My husband and I are bird lovers, and are always looking for ways to bring them closer to us. Suet is essential for winter survival, as it provides heat and energy for their little bodies. I've recently read several articles on how to render beef fat for making your own suet cakes. Although they aren't expensive to buy, it's always rewarding to make something yourself. The best base for the cakes is fat rendered from beef suet. The heating process not only eliminates impurities, but it becomes harder with each 'melting/cooling' process. This will give you a finished product that can withstand higher outdoor temperature (if hung in shade). Many bird food recipes I've read mention using only peanut butter, lard or shortening as a base for the cakes. These however, will soften and go rancid faster. In addition to suet 'cakes', you can also load pine cones with warm suet and roll in seeds. What a great gift for your 'bird loving friends'. Suet is fat that is located around the kidneys. It is not the same as fat bits that are trimmed from cuts of meat.
- 2 lbs of raw suet will yield approximately 12 cups of fat.
- Purchased suet cakes measure 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 1-1/4" thick. Save your 250ml dairy containers (sour cream, cottage cheese etc) to use as molds. They are also 4-1/2" in diameter.
- Drill 1-1/2" holes in logs and fill with the suet/seed mixture.
- Raw suet cuts much easier when frozen.
- My yield from 12 cups of fat - 14 cakes, 12 cones
- Yields will vary with the amount of seed, and molds used.
- Please ignore the indicated number of servings. :)