In this Treeline Pursuits video cast we discuss how we render bear fat. When you first bring up the idea of eating bear meat, most people turn up thier noses, walk away or simple change the subject. They are sure missing out! Bear meat has become one of my family’s favorite wild game meats, preferred over elk meat. Over the past couple years, we’ve converted dozens of hunters and non-hunters in to bear meat lovers.
The bear meat conversion is tough enough, but when you start talking about rendering and eating bear fat you loose most everyone at that point. Rendered bear fat is simply incredible. Many guys have told me, that the bear fat is more important to them than the meat itself.
The rendered fat has a very light smell and flavor. It’s really not what you would expect. The end product is a hard, white or very light brown lard that can be used to cook just about anyting. Ultimately, you will find yourself saving the bear lard for your best dishes.
The rendering process is very simple, and the end product is sure to convert. We go through the process in the video, link below. Here is outline of the basic steps of the process.
Rendering Bear Fat
1. Clean the fat thoroughly, removing all meat. It is very important to remove all meat.
2. Cut the fat into 1/2 inch squares. Even better if you can partially freeze and grind the fat with a meat grinder. The finer the fat the better and quicker and better it will render.
3. We prefer to use the crockpot method. Simply add the bear fat to a crockpot and place on low heat. You will want to stir for the first several minutes to keep the the fat from sticking. The fat should start to sputter, not sizzle. You want to keep the liquid from turning brown.
4. The fat will render and the moisture will evaporate. This process may take several hours. Be sure to stir a few times every hour.
5. Once the fat has liquefied and the sputtering has stopped, the fat is ready to be poured off. There will be hard bits of fat, the cracklings, these will need to be filtered out.
6. We use a a fine-meshed sieve, but a cheesecloth will do just fine. Slowly pour the rendered fat through the sieve to filter out the cracklings and impurities.
7. You will want to put into jars before it solidifies. Pour the warm liquid fat into jars, seal, and refrigerate. Bear fat should last several months in the fridge or even longer if frozen.