Tallow, refined beef fat, is useful in cooking as well as homemade cosmetics products. It is shelf stable when rendered to purify it from imperfections (meat bits) and so so soft, soothing, and an ultimate joy to work into your skin—both as a finished cosmetic product and as I work with processing it!
I started this process at the Trackside butcher shop, purchasing first three, then five pounds respectively, of beef suet. My first recipes I planned on trying were bird food suet and tallow lip balm.
when I brought home the thawed tallow, I put the three lbs through my kitchen aid grater. After doing that, I can say it melted and processed way faster than just cutting up the suet—however it was quite a bear to grate, as it has lots of membranes that do not want to grate at all and then coat the grater. The second time, I just cut up the fat and put it in my rendering pot on very low heat with 2 cups water.
Melt, strain, sit and harden, and repeat is the process it takes to refine tallow. A few repeats should leave your tallow whiter than it starts, and free of floating chunky bits.
Once it was done, I poured melted tallow into my bird feed mix and let it harden for bird suet. I waited until it hardened into a bar to measure it out for my lip balm.
For the lip balm, I mixed tallow with beeswax, honey, and turmeric, and tried both pouring into a container to harden and letting it harden and whipping it—and I did like the whipped version better.
I love the tallow products so far! The lip balm is so soft, tastes just like a hint of honey but not much else, and the birds are eating up the suet really fast (I have a fine crop of songbirds and woodpeckers in my backyard). Next I plan to try a whipped body butter and a calendula salve. Stay tuned—and if you are interested, listen up in my shop, I actually have my lip balms available right now for sale! Blessings!
Disco Chicken of Love
sTate fair ready!
seed starting 2019
ky state fair quilt
A sustainability major at U of L, beginning farmer, crafter, and writer.