Turkey & Hamburger Soap

Yup.  I did it.  I made soap out of

dun dun duuuuuunnnnn…….

Make soap from turkey fat and hamburger grease


Hamburger grease and turkey fat!

Eewwww, you might say.  Well, let me tell you, it actually made quite a nice bar of soap!

Seriously! How to make soap from hamburger grease and turkey fat

Just look at this pretty, creamy white bar of soap!

If this is something you might fancy doing, just save all of your (previously discarded) cooking fats!

All of them. Just keep your hamburger grease in one container, your chicken fat in another, etc., because each fat requires just a slightly different amount of lye (sodium hydroxide) for the chemical reaction of saponification to work it’s soapmaking magic!

When I boiled the Thanksgiving turkey carcass, along with all the skin and parts unknown, before it cooled down too much I strained the broth into a large saucepan, then set it into the refrigerator overnight.  The next morning I had a nice creamy layer of turkey fat sitting on top of some wonderfully healthy turkey broth.  Just carefully lift the fat off the top of the broth, scrape anything off the bottom that isn’t clean white fat, pop it into a container and then into the freezer!  You can also do this with chicken fat, duck fat, just about any kind of poultry you have! Once you have enough for a batch of soap – Make Soap!

Soap from Hamburger grease

You can pour your hamburger grease into a paper cup, cleaned milk carton, cleaned tin can – whatever you have (thought it’s harder to get it out of a can). When hardened, pop it out of the container and store in a baggie or some sort of air-tight container in the freezer.

The hamburger fat?  Well, to be technical, hamburger fat is really just another name for tallow!  When you brown your hamburger, save the fat that you drain off into a cup or tin can, then pour in just a touch of hot water and set it in the fridge to cool. Once the fat is congealed on the top of the water, you have tallow!

Did you know you can also make soap with bacon grease?  Yes Indeedy!

Because of the chemical process called saponification, you can make soap out of just about any kind of fat or oil known to man!  I suppose that if the SHTF anytime soon, I could make soap out of chipmunk fat, though I’m not sure how much chipmunk fat it would take to get a pound of soap!

Sorry, Simon, Alvin and Theodore!  Just joking……. maybe.  😉

So, here is what I did:

After saving my fats, I had 390 grams of turkey fat and 192 grams of tallow.  I went to the handy-dandy calculator at Brambleberry.com and plugged these numbers into their calculator and found that I would need 192 grams of liquid (for this batch I used water, but you could also use milk, tea, coffee, etc.) and 77.29 grams of lye (sodium hydroxide).  The yield would be 850 grams, which is a little less than two pounds of soap.  Cool!

I won’t go through all the details about how to make soap here, you can find that just about anywhere.  You can also peruse several of my other soap making recipes on the soapmaking tab above, or CLICK HERE.

soap made from turkey fat

This soap cut very easily and was a beautiful creamy white color.

Anyway, I decided, when I reached trace, that I would add in some Rosemary essential oil along with Clary Sage. Not because I was afraid of what turkey and tallow soap would smell like, because I have already found out that the chemical reaction of the lye and the fats make the soap smell clean and very pleasant – even without added scents!  But because I enjoy experimenting with different scents!  I am blessed that my daughter-in-law, Wendy, is a distributor of How to make soap with turkey fatDoTerra, a wonderful brand of essential oil.  In fact, for Christmas she gave me some more, along with a wonderful, handy dandy holder! If you would like to try DoTerra essential oils, you can go to her webpage HERE.  So, when I tested the sage and rosemary EO’s together by taking off the lids and holding the two bottles together, swirling them beneath my nose, I liked the combination. I further tested the blend by adding one drop of the Clary Sage on a napkin, then added one drop of Rosemary right on top, let it sit and blend for a few minutes, then smelled it again. I really liked the blend of these two scents.  It was woodsy and clean smelling with just a hint of manliness – a little like one of my husband’s favorite aftershaves. Also, the scent seemed to barrel it’s way right into my sinuses – so I thought this would be a wonderful combination of scents during the winter cold and flu season!      Right?

