Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Deer Tallow Candle

Two days ago Ryan came in after finishing off the butchering job from our neighbor’s deer and said, “I have a project for you and the girls to do today.  I’d like you to take the tallow that I got off of that deer and make a candle by tonight.”

Hmmm.  I had no idea how to go about doing that.  I have made candles from soy wax, but certainly that would be different from deer fat.  After Ryan told me what to do (how is it that he seems to know something about everything), and I read what Carla Emery had to say on the subject in our much used Encyclopedia of Country Living, I set to work.


Here is the cold, hard tallow.


During the “rendering” process.


Straining it for clarity.


This was the most difficult part since we don’t really have the proper equipment to do it.  I just used a coffee filter and strainer since they were easily accessible.  It wasn’t easy keeping the hot, melted fat off of fingers.  Especially those of two eager little helpers.  Momma is the one that managed to get burned though. :)  (Side note: we discovered a few months ago that butter is excellent for burns.  I can’t remember how, but I burned my finger on something, and Ryan told me that butter was an old folk remedy.  It worked great!)


The mold that I used.


I forgot to take a picture of the wick (100% cotton yarn) tied up to a screw laying over the top, but here is the finished product.



And there you go.


All much easier than I had anticipated.  And it was even ready when Ryan came in for lunch. :)



  1. I'm impressed! What a great process to learn!

  2. very interesting! Never heard of making candles out of deer fat... can you add some sort of essential oils to give it a scent? -Erin