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  #1  
Old 06-29-2011, 04:44 PM
oldtimer oldtimer is offline
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Default Saving Cookin Grease for Soap

I guess I take a lot for granted thinking everyone lives like we have lived all our lives.

For you all who are wanting to do the frugal thing and save your cookin grease/drippings to make soap, you would do well to get yourself a grease canister.

We've pretty much used the same canister forever but not too long ago bought a second one for our second stove when I saw one in a dimestore in a nearby small town, I hadn't seen anyone carrying these canisters for ages.

A grease canister is a can with a lid, (some fancy ones were ceramic) that you put on your stove and when you fried bacon or hamburgers and such, you would pour the grease off into the canister. The one we found recently is like our old one and actually has a little screen in the can to keep you from pouring chunks of meat in with the fat.

We have one on our gas stove and one on our wood cookstove. When the canister gets full we just put the grease in a 3# coffee can in the fridge or on the back porch in cool weather.

I just looked up "Grease canister" on ebay and they have a number of nice ones, even new ones if you're interested.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2011, 11:16 PM
Sewbusy Sewbusy is offline
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This is a good suggestion. An elderly friend has offered to teach me how to make soap this summer and I can hardly wait. I have been saving our grease from cooking and almost have enough. I even got some from my daughters. They joked about it being the ultimate in recycling. LOL
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2011, 09:12 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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If you haven't seen it, one of the best sites I've found for cleaning up grease for soap making is this one.

http://www.grandpappy.info/wclarify.htm

His soap making instructions also include how to make homemade lye for this purpose. http://www.grandpappy.info/wsoap.htm

While you're there, check out some of the other topics on this page. http://www.grandpappy.info/indexhar.htm Lots of subjects that apply to homesteading and hard times, too.

Lee
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:26 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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At one time, either Walmart or Target had a combo package of a grease can and matching salt/pepper shakers. Bought mine years ago, so don't know if they're still available at one of those places.

An alternative is a new paint can from Lowes or Home Depot. Size the can according to the amount of grease you routinely create. Gently put the lid back on after each use, so you don't have to round up a screwdriver to open it, again.

Use a regular kitchen strainer if you want to keep the bits and pieces out of the grease. Get one that matches the size of your can, so the ears will fit to support the strainer.

If you're saving grease for soap making, it isn't necessary to strain it. The clarification process will take care of any solids that are in the grease. If I'm saving bacon/fatback/sausage grease (separate containers) I want the bits in it. Those bacon crumbs add flavor when the grease is used for scrambled eggs, for example.

Just some thoughts that may be helpful.

Lee
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2011, 03:53 PM
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You're right about the grease for flavoring, NC, but if you're storing grease for soap, you don't want the bacon like smell plus pure grease keeps better than grease that has bits of meat or cracklings in it.

Clarifying does clean up the soap, but if you have a terribly strongly smoked bacon, that smoky smell is hard to get out of the grease.

Also, home made lye is a pain in the neck. It's good to know how to make it for if and when we should ever be forced to use it but in the meantime, storebought lye makes a finer product and uses a LOT less time.

If you're short on grease, you might get the neighbors to help out. We had a neighbor lady who used to delight in sending us her grease as she'd gotten too old to make her own soap.

Again, the soft soap can be made with much less grease than the hard stuff.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:57 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Good points, Oldtimer.

Within the context of this forum, I tend to look at things, as if we can't go to the store and buy what we need. Lye is an example. Knowing how to make it is important, if we can't buy it. It's almost to that point right now due to the meth labs. Not many years ago I could buy Red Devil Lye at the grocery store, hardware, feed/farm, etc. Now it's a hunt for 100% sodium hydroxide. Fortunately, I found it at a local Tractor Supply, as a drain cleaner.

To clarifiy a point I made. Sorry for leaving a false impression. I don't strain grease that I know will be used for cooking/seasoning purpose, unless it should be strained for a particular recipe. Straining prior to clarifying depends on what was cooked and how long it will be held before it's cleaned up.

