How to make/store/use rendered fat?

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #1

Hey guys, I’ve gone back to basics with our good old Atkins lifestyle, so for the moment I’m off all oils except for animal fats. I’m 5 years into low carb, but an absolute n00b when it comes to rendering fat.

So I bought some lamb fat trimmings from the butcher, froze them, and a couple of days ago I defrosted it all and started heating it up at low heat and ate the crispy stuff that was left after most of the fat melted off it. I used that liquid melted off fat (technical term? rendered fat?) to cook with. It’s become my ritual: heat up the fat, eat the crispy bits, and use what’s left to cook up some other meat and some cauliflower rice. I’ve lost 2.5kg in about 2 weeks, by the way.)

Yesterday I decided I had far too much of the stuff, so I kept the leftovers in a saucepan. When it was liquid it was quite brown. I didn’t do anything else to it (like filter it). I left it out at room temperature and it solidified into the consistency of tallow you’d buy in a jar. So I used it today to clean and season my cast iron pot after I was finished cooking.

My question is, what am I missing? Tomorrow I’ll need to throw out the remaining raw lamb trimmings, and I’d like to render and store what’s left. Can I just put it in a container as is? Do I have to somehow filter out the solids, or can I just eyeball it with a fork or spoon and get the big bits out? Help!

(UsedToBeT2D) #2

Add some water, simmer for 10 mins, let cool, skim fat, pour through fine strainer, or cheesecloth, fridge. Toss dirty water.


Some bits shouldn’t cause a problem, at least I easily stored my lard for months even with some in it (they made it tastier. I bougth it that way) but if it’s too much, strain it or use that fat first…?

While I used to buy lard first, I almost never use rendered fat and I easily get that amount from roasting or frying meat, sometimes I get fat off from my soups (rare, I learned to use lean enough meaty bones and no skin. I usually make fowl soups)…
Mutton, duck, whole piglet, pork ribs, these yields so much rendered fat, I rarely buy these (and I dislike tallow and don’t eat it, that’s another thing. it’s for chickadees and cats). All were pretty nice and smooth without any other work as the meat was in big pieces but smaller ones are easy to get it out and it never produced tiny pieces.

I store the rendered fat I don’t want to use up in the near future in my fridge. Fat spoils eventually and I use it up really slowly.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #4

Rendered fat is the term.

You can strain the fat, if you wish. That would depend on the intended use. A pastry chef would want just the pure rendered fat and none of the cracklings, but a meat chef might be happy to have the cracklings as well. If you want to read up on fats and their uses, a comprehensive cookbook, such as The Joy of Cooking, would be helpful.

Since fat is organic matter, you can dispose of it in your compost heap or on the ground. Otherwise, put it in the garbage. It causes serious long-term problems in the sewers if you try to flush it down the drain (don’t ask how I know this! :grin:).

(Bob M) #5

If you have enough, you can make it in a slow cooker (aka “crock pot”, which my kids think is funny–“A pot pot! Ha ha ha!”). I use this recipe:

This still creates the browned bits.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #6

I’ve had some great looking rendered lamb fat (is this called tallow or something else?) sitting in a saucepan for 2 days at room temp. Is that ok or must it be refrigerated?

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #7

It’s generally fine without refrigeration. My mother kept a jar of bacon fat on the back of the stove for two decades, and it never went rancid, so far as I can recall. We currently have three or four jars going at the moment, all handy at the side of the stovetop (what Brits call the hob).

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #8

Yeah I reckon mine took like 40 mins though so maybe there’s something wrong with it. I just had it on low heat in a cast iron on the stove…


If you put animal fats into your compost, the vermin will be attracted to it. Just toss it in the garbage. I usually freeze my left over fats, and toss them right before taking the garbage out for the weekly pickup.

However, if you or someone you know has a dog, they love just about any rendered fats. Can be added to dry dog food and other things you feed the dog. Great for their coats.

(Laurie) #10

Another reason not to put fat and other meat in the compost: Apparently it attracts rats and other undesirable critters. I’m not a gardener, but I’ve been compost trained.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #11

Free labour to turn over the compost, lol! :grin:

Not a problem for me. Rats are cute! :rat::rat: :grin:

(KCKO, KCFO) #12

It’s the coyotes and foxes along with the raccoons around here. Wild rats are seriously not that nice either Paul, i know you like your rats, but not all rats are equal.

(Bob M) #13

Or the brown bears.

This reminds me that I need to start a compost pile.