social

Making Homemade Suet

November 11, 2011

Birds have very high metabolisms and demand high amounts of energy to maintain their daily activities. Suet is a great way to help them replenish the energy stores lost during nesting, migration, and cold weather. It's also a great way to lure bird species to your backyard that might otherwise ignore your seed feeders.

Basic Fruit Suet Recipe

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Chop the fat into small pieces (or run it through a meat grinder). Melt the fat in a saucepan over low heat until it turns to liquid. Once the fat is melted, strain and remove any floating particles, including any remaining traces of meat.

  2. Let the liquid fat cool slightly and stir in the other ingredients. Don't worry about exact measurements. Just add in whatever you think is needed to make it look good.

  3. Line small plastic containers with waxed paper and pour in the mix.

  4. Refrigerate containers filled with suet until they start to harden, and then store them in the freezer until ready for use. For ball-shaped suet, remove the suet from their containers while still slightly warm and shape it into balls with your hands. Place the balls in plastic bags and store them in the freezer.

Yields about 4 cups of suet

Variation #1: Cracked corn suet Increase cracked corn to 1 cup. Replace fruit pieces with 1/4 cup black oil sunflower seeds.

Variation #2: Sunflower suet Decrease cracked corn to 1/4 cup. Replace fruit pieces with 1 cup black oil sunflower seeds.

Variation#3: Peanut suet Decrease cracked corn to 1/4 cup. Replace fruit pieces with 1 cup of unsalted, bird food grade peanut halves.

Tips for Finding Inexpensive Ingredients

Birdseed: If you feed birds all year round, then you are probably already buying bird food in bulk from farm or feed stores to save money. You can also mix in seeds from flowers going to seed in your garden. Some good choices are cosmos, sunflowers, zinnias, poppies, asters, black-eyed Susan, coneflowers, and sedum.

Fruit: If you (or perhaps your neighbors) grow cherry or other fruit trees, collect fruit with insect holes or bird damage, and cut it into halves or quarters. Other good choices for fruits include native berries like chokecherries, juniper, elderberries, mountain ash, and service berries. Store fruit in the freezer until you make the suet. It can be added to recipes while still frozen.

Fat: If you eat meat, one way to acquire fat for suet recipes is to trim the excess from meats before cooking them, or save the drippings. Freeze fat in labeled plastic bags until you are ready to use it. Scraps of fat can also be sourced from local butchers. It's also available in the meat section of some grocery stores. Experts disagree about whether birds digest pork fat as easily as beef fat, but most agree that lard and vegetable shortening are not good substitutes.

Offering Suet to Backyard Birds

Suet cakes can be set out for birds while still frozen. Pop it out of its container and if necessary, cut it into smaller pieces before dropping them into a mesh bag (or wire suet cage). You're your feeders from tree branches at least 5 to 6 feet off the ground. You may also want to try smearing the suet directly on the bark of trees. This will be especially welcome to bird species accustomed to clinging onto bark in search of insects.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 10
Read More Comments

15 More Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

I always give the birds stale bread slices PLUS I feed them seeds and suet cakes but today I put them all together! I buttered the slice of bread with chunky peanut butter on each side, then dropped the bread into my bag of bird seed!

Suet Substitute

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 18
Read More...

December 15, 2009

Keep an old coffee can and drain your beef or bacon grease into the can. When you have enough, melt it down. Add a little flour, some sunflower seeds and even a little peanut butter, and then refrigerate.

Comment Was this helpful? 19
Read More...

December 20, 2011

I just got done making suet for the wild birds. It is cheap enough to buy, but gets even cheaper if you make your own. The following is my recipe.

Flicker at suet feeder.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 5
Read More...

December 21, 2013

For those who enjoy feeding backyard birds, suet is a great choice for attracting a variety of beautiful species.

Nuthatch on suet feeder.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 5
Read More...

We always pour the oils collected from our (George Foreman) grill into a tin can, add bird seed (dusted in a little wheat flour or ground oatmeal) and leave it cool down (or freeze) and then place in our suet feeders.

Making Simple  Suet Cakes - place can in the suet feeder

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2
Read More...

September 2, 2010

This tip is for all you birdwatchers out there! This past summer I decided to start making my own suet. I make up a batch every month and store it in the freezer until I need it.

Comment Was this helpful? 1
Read More...

I am an avid bird feeder. In the winter I save my grease drippings, mix them with seed and pour them in a paper milk container. Put it in the fridge to harden and once hardened tear off the paper. I save my net onion bags and hang the home made suet in them for the birds.

Comment Was this helpful? 1
Read More...

Put this mixture in a suet cage and watch your birds enjoy.

Comment Was this helpful? 3
Read More...

Combine all the ingredients; mix well. Put in an onion bag or suet feeder, or pack in pine cones or into the bark of trees. Then watch the birds enjoy this hearty feast.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

If I get a good sale price on peanut butter, then I can make my own for less or about the same price as store bought. I like to make it because I can add what I want and the birds seem to like it better homemade. I have bought cases of suet they did not care for, so I melted them down and added peanut butter and they loved it.

Homemade peanut butter suet in plastic containers.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 13, 2012

Since peanut butter has increased in price, is there a substitute for it in making suet cakes?

By Pat Z.

Advertisement

Answers

January 13, 20120 found this helpful

Birds love lard and it is sticky, but will melt in hot weather. They do not like other shortenings, as I found out.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 30, 2009

I save all of the left over bacon grease, and grease from frying foods, put it in a jar in fridge, (dated of course).

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

September 2, 2010

Would anyone out there know how to make homemade suet? We have lots of beautiful birds around in the winter and we try to keep them happy.

Bird Feeder Suet Recipe

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

December 15, 2009

One way to make suet is to save the fat cut off of your meats. If I don't have enough to make a large batch, I've frozen the fat until later.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

October 25, 2008
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...
In These Pages
Categories
Home and Garden Gardening Birds & Bird HousesNovember 11, 2011
Pages
More
🌻
Gardening
🐛
Pest Control
👔
Father's Day Ideas!
👒
Mother's Day Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Instagram
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2021-04-27 09:17:57 in 3 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2021 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
https://www.thriftyfun.com/Making-Homemade-Suet.html