Besides….    doesn’t sage go well with turkey? 🙂

Well…  ahem…   I wouldn’t call it a mistake….     maybe just a little faux pas.

You see – the soap is reallyHow to make soap out of cooking fats nice and seems to clean well with a good creamy lather. However, every time I smell it I am reminded of Turkey stuffing!  The sage scent took over and I think I added too much!  I also found that I don’t need to use as much DoTerra as I would other essential oils.

Next time I make turkey fat soap, I think I will use a citrus blend. 😉

The soap itself is just a bit softer than a pure tallow or pure lard soap would be, but it’s hard enough to work well in the bath or shower, or at the sink for handwashing.  As you can see from the picture above, I got seven nice sized bars of soap.  Not bad from something most people just throw away!

how to make soap from cooking grease

Have you made soap with any animal fat other than lard or tallow?


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45 thoughts on “Turkey & Hamburger Soap

  1. Omg!!! You have become the master of reuse!!!! We are gretty good at wasting nothing but you have surpasted me!!! I never would
    have thought of used burger grease for soap. You rock girl. Keep churning out the ideas. I love thinking out of the box it makes life so much more fun.

    • Isn’t that crazy – hamburger grease and turkey fat – who knew? When I read about how any fat can be made into soap and then saw on the lye calculator all the different types of fats and oils that can be used, I just couldn’t wait to try! There is even a calculation for bear fat – though I am not going bear hunting in the near future. Have a wonderful day, Sunny!

      • You say you haven’t had
        Bear YET!!! You are locating to the mountains!!!!!spread the word you
        Like wild game you will some guy who likes to hunt but his wife doesn’t want to cook or eat what he got. Cook enough to send him leftovers and he will supply you a long time. Lol. We did you can too. By the way bear is great as long as the grease is removed. It tastes like a rich beef roast. We like bear roasted then stewed for two great back to back meals. The fat would indeed be great soap.

  2. I love the tool that you use to make it all wavy! The images of the turkey are hilarious! You did whaaaa? haha!!! I have a friend that dabbles in making soap and chapsticks, so I’ll have to share this with her!!!

    • Good evening – nice to meet you! I bought that tool at Michael’s with one of those 40% off coupons, so I think it cost me less than $5.00! I just love it because it makes the soap look a bit more “custom”. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a nice comment!

  3. I saw your link over at Wicked Awesome Wednesday. I have never made soap myself but I’d love to give it a try one day. I just love that all of our so called ‘waste products’ like hamburger grease and turkey fat can be turned into something useful again! Cool post!

    • Hello, Kaylene! Don’t you just love Wicked Awesome Wednesday? Making soap was one of those things I always wanted to try and one day I just did it! Isn’t it great that the fat and grease can be recycled? Thanks for reading the post – have a wonderful evening!

  4. man you have the life Vickie! This is too fun 🙂 Love the thought of using my animal fat for some soap! Kristina made a list and I think soap making is this month, we are so excited to give it a try and all because of your experiments 🙂

    • You like my ‘spearments? 😉 I really am having a fun time with all this soap! Haha – I’m going to be one of the cleanest people around! I hope you two try making soap, but don’t blame me if it becomes your next addiction!

  5. Well that’s one way I can use up all the goose fat from Christmas. Or a the bacon grease that’s been building up in my fridge. I don’t have enough bison fat left. Mostly I’ve been using them for cooking, but the fat is building up faster in my fridge/freezer than I can use it.

    • Yes! can you believe it? It really sounds strange, but I tried it and it works! I have never had bison before, but I would bet bison fat makes great soap. Let me know if you try this and how it works out for you.

      • I definitely will. I only have about a tablespoon or so of bison fat left I think. I didn’t get much of that being it’s separated from bone broth I made. Between the bacon and goose fat though I probably have 5ish cups of fat though. That could probably make a decent amount of soap.
        That experiment will have to wait though, I’m experimenting making vanilla cherry date bars tomorrow and going on an adventure to find soapnuts to make my own shampoo friday.