One way to get a bunch quickly is to contact folks who cook for fundraisers. If they serve French fries, chances are someone is manning a large deep fat fryer. At the end of the event, that oil has to go somewhere. Often, it's simply discarded, unless there's another event coming up soon. Our church conducts 1 or 2 fundraisers per year. Additionally, we have other events, such as Vacation Bible School, where we include a meal each day. While the menu does vary, often there's 2-3 commercial deep fryers full of used oil. It's a help to us, when someone offers to pick up the used oil for their own purposes.

Keep an eye out in your community for opportunities to obtain grease/oil in fairly large amounts for soap making. Not only that, consider "olive oil lamps" which can use other fuels. Consider learning how to make tallow candles, if you have beef or mutton fat. Consider supplementing pet/animal feeds, especially during the winter, with applicable grease/oil (in moderation, BTW.)

Just some thoughts..........

Lee
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2011, 03:13 PM
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Good idea, LEE. I have a friend who visits all the local diners and gets their grease to burn in his diesel pickup.

Their cooking grease is vegetable grease, however, and not lard or tallow. I've found it's hard to get a nice white and hard soap from vegetable matter and it is also hard to get it from homemade lye. Homemade lye requires cooking the soap and the lye will leave a discoloration. You can kind of counteract that if you're making soap by adding a little bluing to the soap just before you pour it into the molds. We put a little bluing in our soft soap too.

Also, was at Walmart yest afternoon and looked for a grease can. They have a nice one that holds about a half gallon, is aluminum and has a built in strainer. It has a handle on the side for ease in pouring. Pretty nice. Six bucks.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:15 PM
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I might add that using chicken fat/grease doesn't make a nice soap. My mother always pours her chicken grease in a can & stores it in the fridge. Next time she fries chicken she gets out her can & fries the new bird in that old grease. Using this method, my mother says she's been frying chicken in the same grease she started with fifty years ago.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2011, 09:08 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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More good points, Oldtimer.

Yes, there's a lot to learn about which grease/oil works best for the project at hand, whether it's soap, candles, or lamps. While I absolutely love fried fish, that leftover grease is probably best suited for supplementing animal diets. The thoughts of "fishy" aroma has prevented me from trying anything else with the leftovers.

Agree with you about using the right/best grease to get the best results. However, in hard times, when stores don't have soap to sell or we can't afford to buy it, then, it doesn't matter that homemade lye yelds a yellow bar of soap. (Oh, and thanks for the tip on bluing. Put some of that in my stash a while back.) In that situation, anything that'll clean body, dishes, clothes, would be welcome, regardless of the color, consistency, and even odor. While smelling like roses is wonderful, knowing fishy smelling dishes are clean overrides other considerations.

Thanks, for the heads up that WalMart still has grease cans. BTW, your Mom sounds just like mine. Mama made biscuits with her leftover chicken grease. Yummmmmm! Sho wish I could butter (with her homemade butter) one this morning for breakfast.

Lee
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2011, 11:46 AM
OldSchool Male OldSchool is offline
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You also want to know exactly what kind of oil you're getting since each type of oil uses a different amount of lye to saponify it.

How long can you expect to keep rendered fat without it going rancid? I rendered some beef tallow(about 20 gallons) to make soap, but it took a back burner to other projects. I'm just concerned about the soap smelling like cracklins! Tallow does seem to have a stronger scent than lard from what I've seen.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post
You also want to know exactly what kind of oil you're getting since each type of oil uses a different amount of lye to saponify it.

How long can you expect to keep rendered fat without it going rancid? I rendered some beef tallow(about 20 gallons) to make soap, but it took a back burner to other projects. I'm just concerned about the soap smelling like cracklins! Tallow does seem to have a stronger scent than lard from what I've seen.
Tallow doesn't keep like lard either. Hope you have it in a cooler. Otherwise, you should put it in hot half gallon or gallon fruit jars and get a lid to seal on it then it will keep just fine. I've got some lard that's over ten years old and it's still fine. It would work fine to make doughnuts I think, but we've been a using it for soap.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:05 PM
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Default Tip on Cleaning Grease

Do it in cold weather, or have some room in the fridge.

