How to Render Bear Fat


Rendering is a process whereby fat is heated and melted to prevent spoilage. Bear fat in particular must be rendered immediately upon killing and slaughter because it is highly susceptible to spoilage in its raw form. After rendering, bear fat can be used in cooking, soap- and candle-making, as a mechanical lubricant and even as a protective finish for leather and wood. If used for cooking, the fat should also be separated to remove impurities.

Things You'll Need

  • Outdoor grill or fire-pit
  • Cast iron or stainless steel pot
  • Bear fat
  • Large spoon
  • Cheese cloth
  • Colander
  • Storage container
  • Start a fire in a pit or on a grill. Because of its smell, the fat must be rendered outdoors.

  • Place the cast-iron or stainless steel pot on the heat.

  • Cut the fat into 1-inch cubes and place in the pot, leaving it uncovered to let moisture escape.

  • Stir the fat occasionally. Reduce the heat if the fat smokes or burns.

  • Continue to heat until almost all of the fat is liquified. A few small pieces in the fat, called cracklings, will not melt.

  • Place a few layers of cheesecloth into the colander and hold the pot over the storage container.

  • Pour the fat through the cheesecloth to catch the cracklings. The cracklings can be used in cooking.

  • Store the fat in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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  • Photo Credit fat image by Leonid Nyshko from
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