Introduction: Fat Candle

Pretty much everything that lives produces fat, fat is fuel for the body and your lamp or stove, rendered animal fat has been used as a fuel since before recorded time. If you have ever seen a grease fire in a kitchen you have seen the destructive potential stored in fat, but it’s not all bad news.

Rendered fat remains edible for a long time it was used to preserve meat before refrigeration and although I wouldn’t eat it, an oak barrel full of butter, estimated to be roughly 3,000 years, old was found in a peat bog in County Kildare in Ireland.

In places like the Artic it is still used as food and fuel today the ultimate survival tool.

Step 1: Supplies

For a fat candle you want fat or oil, pork fat, beef fat, lamb, or any lard will do, fish oil, fowl fat, and vegetable oil will fuel a fat candle, so for this fat candle I am using bacon fat.

For a wick I am using a 100% cotton shoe lace but any cotton or hemp string or cloth will do, and to hold the wick in place I am using a pencil however anything like a stick will work.

For the container I am using an aluminum pop can but any heat tolerant container will suffice.

Step 2: Making the Candle

Tie the cotton string to the pencil.

Cut the top off the pop can and suspend the string in the center of the can.

Then render the fat you can do this by cooking the bacon in water and then separating the fat after the water cools or since my boys like there bacon crisp I cook the bacon until almost all the fat is rendered and then pour it into the can and let it cool.

When the fat is cool and congeals remove the pencil and trim the can to about ¼ of an inch above the top of the fat.

Step 3: The Finished Candle

Although the candle will burn like this as you can see the fat melts and the wick can fall over putting the flame out. To prevent this you need to make a boat to float the wick this can be made of almost anything that floats but heat tolerant material is best for my boat I used aluminum foil.

If you want to use corn oil or the like you will need a wick boat to float your wick and for those of you that have ever wondered where the term came from, “Whatever floats your wick.”
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