Making your own bird suet is cheap and easy. Besides eating all the bacon and spending $1 on a pound of beef suet, the other ingredients maybe cost $3. These ingredients are most likely already in your cupboard.
We have made this recipe a few times with slightly different variations with good results. We have noticed that the birds prefer the homemade suet over the commercially made kind.
Beware - this suet will smell so good when you are making it. You may be tempted to eat it. Bacon and peanut butter are a perfect match!
Alright. Let's feed the birds.
Total project time - including cake cooling - is under 2 hours.
Step 1: Ingredients
For this Instructable, we used bacon fat, beef suet, peanut butter, peanuts, raisins, cracked corn, and later remembered to add corn meal, oatmeal and whole sunflower seeds. We had about six cups of rendered (melted) fat and we added roughly one cup of each dry ingredient.
Step 2: Render the Fat
Over medium heat, render (melt) the fat. We put the frozen bacon fat in the dutch oven to warm up the bottom of the cans for easy release. The bacon melts super fast - less than three minutes.
If you use beef suet, chop it up before melting. We used an organ grinder to get the beef suet into small pieces. The beef suet will melt quickly, too.
The fat melted in about 6 minutes.
Step 3: Combine the Ingredients and Cool
Remove the pot of rendered fat from the hot stove. Please use caution with the hot, hot grease.
Add your dry ingredients and stir it up. Place the pot outside or in the freezer to cool until the mixture thickens. Stir the mixture periodically to keep the solids from sinking to the bottom.
Step 4: Pour Into Molds & Freeze
After the suet mixture has thickened, pour it into your molds. We used a 9x13 and an 8x8 pan.
Don't overfill your molds. Keep in mind the dimensions of your suet cage.
Place the molds in the freezer to set - about 20 minutes.
Step 5: Pop, Score & Cut
Remove the solid suet from the freezer and pop them out of their pans. Use your suet cages as a guide to cut the right sized cakes.
Fill your suet cage with their new food. After hanging your suet feeder, it's normal for the birds to take a few days to find the new food source.
Enjoy the birds!