Tallow soaps are soaps made with animal fat. It’s how all soaps were made for centuries. It’s a holistic approach to soap making because nothing of the animal gets wasted and I can appreciate that.
Being the city girl turned suburban gardener/farmer that I am, I knew I wanted to make a tallow soap and get this…render my own fat.
I read up on the process and when I felt confident with a method I knew I could successfully duplicate, I went to my neighborhood HEB and asked the butcher for beef fat. I was lucky they had in stock because usually, some other soap maker comes and buys it all!
My goal is to move to grass-fed only tallow but one step at a time.
If you’re interested in the rendering process, it’s fairly simple. You want to chop up or put the fat through a sausage grinder. The butcher can do this for you too. The goal is to work with small pieces. It helps the cooking or rendering process go a lot faster. You can then slow cook in the oven, on top of the stove or in a slow cooker. I used a slow cooker and didn’t add water. Some people do. Let the tallow cook for about four hours and then drain.
And now you have a really good fat to soap with.
I get a lot of questions about soap made with tallow. Here’s what typically everyone wants to know.
Am I actually lathering with animal fat?
No. The saponification process leaves you with a fatty acid called oleic acid. It’s a great emollient and moisturizer. Alexander Farm and Orchard customers with dry skin and certain skin issues have said that our Cherry’s Bar (made with tallow and available by special order) left their skin feeling soft and moisturized.
Do all of your soaps use animal products?
Yes. We use honey in all of our soaps which is an animal byproduct. But not every soap is made with tallow.
Will I smell like a farm animal after using a tallow soap?
No. All the smelly stuff gets done away with during the saponification process.
Which one of your soaps contains tallow?
Cherry’s Bar, Marshall’s Bar, Betty’s Bar, and our Peppermint Hot Chocolate Soap.