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How to Render Animal Fat

How to render animal fat into tallow for candle making.

You can use almost any animal fat for this process, however, hard fats works best. To make tallow, all you need is a large pot and some cheese cloth.

1. Chop the suet coarsely and place in a large pot. You can use an enamel or stainless steel pot as well, but it will take longer than if you use cast iron.

2. Place over low to medium heat and render the suet by melting it down. Do not try to quicken the process by turning the heat up or it will scorch.

3. After it has finished melting and the leftover pieces are browned and floating on the surface (about an hour or longer later) remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly.

4. Scoop out the largest chunks of the leftover bits and then strain the tallow through a cheese cloth or colander.

Never pour tallow into a cold or wet jar or the heat will cause it to crack or break.

Tallow will last a few weeks at room temperature. For longer storage, refrigerate or freeze. Frozen tallow can last up to a year.

For candles:

Prepare your jar by adhering a candle wick to the bottom of the inside. Pour in the melted tallow and allow to cool before trimming the wick. You can also add essential oils, but make sure you add it before the tallow cools.

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