Tallow - Just have to ask this

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4575wcf

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Mother always saved the fat from any deer or occasional bear that we got hunting while I lived on the home place. She would melt it, strain out the odd bits of meat, and pour it into sealed metal coffee cans. It lived in our root cellar, while Mother used it to make laundry soap, and we used it for greasing boots, cap and ball revolvers, and such. It never seemed to go bad. Now that I am back on a small farm of sorts, I will start saving it again from wild game or whenever I slaughter.
 

rp77469

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Bear grease. I've also used mutton tallow from Dixie. Mutton tallow needs a touch of sweet oil to soften it a bit. A lot of things work. Pure bear grease is my favorite, and I've tried all kinds of things.
 

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megasupermagnum

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As far as I can tell, there is no specific definition of tallow. I see nothing that says it has to be organ fat. By all dictionaries I see, tallow is rendered animal fat, nothing more, nothing less.

It absolutely can be used unaltered for muzzleloader purposes. Different animal fats have different properties though. Bear fat is going to be the most well known, or talked about. At room temperature it is grease like consistency. Above 80ish it will melt into an oil. Below about 60 it turns solid, but the good thing I've found is it does not get any harder than that, at least down to -10. The problem with lubes that include beeswax or other stuff, they become frozen. Tallow doesn't do that.

I use rendered bear fat, AKA bear grease, unaltered for all muzzleloading purposes. I use it on patches, wads, and for any gun oil. I don't say it's all rainbows and unicorns, but it works. It's right up there as one of the best patch lubes I know of, and it seems to work just fine as a metal protectant.

Pro tip: Like many, I was stuck in the old way of rendering fat, the way I'm sure almost everyone did it. Cut into small cubes, then heat slowly until it was all melted. Often I used a crock pot. Well it turns out that is not the best way at all. Instead cut into generous sized cubed, don't waste time. Then run once through a meat grinder with a coarse plate. Add a little bit of water to the bottom of whatever you are using to heat, and then add the fat. Before it might take many hours, I've even had to go a whole day to fully render fat in crock pot. The grinding method is just tops. I rendered about 30 pounds of bear fat in about an hour and a half. The water really gets things going quick, then boils off in time. The grinded up fat melt super fast, it will melt in your fingers. One last tip, stick the fat in a freezer before you cut it. 1/2 frozen fat practically cuts itself.
 
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Back in the day. California existed on tallow and hides. Cattle were raised and let run wild on the pasture land. They produced more meat the the californios could eat. They sold off the hides and tallow. This was before the gold rush
 

Docgp

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If you can find a local butcher, they will fix you up with all you want. I put up (pressure canned) about 25 pint's not too long ago. I much prefer the caul fat (kidney). They didn't charge me anything (although I always try to pay). Rendering is much quicker if you grind it first. I have never pressure canned it before. I'm going to see how it affects shelf life.

Doc
 

pamtnman

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As far as I can tell, there is no specific definition of tallow. I see nothing that says it has to be organ fat. By all dictionaries I see, tallow is rendered animal fat, nothing more, nothing less.

It absolutely can be used unaltered for muzzleloader purposes. Different animal fats have different properties though. Bear fat is going to be the most well known, or talked about. At room temperature it is grease like consistency. Above 80ish it will melt into an oil. Below about 60 it turns solid, but the good thing I've found is it does not get any harder than that, at least down to -10. The problem with lubes that include beeswax or other stuff, they become frozen. Tallow doesn't do that.

I use rendered bear fat, AKA bear grease, unaltered for all muzzleloading purposes. I use it on patches, wads, and for any gun oil. I don't say it's all rainbows and unicorns, but it works. It's right up there as one of the best patch lubes I know of, and it seems to work just fine as a metal protectant.

