What is tallow used for in soap making?
how to render it yourself
Tallow has many purposes. One of them is as a traditional ingredient in soap making. Let’s talk a bit about what is tallow, its benefits and step by step instructions on how to render it from scratch.
What is tallow?
Exactly what is tallow? It is a hard fat substance that comes from animal fat. It is also referred to as suet. The most common tallow comes from beef but fat can be rendered from deer, sheep, bear and other animals. Lard is rendered from pig fat. It is said that the best tallow comes from the fat surrounds the kidneys, although all fat can be used. Tallow is used in cooking (frying and baking), as a lubricant, as a biofuel, for candle making and also skin care.
Did you know that commercial soaps are made with beef fat? The commercial name for tallow is sodium tallowate which is the term used for saponified tallow. When I use animal fats in products, I prefer to let people know.
Benefits of tallow in soap making
Many choose to make tallow soap because of its beneficial properties. Using animal fats in soap making is truly a personal choice. The following are just a few benefits of putting tallow in soap:
- inexpensive ingredient
- easy to acquire
- makes soap creamy and lather well
- gives homemade soap its hardness
- good skin moisturizer
- gentle to the skin
- mild cleanser
- contains antioxidants and nutrients that are claimed to have anti-inflammatory properties
- enhances skin cell regeneration
- natural product
Rendering tallow: here is how to do it
Rendering beef fat to make tallow has a few basic steps. The equipment required can be found in your kitchen. You can use the stovetop or a crockpot.
Step 1: prepare the fat
Cut the fat in small pieces and try to remove as much meat as possible. The smaller the pieces the better the process will flow. Then you can grind it, if you have a meat grinder or use a food processor. If your fat is semi-frozen, it is much easier. You can avoid this step all together by asking the butcher to grind the beef fat first.
Step 2: begin to heat
Put the fat into a pan on a stovetop or crockpot and put it on a low heat. The fat will eventually turn into a liquid. It might take hours for the fat to melt down.
Step 3: cook the fat
Some liquid oil will start forming approximately one hour after the start of the process. Stir the lard around. Repeat that occasionally (about every 30 minutes or so) until all of the pig fat is melted completely.
Consider taking a big spoon and smashing down the meat pieces so that the fat melts down much faster, but don’t let it stick to the pan. Once the fat is reduced to a liquid and golden brown, now it is time to strain the fat. You will need a metal strainer and a bowl to catch the fat. The strainer will catch any meat bits that were floating around in the fat, and the bowl will contain the melted down tallow which should be clear and yellow. Make sure that the bowl is made of a material that will not melt whenever you pour the fat into the bowl after straining it. So, this means do not use a plastic bowl.Let the tallow sit and cool down. Once it is cooled, it turns white and hard. Wash the block of tallow once it has dried and cooled down overnight in the refrigerator.Storing TallowAt this point, you can use the tallow accordingly to make tallow soap. Each batch of tallow should last up to a year. Place the tallow in a plastic bag that is marked with the date it was rendered. It doesn’t have to be stored in the refrigerator, but it must be kept in an airtight container such as a mason jar. Benefits of Putting Tallow in SoapNow that you have a source of tallow, how are you going to use it? As you can see these are ten good reasons for putting tallow in soap. All in all, rendering tallow is a process that has been around for generations. Tallow is lard, but the fat comes from a cow as opposed to a pig. It has multiple uses, and making tallow soap is one of them. This is a soap that has many different properties that you’ll find very advantageous.
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