Can I store suet or home-rendered tallow at room temperature for a year?

stephennmcdonald
  • Can I store suet or home-rendered tallow at room temperature for a year? stephennmcdonald

    This weekend I will be in possession of 100 lbs of beef suet (which I'll be getting from a butcher friend) and plan to render it into tallow. I can't even begin to imagine exactly what this amount of tallow will look like, but I'm absolutely certain I won't have nearly enough room in the fridge or freezer to store it.

    I was told large quantities of rendered tallow can be stored at room temperature for up to or even a year; possibly longer if I keep it in my cool, dark basement. Rendered fats never last long enough in our house to know for sure.Apparently canning isn't an option because the heated fat will keep the jar from sealing, but it will be fine in a well sealed glass (Mason-style) jar.

    A quick Google search turns up some anecdotal evidence but I'd prefer some science.

    Can I store my rendered tallow in well-sealed glass jars in the basement for up to (or over) a year? More importantly, why or why not?

    Edit: I've been operating under the assumption that the rendered tallow will be safer to store for a long period of time. I just saw on StillTasty (which doesn't have a tallow entry unfortunately) that commercial suet can be stored for a year in the pantry, opened or unopened. That seems really strange to me - is that true? I would expect fat to go rancid quickly in an opened container in the pantry. Is it because it's "commercial" suet - is there anything I could do to my suet so I could store it unrendered?

  • Tallow does not need to be refrigerated and can last a year or longer. I would not worry greatly about decomposition, but oxidation can be a problem. Make sure to store it in an airtight container and you shouldn't have a problem.

Tags
food-safety storage-method storage-lifetime beef fats
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