One in all my favourite issues about buying my very own wild meat is that it comes with an added bonus: fats. Many hunters overlook wild recreation fats and dismiss it as they might most stuff from the intestine pile. Wild recreation fats has nice worth, although.

Duck fats, for instance, is treasured by foodies and a few people pay critical cash for dishes that embody this ingredient. However the worth of untamed recreation fats extends past birds, and when you’re fortunate sufficient to amass a good quantity of it, ensure you know how you can flip it into liquid gold.

In culinary phrases, rendering fats from a deer is known as tallow. Fats on poultry, reminiscent of turkey and pheasant, turns into schmaltz when rendered. Fats on a hog is named lard after rendering.

Past cooking makes use of, wild recreation fats will be made into cleaning soap, chicken suet, and you’ll even use a jar of bear grease to foretell climate patterns.

Since wild recreation is comparatively lean, it might appear to be numerous effort to strive saving each scrap of fats. It’s tedious, however that work on the entrance finish will repay tenfold down the street.


Some days, you don’t restrict out, and also you gained’t have sufficient birds to make a giant jar of rendered fats. You possibly can (and will), nevertheless, put it to use. Pull no matter fats you discover and add it to the sauté pan for cooking the meat. Different days, nevertheless, you’ll have a pile of birds, and that’s when you need to take the time to render all of the fats you possibly can. When rendering chicken fats, you possibly can hold the pores and skin intact, as long as you’ve rigorously plucked all of the feathers.

Most hunter/cooks know the way good waterfowl fats will be, however geese and geese aren’t the one animals that you need to take fats from. I’ve discovered makes use of for the fats from most of the animals we hunt, together with elk, moose, deer, antelope, bear, hog and turkey.

Large Sport

There are three principal areas the place you’ll find fats on large recreation. The primary is the subcutaneous fatback, or the fats positioned between the cover and muscle. The subsequent space you’ll find fats in is inside the physique cavity. Caul fats is the online of fats that envelopes the abdomen and attaches to the spleen. It’s present in deer and hogs. The small pockets of onerous fats, known as suet in deer and leaf lard in pigs, are positioned across the kidneys.

There may be additionally fats within muscular tissue. You’ll discover this in a well-marbled steak, however sadly, it’s absent in wild recreation.

When processing an animal, accumulate small hunks of fats in a bowl. Whereas you need to use the fats from any of the areas talked about above, one of the best fats for cooking is the layer beneath the pores and skin on the quarters and again.

Use the majority of the caul fats as a casing to wrap meat. Save the remaining scraps and the massive items discovered on the outer ring for the rendering pile.

Glands are Gross

Be cautious of great chunks of sentimental white tissue (just like the fats discovered contained in the hind leg wedged subsequent to the attention of the spherical) as there’s possible a gland inside. These glands are small, darkish inexperienced balls roughly the scale of peppercorns.

Glands are additionally present in all birds close to the rectum and connected to the backbone on both facet. These will destroy a batch of fats, so be cautious of your knife work and throw them away.


In primary phrases, rendering simply means purifying and eradicating the water from fats by way of a gradual boiling course of. Right here’s the way you try this.

Rinse the fats completely. Don’t let particles or hair contaminate the batch, or the ultimate product might have a foul taste. Chop the fats into small items and place them inside a pot. Add a splash of water to maintain any tissue from burning, and switch the warmth to low. Permit time for the fats to warmth up gently and soften. Ultimately, the water will evaporate, leaving the liquified tallow, lard or schmaltz behind. After just a few hours (longer in case you have a substantial quantity of fats) all the pieces will likely be absolutely rendered.

Any items of pores and skin or meat left behind will flip into cracklings, or fritons, because the French would say. Calmly salt these crispy items and crumble over meals, add to rillettes or eat as a snack.

Upon getting the fats fully rendered, pressure it by way of a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. This can take away any solids and impurities. Pour the rendered product in a glass jar and permit it to chill fully.

Schmaltz will hold within the fridge for as much as six months. Lard and tallow are extra saturated, which will increase their shelf life. These will solidify at room temperature and might keep within the pantry for a yr or longer.

Cooking With Sport Fats

In essentially the most primary kind, animal fat can be utilized as a cooking medium for searing and sautéing. Alternatively, you possibly can drizzle small quantities of liquified fats over roasted potatoes or greens, simply as you’ll with a ending oil. It’s a easy means so as to add wealthy taste to your facet dishes.

As a result of extremely saturated fat cool shortly and might coat the tongue like wax, it’s not at all times best to make use of them as a cooking oil alone. However you possibly can emulsify it with a much less saturated fats like butter to make tallow butter which can be utilized in any cooking occasion the place you’d use butter—from frying fish to spreading on do-it-yourself sourdough.

Or you possibly can run wild fats by way of the grinder earlier than rendering. You possibly can then add it to floor meat and sausages, and even use it in baked items.

When you’re not already satisfied it’s well worth the effort to render and make the most of schmaltz, tallow, and lard, dishes like duck confit, bourbon boar butter, and bear grease biscuits will definitely change your thoughts.

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