Emergency Survival Candle Out of FAT!?

Introduction: Emergency Survival Candle Out of FAT!?


This candle will not last for long, and is not recommended for anything other than emergencies.

What to do with all that grease and fat that you don't want to dump down the sink? Well you can use it as a quench medium, use it for cooking later (up to a point), or MAKE A CANDLE!?

Step 1: Materials

  • Material:
    1. Fat
    2. Washer / Nut / Screw / small scrap metal
    3. Rag (cotton or similar, nothing plastic)
    4. Glass Jar
  • Tools
    1. Scissors
    2. Soup Pot (optional)
    3. Chip Clip
    4. Stove
    5. Mesh Strainer
    6. Straw / Stick

Step 2: Collect Your Grease and Mix

The heart of this project is of course that jar/can of old congealed fat you have sitting next to the sink. As you cook anything fatty (bacon, burgers, steak, etc.) when you go to pour out that big puddle of grease in the pan, and you don't want to pour it in the sink so you pour in some can or jar you've set aside with all your other oil drippings.

Step 3: Wick

  • Wick
    1. Cut a strip out of your rag roughly 1/2" thick.
    2. Make sure your "wick" is about twice as long as the jar you plan to use for your candle.
  • Base/Weight
    1. I used a heavy washer for mine because it was there, but really you can use anything:
      1. heavy enough to sink,
      2. small enough to fit in your jar,
      3. easy to tie your "wick" to.
    2. Tie / Loop / Attach your "wick" to the base you've made.

Step 4: Melting, Pouring, and Cooling


DO: if you are already storing your fat in a METAL container like a tin can, then it can be heated right on the stove burner.

DO: if you are already storing your fat in a GLASS container like a mason jar, then place it in warm/hot water until the fat turns to liquid.

DO: spoon your fast out in clumps into a soup pot, or large pan. (SAFEST)

DO NOT: place ANY GLASS containers directly on the stove burner, this can very easily cause the glass to break and start a grease fire!

Once your fat is a nice smooth liquid, it can be poured into your glass jar.

  1. Put the strainer in the mouth of the jar.
  2. Pour your liquid fat through the strainer, and into the jar.
    • This will catch any chucks of food that may have slipped in when you were collecting your fat.
  3. Slide your "wick" into the jar, and use a straw / chopstick to poke it down to the bottom.
  4. Put the last few inches in a Chip-Clip or similar (a couple straws rubber-banded together works too), keeping the "wick in the middle of the jar.


Place your candle in a slightly cool place like a basement, or garage to cool. DO NOT: put your candle somewhere cold like a refrigerator / freezer, this may cause the fat to separate, or cause the glass to break.

Step 5: Done.

After a few hours your candle will be cooled and ready for an emergency! I do want to repeat a couple things:

  1. This is not a great candle.
  2. This should only be used for emergencies.
  3. Once lit the sides may get hot, so place it somewhere it can provide light, and try to avoid holding it for too long.

I've made a few of these and used them when i've had power outages, ect. they burn bright, but a bit fast. It's a good way to re-use cooking fat, and a good cheap survival candle, but if you are concerned about large scale emergencies please consider purchasing professionally made supplies.

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    3 years ago

    Great, now my house smell like bacon....
    (jk! XD This is actually a nifty use of leftover fat.)