Fat Rendering Event

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I attended a fat rendering event last Saturday, hosted by the Eugene, Oregon chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Some chapter members had lots of beef, lamb and pork fat accumulating in their freezers, so they planned this fun event to educate us all and share the abundance.

Why render fat? For one, it is frugal – you use up every last bit of the animal. Second, if the animal is healthy and raised naturally, this healthy saturated fat is good for you. Hard to believe?

Ann Marie @ Cheeseslave points out the benefits of stable saturated fats like these, just a few of which are: enhancing the immune system, providing energy and structural integrity to cells, and build and strengthen bones and teeth. Read more at the Weston A. Price Foundation: Confused about Fats?

Ann Marie also explains, “Lard is the rendered fat from pigs. Tallow is the rendered fat from cows, sheep and bison.” Be sure to visit Ann Marie’s blog to see an easy explanation of how to do this – using the crockpot or stovetop.

And now, some more about the event along with pictures. Enjoy!

The Eugene Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader, Lisa, and Teri Sue (who opened her home for the event) welcomed us all. After some introductions, Lisa explained the pretty simple process of rendering fat using the stovetop and the crockpot. Then we got to work, though others worked much harder than I did.

Meet Gina and Kelly (not Kelly the Kitchen Kop, which will make sense in a little bit). I know Kelly from Facebook – she’s a regular traditional food blog reader with an amazing health story! And Gina wrote an awesome review for the Schwarzbein Principle book awhile back at Kelly the Kitchen Kop‘s blog.

And here’s Jami. We’ve been friends a long time. She lives nearby to me; we made a day of our trip to Eugene for this event. We left early so we could go to Trader Joe’s and Glorybee. Only we never made it to Glorybee because we decided to go out to lunch at Cafe Yumm. 😉 I had a wild salmon burger; it was really good. Jami ordered a rice bowl.

I’m only showing you this picture because I want a Dutch oven so bad. :)

You need to pretty consistently stir the pieces of fat in the pan, to keep any from sticking which will prevent the tallow (or lard) from being released.

After awhile, the “liquid gold” tallow or lard begins to accumulate.

When there was enough of it, Lisa began filling our jars. There’s a little strainer tucked inside the wide mouth funnel to strain out any crunchy bits.

Now meet Marianne (from Prepare to Eat) and her sweet baby girl. There was another sweet baby girl at the event, too. What cuties! Every time I see babies, I long for more – even though I’m very content with the blessed life I have now. Talking with Marianne’s baby is: our host, Teri Sue, and Amy.

This is Marianne, her sweet baby Penny (Penelope), and me. I really enjoyed the day – meeting new friends, connecting in real life with internet friends, and learning more about traditional food. Edit: Marianne blogged about this, too! And she included a picture of Sarah, another blogger who was there.

I’m sharing this in Real Food Wednesday hosted this week by Ann Marie @ Cheeseslave.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    This was such a fun event, and it was so very wonderful to meet you in person. Thank you for sharing all the photos!

    (ps – I want a dutch oven too. I had a ceramic one that cracked, and it has been sorely missed)
    .-= Marianne´s last blog post… Menu Plan – not so Monday =-.

  2. says

    When we were there, I was trying to think exactly how I would use my newly acquired lard, and wasn’t able to come up with much. But I have already used it! I fried some potatoes and chard in it before making a potato/chard fritatta that was just fabulous.. I will have to make more this week! I have a feeling this lard will be used up much quicker than I anticipated 😀

  3. Dani says

    Wardee, thank you so much for posting this–I have been doing a mini version of this at home and as needed (I LOVE LOVE LOVE fried potatoes in beef fat, and our steaks come in with a ton on them!). Looks like you had fun and fellowship, and looks like I’m going to have to find a strainer for my funnel!

    BTW, our site is not up yet, but we’re getting close, so when you’re ready to make that dutch oven purchase, just let me know! If you’re serious now, just contact me and we can do it manually before the site is fully up and running. I am LOVING my Le Creuset–made bison bone stock in it this weekend.

    Question for a new-to-nourishing girl: can we leave tallow “out,” as in, out of the fridge, presumably in a dark cabinet or something like that…

    • says

      Dani- Please do let me know when your site is up and running! I can wait. I want to buy a cheese press first. :)

      Kimber – That’s awesome! (About the Dutch oven and the muffins!)

  4. Kimber says

    Wardee, I have that dutch oven! My parents got it for me for Christmas 3-4 years ago. They bought it a Big Lots. I think my mom said it was about $30. Hope this helps.

    BTW, I’ve got blueberry-banana soaked oatmeal muffins in the oven again. We’ll see if 90 mini muffins last longer than 3 days this time. :-)

  5. Nicole Conzo says

    When I lived and farmed in Italy, we also butchered all our own animals…. we used everything. After rendering the fat from the pigs, those “crunchy bits” that get strained from the rendered liquid have a name- ciccioli ( said cheech-o-lee). If you google this you can find lots of recipes and uses, my favorite was always foccacia loaded with these bits and made with the lard, baked in our stone, wood-fired oven….. too delicious!

  6. Audrey H says

    I was really glad you posted this…I was so confused…I kept thinking, hmmm “Fat rendering??” This was a really interesting read:)


  7. michelle says

    Can/should this technique be used for the fat skimmed off the top of stock? I find the stock fat usually has bits of “crud” on it and I don’t like using it as is.

  8. Kelly says

    Hi Wardee,
    The lard I brought home from the fat rendering event turned a beautiful creamy white color when it cooled – just like it’s suppose to. But the fat I brought home and rendered in my crock pot didn’t turn white. It’s a light brown color. Any thoughts as to why this happened? It doesn’t smell bad, so I think it’s still ok.

    • says

      Kelly – That happened to me on some of my crockpot batches that I let cook longer. The fat got “browned.” I think this the inherent downside with the crockpot – we are less hands-on and the fat cooks too long. Also, new crockpots tend to be hotter.

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