Pro tip: Like many, I was stuck in the old way of rendering fat, the way I'm sure almost everyone did it. Cut into small cubes, then heat slowly until it was all melted. Often I used a crock pot. Well it turns out that is not the best way at all. Instead cut into generous sized cubed, don't waste time. Then run once through a meat grinder with a coarse plate. Add a little bit of water to the bottom of whatever you are using to heat, and then add the fat. Before it might take many hours, I've even had to go a whole day to fully render fat in crock pot. The grinding method is just tops. I rendered about 30 pounds of bear fat in about an hour and a half. The water really gets things going quick, then boils off in time. The grinded up fat melt super fast, it will melt in your fingers. One last tip, stick the fat in a freezer before you cut it. 1/2 frozen fat practically cuts itself.
The water in the bottom of the cauldron makes all the difference. Prevents the grease from scalding or scorching. Three different times I rendered bear fat into grease, and each time my procedure changed a bit. My last time was a couple years ago and resulted in enough bear grease to last the rest of my life. Those
2”x2” chunks deep fry down into some tasty morsels perfect for trapping bait. A thin pine “spear” holds the deep fried bear fat in the bottom of the hole, and it’s tough enough that mice and weasels can’t devour it quickly. I concur with you on everything you said. Bear grease is the best lubricant I’ve ever tried (my wife disagrees), and it does a pretty good job of rust protection. As good as WD40, anyhow. Or ballistol. But let’s not go there, or we will end up at “is a 45 enough for deer.” Bear grease works great.
 
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I bought some lamb tallow from Fanny and Flo's. It seems thick enough to use by itself. Should I add anything and should I refrigerate or freeze what I'm not using at the moment?
 

pamtnman

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I bought some lamb tallow from Fanny and Flo's. It seems thick enough to use by itself. Should I add anything and should I refrigerate or freeze what I'm not using at the moment?
Deer, there are a bunch of recipes for home made patch lube using various animal tallows. While I have not used tallow, I have done enough reading of historic sources to see they had all kinds of approaches. Mixed with whale oil, bee’s wax, petroleum jelly etc you can arrive at a variety of thicknesses that suit whatever your need is. Lacking whale oil, you can use bear grease, which is said to be a close cousin of whale oil. Have fun chasing your own concoction and tell us how you make out
 

rp77469

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I read somewhere that lamb/mutton tallow will not go bad. I have an opened plastic jar of mutton tallow from Dixie that is 5 years or so old, and has not gone rancid, but that is only one data point. I keep my bear grease in the fridge. Don't know that I need to, but I put a good bit of time into rendering it so I am perhaps overly cautious about preserving it.
 
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Deer, there are a bunch of recipes for home made patch lube using various animal tallows. While I have not used tallow, I have done enough reading of historic sources to see they had all kinds of approaches. Mixed with whale oil, bee’s wax, petroleum jelly etc you can arrive at a variety of thicknesses that suit whatever your need is. Lacking whale oil, you can use bear grease, which is said to be a close cousin of whale oil. Have fun chasing your own concoction and tell us how you make out
Thanks, I used it today lambs tallow by itself and seemed to work well. I have quite a bit of bear oil and grease. I might try mixing to see how it does. I did notice some of it gathered around the muzzle when I loaded it. It could be because it was in the forties today.
 
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I read somewhere that lamb/mutton tallow will not go bad. I have an opened plastic jar of mutton tallow from Dixie that is 5 years or so old, and has not gone rancid, but that is only one data point. I keep my bear grease in the fridge. Don't know that I need to, but I put a good bit of time into rendering it so I am perhaps overly cautious about preserving it.
Thanks, that's good to know. When I rendered my bear oil, I put it in mason and jars while it was pretty hot and the jars sealed. It all seems to be good.
 
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The Natives in SE Alaska will hang the kidney fat from a mountain goat on the bushes for awhile until it dries a little, which is pretty fast. It's a high energy food in cold weather. I've tried it and it ain't bad at all. A friend has told me that the very best flux he's ever used is the kidney fat off a mountain goat. It's a bit hard to come up with though.
 

toot

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Deer, there are a bunch of recipes for home made patch lube using various animal tallows. While I have not used tallow, I have done enough reading of historic sources to see they had all kinds of approaches. Mixed with whale oil, bee’s wax, petroleum jelly etc you can arrive at a variety of thicknesses that suit whatever your need is. Lacking whale oil, you can use bear grease, which is said to be a close cousin of whale oil. Have fun chasing your own concoction and tell us how you make out
just ask MIKE BELEVIEU, at DUELISTS 1954. he uses it all the time.
 
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Deer, there are a bunch of recipes for home made patch lube using various animal tallows. While I have not used tallow, I have done enough reading of historic sources to see they had all kinds of approaches. Mixed with whale oil, bee’s wax, petroleum jelly etc you can arrive at a variety of thicknesses that suit whatever your need is. Lacking whale oil, you can use bear grease, which is said to be a close cousin of whale oil. Have fun chasing your own concoction and tell us how you make out
I was "squiring" a fat "lady" some years ago and asked her for some Whale oil, all she did was fart like a Ships Gun and throw me out !
 

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