In case you ever render fat, please let it cool down before pouring it into a container. That’s my advice for today.
We butchered two sheep last week, and they were the fattest sheep I’ve ever worked with. I put the ribs and flaps (meat and fat around the stomach) in my big stock pot and cooked it, and today was finishing dealing with the fat. I heated it enough to get out all the rest of the water, and then poured it into ice cream containers. The first panful was only barely above the boiling point of water, but the second must have been much hotter. Before I poured it in, the thought crossed my mind that I should probably let it cool down, but I wanted to get the job out of the way. Well, that was a major mistake. Half a minute after pouring it in, the container started melting! I grabbed a ladle and started frantically scooping, but got two ladlefuls out before the container was flat! Nearly two quarts of hot melted sheep tallow had spread over the contertop and down onto the floor. The worst of it was that I had an open box just below it, with rolls of tinfoil, plastic wrap, and baking paper in it. I don’t know yet how bad the damage is—I’m waiting for the fat to solidify before I try cleaning it up. This is what the container looks like, beside one that isn’t melted.
I am thankful for lots of hot water, and that the baby wasn’t close when this happened, and that it happened back in a corner where we can’t walk.
Within 10 minutes after that episode, I went to the bedroom to change the baby. When I went back through the kitchen to put the diaper in the bucket in the laundry room, I noticed that the peculiar smell I’d been smelling was stronger, and there was a smell of burning plastic now, too. Then I saw the source—the baby turkey’s light had fallen down and the straw was black and smoking, and the side of their tub was melting! Praise God, I saw it before it actually caught fire! Time for those turkeys to go outside before the baby knocks down their light again.