Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tallow Container Candles

Tallow, which is rendered beef fat, was traditionally used to make candles hundreds of years ago.  The last time I rendered some tallow, I found that making tallow candles is very easy! We've been enjoying the soothing light created by these tallow candles in the evenings.  And I have not noticed any beefy smell from these candles. They would also make a wonderful Christmas present!

Tallow Container Candles
Equipment and ingredients needed:
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • small mason jars (or other glass containers of your choice)
  • cotton wick material
  • pure tallow
  • spoons and clothespins (for centering the wicks in the jars)
  1. Plug in your glue gun so it can start warming up.  I like to place it over a paper towel to catch any little drips.
  2. Cut wicks to the appropriate size for your containers.  Make sure you leave a bit extra to be glued onto the bottom of the jar, as well as for holding the wick in the center of the jars.  It worked well for me to make the wicks about 2 inches longer than the height of my jars.
  3. Use hot glue to glue the wicks to the middle of the bottom of the jars.
  4. Use a spoon and clothespin to stand the wick upright in the jar.  Try your best to get the wick right in the middle of the jar.OF course, if you pull too hard the glue wil detach from the bottom of the jar.
  5. Melt the tallow.  I actually just scooped it right off the top (once it had been strained) the last time I rendered tallow, which saved the step of melting it.
  6. Pour the tallow into the jars.  Let them sit for several hours or overnight to harden before you remove the spoons and clothespins.
  7. Allow the candles to fully harden before you light them.  This will take at least 12 hours. Beware that the tallow does not get super-hard like paraffin candles from the store (I'm sure this depends on just how cool your house is in the winter).
  8. Trim the wicks and light the candles. Enjoy the soothing atmosphere of candlelight! 
This post is part of Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Fat Tuesday, Monday Mania, Fight Back Friday and Handmade Christmas Gift Carnival!

    16 comments:

    1. this sounds super easy, but I notice that when I cook with the tallow it gives off a strong beefy smell. Wouldn't that be the same with burning the candles? What about adding some essential oils like lavender or sweet orange?

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    2. Yes, there is a strong smell when rendering the tallow. But, I haven't noticed much smell at all from my candles. (Actually, I haven't noticed any smell at all, and my nose s pretty sensitive.) I'm guessing this is because all the meaty bits are removed. I'm sure essential oils would be nice, though.

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    3. What a serendipitous post for me! I have a lot of rendered tallow, and have just begun collecting glass jars to make candles. Now I know just where to go for instructions. :)

      Two questions, have you found that the candles, as they burn, smell of beef? Have you tried scenting the candles with spices or essential oils?

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    4. Hi Laurie,
      I haven't noticed much smell at all from my candles. (Actually, I haven't noticed any smell at all, and my nose is pretty sensitive.) I'm guessing this is because all the meaty bits are removed. I'm sure essential oils would be nice, though.

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    5. Wow, what a timely post! I had ordered a 5-gallon bucket of lard about a year ago, and didn't realize that hubby had taken it out of the fridge it the garage. By the time I realized this, it had already oxidized, and smells not so good. I am wondering if making candles is an appropriate use of this rancid tallow, or if you think it will work okay?

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    6. Hi Dani,
      Is the bucket filled with lard (which is pig fat) or tallow (which is beef fat)? Beef tallow is much harder at room temperature than lard; I don't think you could make candles with lard unless perhaps you mixed it with something very hard like beeswax. If it is tallow, I think the candles would work great!

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    7. I'm very excited about this post! We purchased 1/2 a cow this year and it just went in for processing. I requested the fat and any extra that I could get for making tallow. Since we love to burn candles, this would make another wonderful use for it! Thanks for sharing. :0)

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    8. I find your post to be very informative. I have never used tallow, to make candles. Sounds like a very interesting way to make an old-fashioned candle. This was a very good and informative post.

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    9. I am going to have to try this the next time I bake a roast. Thanks for the how to's.

      Blessings
      -Mary

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    10. Did you have to press the tallow to extract remaining oils? How many times did you have to render it? Sorry and one more question...how did the wicks stand once all turned to oil in the jars? I've had problems with them leaning to one side once the burned for some time

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I only rendered it once, and did not press the tallow. I had the same problem with the wicks leaning in some of mine. Next time, I'll try combining some beeswax with the tallow (beeswax is much harder).

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    11. Hello there, I am going to try this for sure. I have a large piece of beef tallow from a farmer in my freezer. My question is this: in comparison to other candles, how long does a candle burn? Is it quicker because the fat burns faster? Also, the makers of bee's wax candles claim that the air is cleaned while you burn their candles, would you know if this is the case with beef tallow?

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      Replies
      1. We haven't burned "normal" candles in many years because they bothered my husband's sinuses. So I'm not sure how fast these tallow candles burn in comparison to regular candles, because I can't remember how regular candles burn. I don't know whether or not the tallow candles clean the air, but I can tell you that they do not bother my husband's sinuses like normal candles do!

        Delete
    12. Tallow, which is rendered beef fat, was traditionally used to make candles hundreds of years ago. The last time I rendered some tallow, I found that making tallow candles is very easy!
      Triple and strong scented candles
      luxury scented candles

      ReplyDelete
    13. Tallow, which is rendered beef fat, was traditionally used to make candles hundreds of years ago. The last time I rendered some tallow, I found that making tallow candles is very easy!
      Triple and strong scented candles
      luxury scented candles

      ReplyDelete

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