It’s been almost a year since I rendered my beef tallow. I kept it in the fridge for a month or so, using it for a few cooking recipes. But the procrastination needed to stop. I needed to continue on my homesteading journey to try to learn how to make tallow candles. So I finally did it this weekend. Aren’t you so proud of me? 🙂
The easiest way to make tallow candles would be to add a wick to a small mason jar, pour the liquid melted tallow in the jar like I did when I made my soy survival candles and allow to cool. That would have been the most useful and easy for me to store. So if I had to do this again that would be the way I would make candles out of tallow.
But honestly I was in this for the adventure. I wanted to try to make the candles like my ancestors did long ago. I wanted to dip them using string. So that’s just what I did!
How to Make Tallow Candles
First thing I needed was some string or cording. I am sure you can use just about any kind of string, but I ordered in some cotton wick from Amazon.com to use for this project. From reading online many homesteaders used cotton material for the wicks as they burn well.
Next thing I did was put my two jars of tallow into my crockpot filled half-way with warm water.
Once the tallow was melted I was ready for dipping. I cut off a piece of the wick, folded it in half so I knew where the center was and then placed both ends into the tallow jars. I let that sit for 15 minutes, as I wanted the oils to soak into the wick to make it all burn slower.
After that time was up I took the wick an laid it as straight as I could on a piece of parchment paper. I allowed that to cool until it was solid (about 5-10 minutes).
For the process of candle dipping you need to have your hot oil and your cold water for quick cooling. I filled two more quart sized canning jars with ice-cold water.
It was now dipping time…. I was really excited to get started on this. Don’t mind my messy phone-zone.
So I dipped the string into the tallow, then into the water.
Then tallow then water, and repeat, repeat & repeat.
I was hoping the string would stay straight but it kept on curving and twirling near the ends.
I tried straightening it out often but it kept on doing it. I probably should have but some sort of heavy bead or penny on the bottom of the string so it would go straight. But I didn’t. And kept on just trying to make it work.
The water jars would get all gunked up with cooled tallow drops, so every once in awhile I would scoop the tallow out.
After what seemed like 2.4531 million dips it finally started looking like the candle was growing.
And it seemed to move a lot faster after that. Or maybe I was just getting excited because it appeared to be working. Either way it was getting bigger.
And after about 20 minutes of dipping I had myself a short nobbly beautiful pair of tallow candles! Woo hoo!
One thing that surprised me is that the big huge stink of tallow oil didn’t seem to be strong at all when it was melted again. Weird I know! So I am guessing that the candles themselves probably won’t stink too bad when getting melted. But I will have to be the judge of that soon. Maybe tonight I will light one up and see.
And there you have it! Homemade tallow dipped candles. What do you think? Will you be making these anytime soon?