- (3-4 lbs.) Beef Suet
- (1/4 - 1/2 C) Water
Pure beef tallow is shelf-stable and can sit out at room temperature in an air-tight container for several days. Keeping it in the refrigerator will keep it from accidentally oxidizing for a couple of months, and tallow can be frozen for several months.
Tallow is useful for cooking, baking, and making homemade soaps, lotions, and balms. What makes tallow good for cooking is the fact that it has a high smoke point, 420*F. It also has a mild flavor. Tallow is great to use in making pie crusts because it is solid at room temperature and takes longer to melt than butter. Here is how to make your own tallow using the electric pressure cooker or a heavy skillet.
Step 1: To render the suet, chop it into fine pieces. If you have a meat grinder, you can use that, or put small batches of suet into the food processor to break it down. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they will render. It only took me about 12-15 minutes to chop it all up by hand.
Step 2: Place the chopped suet into an electric pressure cooker. Don't fill the liner past the 2/3 mark. Add 1/4 cup of water to keep the pot from scorching and getting a burn notice before the suet has a chance to melt down.
Step 3: Close and seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 45-60 minutes, depending on the amount of suet in the pot. I had quite a full put of suet so I needed to pressure cook mine for 60 minutes.
To render the suet on the stove, use a heavy pen (thin cookware makes it easy to scorch the suet). Add the suet and 1/2 a cup of water to help speed up the process and even out the rendering process. The water won't water down your tallow because it steams off. Cook the suet over medium-high heat for 30-40 minutes stirring regularly. Rendering the suet in the electric pressure cooker may take the same amount of time or a little longer, but doesn't require watching the pan and stirring.
CROCK POT METHOD:
To render the suet in a crock pot for 4 hours on low. Using the high feature may be quicker but requires more stirring to keep the suet from burning in the bottom of the crock.
Step 4: Once the suet is rendered, there will be crispy bits floating in the clear melted fat. Strain the tallow in a cheesecloth or a fine metal strainer into a clean glass container.
Step 5: All the tallow to cool and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for a couple of months or longer if frozen.
Uses for tallow:
- Make your own seed cakes for your bird feeder
- Use in dumplings
- Put it in pie crusts
- Use for frying foods
- Use for adding a "meaty" flavor to foods such as burgers
- Make handmade soaps, lotions, and skin balms
Recipe by Victoria Cook:
Victoria is a home cook turned host and cook for 100+ episodes of a private cooking show for wellness practitioners and their patients. As a lover of ethnic cuisines, she uses a variety of spices and fresh ingredients to make flavorful healthy meals for her husband and son. She loves to challenge herself with new recipes and if she can make them in an electric pressure cooker, she’s even happier.