats has some for $5/lb…not sure if that’s steep) Thanks!!

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 30, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Kimber 🙂 I can get about 2 quarts of tallow from about 5 lbs of suet and that price is pretty comparable with what I am getting locally – ours is about 50 cents a pound cheaper. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Simple Tips For Light & Crispy Kale Chips Every Time! - Raising Generation Nourished June 6, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    […] avocado oil isn’t available everywhere however, so the next best bet in my opinion would be grassfed tallow or lard. Olive oil works too. As much of a butter fan as I am, I feel like butter softens them too […]

  • Reply Fall Launch Of Apothacary Kids Herbal Skincare Promo! Get A Free Herbal Salve Stick! - Raising Generation Nourished October 11, 2015 at 8:52 pm

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  • Reply Kathy October 7, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Add equal parts coconut oil to tallow. Make creamy moisturizer or makeup remover.

  • Reply February 13, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    5 stars
    i have rendered my own lard, but never tallow! I have always wanted to try it!

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