Melt your grease in a pan as Grandpappy's site said. If it smells a bit "off", as in going rancid, then fry some old potatoes in it that you would throw out anyway. The potatoes will take out most of the bad smell, then you toss out the potatoes. The dog might like them?

While the grease is hot, pour an equal amount of hot water in it, stir a little and let it sit quietly until it is cool. Put the pan in the fridge or outside to get cold and set up hard. When cold, cut the top layer of solidified grease into chunks for removal and pull out one at a time. The bacon fryings, and other crud will be stuck to the bottom of the chunk. Scrape that off and throw it away, or, toss it in a pot with some mush made of home ground cornmeal and make dog food. It's not a complete diet, but they will love it!

The cleaned grease also has the salt, sugar and meat flavorings mostly washed out of it by the water. What is left should be very clean, white fat. If needed, you can repeat the process, but seldom needs it.

Use big pots and do a lot at once. It saves clean up time. Old newspaper is great for removing leftover grease from pots and pans, then it makes a nice firestarter for the wood stove, another reason to do this in cold weather!

We save grease in whatever is handy--Kool Whip tubs, or any free, recycled container that can be easily scraped out, then disposed of rather than washed. Canning jars are not so good, because they are hard to clean out, but it can be done.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patience View Post
Do it in cold weather, or have some room in the fridge.

Melt your grease in a pan as Grandpappy's site said. If it smells a bit "off", as in going rancid, then fry some old potatoes in it that you would throw out anyway. The potatoes will take out most of the bad smell, then you toss out the potatoes. The dog might like them?

While the grease is hot, pour an equal amount of hot water in it, stir a little and let it sit quietly until it is cool. Put the pan in the fridge or outside to get cold and set up hard. When cold, cut the top layer of solidified grease into chunks for removal and pull out one at a time. The bacon fryings, and other crud will be stuck to the bottom of the chunk. Scrape that off and throw it away, or, toss it in a pot with some mush made of home ground cornmeal and make dog food. It's not a complete diet, but they will love it!

The cleaned grease also has the salt, sugar and meat flavorings mostly washed out of it by the water. What is left should be very clean, white fat. If needed, you can repeat the process, but seldom needs it.

Use big pots and do a lot at once. It saves clean up time. Old newspaper is great for removing leftover grease from pots and pans, then it makes a nice firestarter for the wood stove, another reason to do this in cold weather!

We save grease in whatever is handy--Kool Whip tubs, or any free, recycled container that can be easily scraped out, then disposed of rather than washed. Canning jars are not so good, because they are hard to clean out, but it can be done.
Wide mouth mayo jars work well, so do honey or syrup buckets, and coffee cans.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patience View Post
Do it in cold weather, or have some room in the fridge.

Melt your grease in a pan as Grandpappy's site said. If it smells a bit "off", as in going rancid, then fry some old potatoes in it that you would throw out anyway. The potatoes will take out most of the bad smell, then you toss out the potatoes. The dog might like them?

While the grease is hot, pour an equal amount of hot water in it, stir a little and let it sit quietly until it is cool. Put the pan in the fridge or outside to get cold and set up hard. When cold, cut the top layer of solidified grease into chunks for removal and pull out one at a time. The bacon fryings, and other crud will be stuck to the bottom of the chunk. Scrape that off and throw it away, or, toss it in a pot with some mush made of home ground cornmeal and make dog food. It's not a complete diet, but they will love it!

The cleaned grease also has the salt, sugar and meat flavorings mostly washed out of it by the water. What is left should be very clean, white fat. If needed, you can repeat the process, but seldom needs it.

Use big pots and do a lot at once. It saves clean up time. Old newspaper is great for removing leftover grease from pots and pans, then it makes a nice firestarter for the wood stove, another reason to do this in cold weather!

We save grease in whatever is handy--Kool Whip tubs, or any free, recycled container that can be easily scraped out, then disposed of rather than washed. Canning jars are not so good, because they are hard to clean out, but it can be done.

My grandma always put a big clean peeled tater in her lard when she was close to the end of rendering. She said it took the impurities out. Of course this was lard we were rendering for cooking, so we et the tater.
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