Rendering the Fat
- 1Purchase or gather around 1 lb (450 g) of animal fat. Any form of animal fat will work excellently for making glycerin, but pork or beef fat is usually the most common or easy to come by. Trim the fat away from meat before cooking it, or ask at your local butcher if they have any animal fat that you could have or purchase.
2Cut the fat into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes. Cutting the fat into smaller pieces will make it quicker and easier to render. Use a sharp knife to cut your animal fat into rough cubes, no bigger than 1 in (2.5 cm).
- You can save animal fat for later use by freezing it in an airtight container.
- Use a sharp knife to cut away the fat from a pork or beef roast before cooking it.
- Many butchers will throw away excess fat, so they’ll usually be happy to get rid of it.
3Add the fat and water to a large stock pot. Transfer the fat to a large stock pot so that it creates a thin layer across the bottom. Measure out around 1⁄4 cup (59 ml) of cold water and pour it over the fat. The water should just cover the bottom of the pot.
- To reduce the amount of time the fat takes to render, you could cut it into smaller pieces or even grind it in a meat grinder or food processor. The smaller chunks of fat will render more quickly.
- Freeze your fat beforehand to make cutting it much easier.
4Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Transfer the pot to your stovetop and begin cooking it over low heat. Add a lid to prevent the water from evaporating too quickly, and leave the fat to render for around 30 minutes.
- Adding the water to the pot will prevent the fat from burning when it first starts to cook, letting it render better.
- Avoid adding too much water, as it won’t be able to evaporate in time for the fat to render properly. Around 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup (59 to 118 ml) should be plenty.
5Increase the heat to medium and stir the fat every few minutes. After 30 minutes or so, the softer fat should have rendered and will prevent the unrendered fat from burning. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium. Use a wooden or metal spoon to slowly stir the fat around every 5 minutes or so, until the fat is melted and completely rendered.
- You could also render the fat in a slow cooker, leaving it to render on low for 3 to 4 hours. Cover the slow cooker or crockpot with a tea towel to prevent flies from getting into it.
- Alternately, you could render the fat in the oven. Add the fat and water to a dutch oven and cook it in a 225 °F (107 °C) oven for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
6Strain the rendered fat through a fine sieve and cheesecloth. Remove the rendered fat from the heat and leave it to cool slightly. Line a fine-mesh sieve with 1 to 2 layers of cheesecloth and position it over a bowl or jar. Pour the fat into the sieve to strain away any meat, gristle or bone shards, leaving you with pure and rendered fat.
- Fully rendering the fat will take around another 30 minutes to an hour.
- Any remaining skin attached to the fat should crisp up once all of the fat has rendered from it. If you are using pork fat, keep the crispy skin aside and salt it for a tasty snack.
- Your fat should still be liquid when you strain it. Allow it to cool slightly for a few minutes, but not so much that it begins to solidify.
- Rendered fat can be kept in an airtight container in your refrigerator for around 1 month. If you store it in the freezer, the fat should last for up to 1 year.
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Source: wikihow. com