How to Make Bird Suet Cakes

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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

Fat
Peanut butter
Nuts
Dried fruit
Corn meal
Bird seed

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!

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    9 Discussions

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    tonya-rene

    Question 7 weeks ago on Step 5

    Do you have to render the fat? I have tubes of ground up pig fat, can I just make them with that as is?

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    Stanzitunes

    2 years ago

    I have read online repeatedly "DO NOT USE BACON FAT" for birds. It makes sense to me - nitrites and nitrates aren't even good for us, so why would we give it to birds????

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    dragon7380

    3 years ago

    If you would like to make HOT SUET for birds here is the recipe.

    1 cup Lard and 1 cup Peanut Butter. Put in micro 30 seconds to melt.

    mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup yellow corn meal, 4 Tablespoons Cayenne Pepper. This is the dry mix....stir to combine and add the Lard & PB to it.

    I was able to find 12 oz cans of whole Jalapenos peppers that I remove the tops and use my food processor. Add this to the mix.

    once you have these mixed add 3 cups rolled oats (Oatmeal) plus 1 cup bird seed.

    I mix this up and press into 8 plastic holders that the regular suet came in.

    I pop them in the freezer for 2 days then take them out and put them in zip lock bags.

    The birds devour this stuff and actually ignore the regular suet if this is available.

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    Wicca3

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I sincerely hope you meant meat grinder, not organ grinder, which is a person.

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    vishious1

    8 years ago on Step 2

    In my experience, rendering fat produces a disgusting odor. I recommend setting up outside with either a deep fat fryer, or crock pot.

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    TimAnderson

    8 years ago on Introduction

    wow! looks really tasty!
    can you do another on "survival fudge" that's really almost the same thing?