Fat Bears

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by GreenFrog, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog In the Forest Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    I got a gallon ziplock bag of bear fat from a friend after a harvest this past hunting season.
    With a snow day and time available, I took it out of the freezer, trimmed any meat bits and cut it up into small chunks and placed it on low in my crock pot with a little bit of water to prevent any scorching and resulting smell.
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    After about 3 hours the liquid fat began accumulating on the bottom. I scooped it and let it drain through a strainer and funnel into a mason jar.

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    From the 1 gallon bag of bear fat chunks I got 2 plus pints of clean bear fat. I may still run it through cheese cloth or a bandana as it has a few tiny bits visible on bottom.

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    The remaining chunks can be fried for cracklings.

    My main purpose for all this is to share a cordage and candle workshop as part of some outdoor skills classes for kids n adults but now think I'll have some extra to play with. (And a gallon of deer fat to try).

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    Dogbane n bear fat candle in altoids tin. Burned 45mins.


    Anyone use the stuff? Cooking, leather care, gun care?? Would like to hear some first hand experience.
     
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  2. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Looks good. I use it all the time. Cooking and soap mainly. I've made leather dressing with it, and beeswax. It actually works pretty well as leather oil as is, if you want that.
     
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  3. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    Didn’t the Lenape prefer to dip all their meats in bear fat before eating?

    Does it taste good enough to do so routinely?
     
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  4. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    If you take care not to overheat when rendering, there isn't really any flavor to speak of. It doesn't affect baked goods at all. A lot of people think it's going to be like bacon grease or something, it's more like crisco.
     
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  5. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Perpetually Off Topic, Sorry. Supporter

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    I haven't had any for a long time now.
    But years ago, I used it in place of lard.
    I tried oiling boots with it, but I didn't really like it for that, but I used it straight. I think mixed with bee's wax it would be a really nice waterproof dressing.
     
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  6. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog In the Forest Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    Good ideas. I'd like to try adding some beeswax of I get around to it with this batch. Seems like that would make a terrific leather paste.


    I hadn't heard that but believe it. Did once read they would spear them in the den for an easier kill.

    Agreed. That's right on.

    Yeah, I'd like to try that. Bear fat n beeswax.
     
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  7. TWill

    TWill Guide

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    I would use that stuff for making BHBs or big honkin' biscuits. Good clean rendered bear lard is a rare commodity about like wild honey and maple syrup. When we have had pigs butchered we kept the good stiff abdominal fat for making lard and as long as you aren't eating it by the spoonful every day a bit now and then in a baked good is healthier than chemical laboratory modified fats like Cri-sco/cottonseed or hydrogenated and trans fat oils. You have to imagine how valued it was in leaner times in history when fat in the diet was rare and made a difference for the weak between dying in the winter and seeing another springtime. Today our diets have so much and many forms of fats we may not all make it to see another springtime for a different reason.
     
  8. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Bill Qual a wild foods expert used bear fat all the time for cooking, he is gone some years now, was lucky enough to attend a class with him and have a booklet written by him.
     
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  9. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    The best muzzleloading patch lube I have ever used!

    Also one of the highest lanolin contents of any fat I hear; good for the hair and beard.

    Save me an Altoids tin worth for my rifle patches!
     
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  10. designtom

    designtom Scout

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    Not much personal experience.

    Have always wanted to experiment with how to store it after the weather warmed up a bit.

    Slippery elm bark (or sassafras) allegedly did the trick. Link here https://goo.gl/qbUQwq

    Once had inner bark of a white pine fried in bear fat. Wasn't bad. With salt, try to think of them as potato chips.
     
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  11. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog In the Forest Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    Cool. Yeah, I'll be trying that. Daniel Vitalis from rewild yourself podcast talked about it often too for cooking.

    One of those tubes is for you.
    Ohh bear fat as the ultimate hipster beard balm.

    Sounds good.
     
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  12. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Lumber-hipster beard balm! You can package it in red flannel sachets!

    Thanks Frog.
     
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  13. designtom

    designtom Scout

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    Somehow my elementary school passed up on my bear grease mixing proportions.

    How does one go about measuring 1 drachm of slippery elm bark (i imagine dried) to one pound of bear fat?

    With google I'm coming up with about 3/4 of a teaspoon.

    How does one measure 1/8 of an ounce while sitting in front of your long fire?
     
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  14. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Steam up some nitric acid, gently mix it in and have yourself a blast.
     
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  15. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    lol
     
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  16. MisterHoodoo

    MisterHoodoo Supporter Supporter

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    I have heard that bear fat and pine tar mix was a good Native American bug repellent
     
  17. Chazzle

    Chazzle Wandering Teacher Supporter

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    I was told that bear fat was excellent in traditional caplock blackpowder firearms, but I have not tried it. What is the difference between bear fat and bear tallow?
     
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  18. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog In the Forest Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    Cool. That makes sense.

    I think bear fat is referencing raw unprocessed product and the tallow is referencing the clean usable product that has been rendered out.
     
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  19. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    It's just my opinion of course, but all of the things that rendered bear fat is good for have substitutes that work just as well, bug repellents, patch lubes, leather dressing, you name it it's there, but there's one thing that Bear fat is good for that can't be substituted for by any other natural product, and that's Biscuits, I think it would be a shame to use all that great ingredient on lamp wicks, put it in the fridge and use it to bake the best biscuits you will ever have.

    BTW Green Frog, I'm still rocking that knife you sold me about a year or so ago, it's proved to be a great rough duty woods blade, so thanks again.
     
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  20. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog In the Forest Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    Hey @Moe M. I hear yah and agree, I'll definitely try some baking but also a lil of this n that too just for the experience.

    Glad to hear about the knife, fun to know it's working well for you.
     
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  21. TWill

    TWill Guide

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    Tallow is the lower grade fat that is in the muscles and nether regions, lard comes out of the abdominal stored fat that is in sheets. It is harder with a higher melting point. Compare it to pork fat from bacon or pork shoulder that is cooked when it is at room temp it is still fairly soft where rendered pork lard at room temp is a firmer deal.
     
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  22. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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