Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not for the Squeamish

I've mentioned before that people quite often think of me as being a little strange.   Well, for the most part they are probably right, but my strangeness is one of those things that I can live with just fine.  My most recent "strange thing" has been rendering deer tallow.   My son-in-law, Alan,  killed a deer the other day.  He took it to his Dad's to skin and cut it up.  While they were in the process of cutting up the deer Alan made the comment to his Dad (jokingly) that he should bring all of the fat to me so I could use it in making soap.  He told me that the more he thought about it the more he realized that if he brought it home to me I would probably do just that.    So guess what?   Alan arrives home that evening with a bucket of deer fat, which he presents to me with a proud smile.  Well, I don't know about anyone else, but if my dear son-in-law brings me a gift of deer fat, then of course I'm going to put it to good use :)   I've never rendered fat before, but decided that it couldn't be that complicated and of course it wasn't.  Here's a picture of some of  my recently rendered deer tallow all ready for soap making!

I guess I should have put a warning that this post is not for the squeamish.  I understand that not everyone get's excited over a plate of  fat, but for me I'm thinking that's one soapmaking item I don't have to buy.  I don't use animal fat in all of my soap products, but I do use it in some of them.  It's relatively inexpensive and readily available which is a big plus for me.


  1. Did you just boil it and let it separate as it cooled?

  2. Pretty much. I cut it up into small pieces and then added one tablespoon of salt per pound of fat. (I don't know what the salt does, but every recipe I've seen for rendering fat calls for salt.) Cover it with water and let it cook until all the fat melts. (It smells bad while cooking or at least I thought so). Cool it down then take the solid fat off the top the next morning. I rinsed the "scum" off of the underside before breaking it up and bagging it for the freezer. It should keep up to a year.

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