  6. This is really interesting. I would never have thought to save the fat from poultry. Your soap looks really pretty. Love the ridged cutter. Thank you for sharing it and your yummy sourdough recipes at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!
    Blessings, Deborah

    • Thanks, Deborah! The ridged cutter was from Michael’s! I got it with one of those 40% off coupons so it was (I think) less than $6! I wouldn’t have known about making soap with any other animal fat than pig (lard) or beef (tallow), but when you search the lye calculators (I use brambleberry.com) they have all kinds of fats and oils listed!

  7. Who knew that you could use all that different fat. Such a good way to recycle! I would love to try this sometime but I guess I’m always worried about the lye when you make soap. Maybe if I went to a class.

    • I didn’t go to a class, but it feels like it did because I watched hundreds of You Tube Videos, read thousands of blogs and went over the steps millions of times in my head before I started. Not really, but you know what I mean! Just wear eye protection, don’t have any kids or dogs around (or clumsy husbands) for distractions, and keep the vinegar bottle ready, with the cap off. You should really try it! I promise, you will be fine. 🙂

  8. It looks like lovely soap! We have been using 100% tallow from the steers we’ve had butchered. It comes out very white and hard soap. I like making it from tallow and now having to rely on buying any vegetable oils. I have some recipes on my blog if you’re interested 🙂

    • Thank you, Liz! I have really enjoyed making soap from tallow, lard, and whatever fats I can get my little hands on! It’s now my favorite hobby and I am looking into natural colorants at this point – just for fun!

  9. Wow! That’s so cool! I’ve been wanting to get into soap making, but just haven’t quite had the time to learn a new skill quite yet. I love the idea of using stuff you already have to make soap! Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop!

    • Good evening, Amanda. Making soap is really a lot of fun – once you get over the fear of dealing with lye! I hope you try it soon. Perhaps living up there in Alaska, you could try making it with moose fat!

  10. I bet that soap is amazing on the hands, especially in the winter when our skin gets so dry!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

    • Yes, it is nice. I only got to try it out just recently because you have to let cold process soap cure for at least 4 weeks. It makes a nice creamy lather, but almost all of the smell has dissipated! In this case, that’s probably a good thing! 😉 Thanks, Cindy

  11. First off, thanks for the laughs. You always crack me up! The opening line with the turkey picture is priceless! 🙂 And alas, this seems to me the most frugal soap making one can do!!! I would have never thought!!! Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! P.S. Lavender and lemon would make a wonderful smelling soap too 🙂 Turkey and sage… that was classic too 🙂 P.S. Pinning this too!

  12. Wow! I would have never thought of using turkey fat for soap, but I guess it does make sense. Great idea! I also love that you were able to use essential oils. (Oh and yes, sage does go nicely with turkey, lol!)

    • Hello, Kelly! It’s been a lot of fun experimenting with soapmaking and I am sure I will have some more major fails before everything is said and done. Maybe I will mix the sage with something lighter next time, like lemon. 😉 Have a great day!

  13. I loved your post! I never thought of saving up my Thanksgiving turkey fat, or hamburger fat! I have a question about the soap recipes you use. Do you make sure to superfat it when you calculate it on brambleberry?

    • Hello, Brandy! Good question – and yes, I always superfat! Can you believe that you can use just about any type of fat to make soap? Of course, most of us just stick with lard and tallow, but the turkey fat worked pretty good! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, and come back again!

  14. brambleberry’s lye caculator does not list turkey grease. did you enter chicken fat in the calculator instead. Cannot find turkey grease in any other online calculators either. just cooked a turkey that gave me more grease than usual and want to try this but may add some other hardening agents. how soft was the soap

    • Hello, Beth. Yes, I did use the calculator for chicken fat. I assumed it would be about the same (although, you know what “they” say about assuming), and the soap turned out just fine. After about four weeks, it was fairly hard, but it does seem to use up faster than a tallow or lard soap. I would love to hear how yours turns out!