Monday, March 30, 2015

Making Candles From Home Rendered Tallow - Easy!

I started out rendering tallow (beef fat) with the idea to make my own soap. Did you know that many soaps you buy in the store contain beef tallow?  It's true!  Beef fat was the fat of choice when people made their own candles and soap on a regular basis.  One reason is that beef tallow is very white, scentless, and hard when rendered properly.  Also when butchering a beef you get allot of fat! 

My experience rendering tallow was not only easy but free.  I went to our local butcher and asked if I could have any good beef fat, he was only too eager to give it to me for free.  He also ground it for me so I wouldn't have to chop it.  I highly recommend you have it ground because otherwise the chopping takes forever!

So why did I use beef tallow?  First off because it is free!  Second it is a waste product that otherwise wouldn't be utilized.  Third it is renewable and from grass fed local beef as we live in ranching country.  Fourth it is GMO free.  If you use soy wax you have to realize that soybeans are not only ALL GMO, but also are hugely fertilized with chemicals and sprayed with tons of pesticides.  I don't really think of them as renewable since they are so heavy in chemicals and are GMO. The cattle that go to our local butcher never see a feed lot.  They are kept on range land for their whole lives, and live happy cow lives. Fourth is that tallow makes great candles and soap naturally.

Rendering is easy but I will save that for a later post. Here is how I made my own candles.  You can buy candle making supplies online.

So first I started out with my snow white rendered beef tallow.

As I scooped the tallow into the pot on the stove my dog Nika licked up any fallen bits. 
She was like "man send me some more of that manna from heaven!"

Here are my supplies.
Jelly Jars from the thrift store,
and candle wicks,
 essential oils, and tape for holding the wicks in place.

After melting the tallow which only takes a minuet I put four cups into this stainless steel measuring pitcher.  Then I mixed in for each cup of tallow - 4 drops citronella, 4 drops lavender, 4 drops lemon, and 4 drops rosemary essential oils. I gently mixed these into the warm tallow.  You don't want it too hot because then the essential oils will evaporate.

The jars ready to receive the scented tallow

A trick to keep the wick centered. 
Punch a hole through some masking tape and tada!

The candles done and setting up.

The finished candles that I am hoping to sell. 
Could this be the beginnings of a home business?
Here is the extra large one I made. 
The candle burns clean and with a light citrus scent. 
There is absolutely NO beef scent. 
The candle is nice and bright too.

The whole process took me about a half an hour to make 10 candles.  It would have been less time except I had to fiddle with the tape to figure out the best way to hold the wicks.  Still for organic and non toxic candles that is pretty great!


  1. What a great idea and I love the inclusion of essential oils. I have been thinking about doing this for gifts and you have just given me the encouragement I need. Thank you for sharing this great idea and information at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

  2. I have some tallow in my freezer from the cow we butchered in winter that has the word "candle" written on it for this future project so I am glad to find your tips! I can't wait to try it out too! :) Thank you for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  3. I have rendered beef tallow and now I have another idea to use it for. Good to know! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

  4. I would love to try this :) Thanks for sharing your post at the HomeAcre Hop this week.

  5. This is fabulous! I would definitely love to try this sometime soon. Thanks so much for sharing with Roses of Inspiration - it's always a joy to have you at the party.

  6. I too would love to try this. Thanks for sharing.


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