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In this answer to another question, someone mentioned that they got gelatin out of rendering cow fat. I'm about to render a bunch of cow fat in a few days, and I was wondering how to get gelatin from it, in addition to the tallow? (i.e. I don't want to accidentally throw any good non-tallow parts away)

Do I have to use 'suet' or can I use any cow fat? I'm just getting "the fat" from a cow, and it's probably going to be mixed together.

  • The post you are asking about talked about suet, which is a particular type of fat. It may be worth mentioning that in your question. – GdD Jul 27 '16 at 12:14
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    I'm skeptical that you would normally get a significant amount gelatin from rendering suet. Normally gelatin is obtained from bones, skin, and connective tissue, not fat. The descriptions of tallow rending on the web that I can find don't mention separating out the gelatin, so I don't think its a normal occurrence. – Ross Ridge Jul 27 '16 at 17:10
  • @RossRidge - you say gelatin can be obtained from connective tissue? I might be mistaken, but isn't one of the steps of rendering tallow picking out, and rendering the suet out of, the connective tissue? Maybe what the original person meant was that they took the rendered suet as tallow, and the rendered-out-of connective tissue to process for gelatin? (Disclaimer: I have never tried to do either, I'm just guessing) – Megha Jul 28 '16 at 2:37
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    @Megha Suet is raw beef (or mutton) fat, normally just the hard fat around kidneys or loins. It's cut out of the animal, not rendered. It would have some connective tissue, but apparently in normal circumstances not enough to produce significant amounts of gelatin. – Ross Ridge Jul 28 '16 at 4:03
  • @RossRidge - I believe you... as I mentioned I haven't ever done either rendering suet or making gelatin. I read that even well picked-over suet might leave up to a quarter of its mass in connective tissue behind when it is rendered (called graves) and just wondered - but not having done any of it I didn't know how much a regular batch of suet is, how much is usually picked out before hand, and how much connective tissue would be enough for making gelatin. If a normal size batch doesn't usually produce enough left over for making gelatin with, then I am answered. – Megha Jul 28 '16 at 22:48
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I beg to differ with most of the responses. In my personal experience, rendering of fat - not simply suet - from 'general meat' produced a great deal of gelatin. I am using some as a base for tonight's stew at this very moment.

No, suet would not render out significant gelatin, but I have just now rendered about 3kg of fat from beef/fat leftovers from a butcher. I used a food processor to turn the fat/beef mistress to a chunky paste, then boiled the paste over water. I was left with approximately 25% hard tallow and approximately 70% meat. In the process of cooling the tallow atop the same water used for rendering, I found that the water gelled. I separated the tallow from the gel, then boiled down the latter, leaving myself with a gelatin - rich base for tonight's stew.

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    So do you actually disagree? Are you saying that when boiling meat and scraps with the beef fat you get gelatin but if you boil just fat (ie. suet) that you won't get any? So rendering the fat is not giving you any gelatin. You are getting gelatin from the meaty scraps mixed with the fat. – Sobachatina Jul 9 at 15:00
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When I render fat scraps (usually taken from brisket and shoulder roast), there is usually a significant amount of connective tissue mixed in (although I try to trim away all of the meat). Thus, after rendering the tallow and letting it cool, the liquid below the tallow is quite gelatinous. It is a whitish color. It is thicker than a typical stock, although not quite as thick as calf's foot jelly. I save this and use it to thicken broths and soups (although it doesn't have much flavor, so I don't use it by itself).

  • Thank you for sharing your knowledge! After a couple years of doing this now, this has been my experience as well. I think back then, I guess I didn't really know what gelatin was, and so was tossing out stuff without realizing it! – Jamin Grey Feb 2 at 22:36
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you cant render beef fat to produce gelatin, the main reason for rendering fat is to remove impurities ie to clarify remove the "scum" and other byproducts water ect. in butter very similar removing milk solids/salts ect

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I just got plain old beef fat from butcher shop.

Fat scraps I put in a pot filled with water to just above the fat at just boiling point not any longer than not to burn the fat. Do not boil to long to prevent evaporation of any of the oil. Let cool at room temperature until the oil rises to the top and hardens and then removed. Return the fat with adding water to just above boiling point and cooked again the same as the first with after it has cooked awhile use something in both cooking to scoop out the oil; a tablespoon will work against the pot. If the second time scooping out the oil, if the fat seems to be falling apart you should not worry with it.

This is how the gelatin or jelly is made: finish cooking as the first and cool at room temperature when you take the wax off after removing you should have a pot full gelatine or jelly. If you want your tallow for soap you clarify it. It is simple: heat the fat, drain through a strainer and let set. Let anything else settle to the bottom of pot and then drain off the fat leaving the settled material left at the bottom. This is clean oil. What ever you do, don't scorch your oil it can smell funny.

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