How to Use Beef Tallow: 10 Delicious and Practical Ways

Beef tallow is rendered beef fat that has a multitude of uses, both in the kitchen and beyond. This versatile ingredient was a staple fat for cooking and baking for centuries across many cultures. Although vegetable oils replaced tallow in popularity in the 20th century, tallow is making a comeback as people realize its health benefits and amazing flavor.

This article will explore 10 delicious and practical ways to use beef tallow, from frying up crispy home fries to moisturizing your skin. Let’s dive in!

An Introduction to Beef Tallow

Beef tallow is rendered fat from cattle, made by slowly cooking fatty tissues from the kidney and other areas until the fat liquefies. The solids are strained out, leaving pure, nutrient-dense tallow.

Tallow has a high smoke point of 420°F, making it excellent for frying, sautéing, baking, and more. It adds a rich, meaty flavor to dishes. Tallow is shelf-stable at room temperature when kept in an airtight container.

10 Creative Uses for Tallow

Here are some of the most common and creative ways to use beef tallow:

1. Frying and Searing

With its high smoke point, tallow excels at frying and searing. The beefy flavor pairs perfectly with fried potatoes, french fries, chicken, fish, and other comfort foods. Tallow adds a crispy, golden crust.

2. Seasoning Cast Iron

Rubbing a thin layer of tallow on cast iron skillets and pans seasons them beautifully. Tallow polymerizes onto the pan, creating a natural non-stick surface.

3. Conditioning Wood

Use tallow to condition and moisturize wooden cutting boards, utensils, and counters. Apply a thin coat a few times per year to maintain woods’ peak condition.

4. Making Gravy and Sauces

Whisk tallow into the drippings after searing meat to make flavourful, creamy gravies and pan sauces. The fat carries and dilutes the concentrated flavours of the fond.

5. Baking

Substitute tallow for butter or oils in pie dough, biscuits, scones, and other baked goods. Tallow makes flakey, tender pastry and adds rich taste. Grease pans with it too.

6. Binding Seasonings

Slather tallow onto meats before grilling or smoking to bind on spices, herbs, and rubs. This “fat cap” helps form that perfect crunchy bark.

7. Adding to Soups and Stews

Stir tallow into hearty soups and stews in place of oils or butter. It enhances the meaty flavour and makes broths richer and more satiating.

8. Making Candles

Due to tallow’s low melting point, slow burn, and neutral scent, it makes excellent candles. Mix with beeswax to harden further. Add essential oils for fragrance.

9. Making Soap

The antimicrobial properties of tallow make it useful in soaps. It produces a gentle lather that’s moisturizing. Mix in oils and scents.

10. Moisturizing Skin and Hair

Rendered beef fat absorbs readily into skin, providing deep conditioning. Its vitamin content nourishes skin and hair. Use as-is or make into lotions or balms.

How to Make and Store Beef Tallow

Making your own tallow at home is inexpensive, simple, and rewarding. Here’s a basic process:


  • 4 lbs beef fat/suet, diced


  1. Simmer the fat on low heat for 2-4 hours until liquified and crispy bits form.
  2. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer.
  3. Pour into jars or an airtight container.
  4. Store at room temperature for up to a year. Refrigerate for longer shelf life.

Is Tallow Healthy? Nutrition Facts

Beef tallow contains vitamins A, D, E, K, and CLA, an antioxidant that may help burn fat. As a saturated fat, tallow offers the following benefits:

  • High in vitamins and antioxidants
  • Shelf-stable at room temp
  • Makes flaky baked goods
  • Excellent cooking fat with high smoke point
  • Adds flavor to dishes
  • Antimicrobial
  • Readily absorbed into skin

Enjoy tallow in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Limit intake of all saturated fats to less than 10% of calories.

Get Creative with Beef Tallow!

With its high smoke point, rich flavor, and stellar nutrient profile, beef tallow is a prized ingredient. From the kitchen to DIY skin care, this rendered beef fat offers versatility and nourishment.

Try out some of the ways suggested above to incorporate tallow into your cooking and living. Frying up crispy roast potatoes in pastured beef fat is a delicious way to start out. Get creative and look for new ways to use tallow! Your cooking and skin will reap the rewards.

5 Ways Tallow (Beef Fat) Can Help You Lose Weight


What do I do with beef tallow?

This versatile product can be used in food preparation as an ingredient or cooking oil. Outside of the kitchen, beef tallow can also be used to make candles, soaps, cleaning products, skin salves, healing ointments and industrial lubricants.

Is beef tallow healthier than butter?

However, it, especially grass-fed tallow, is also a good source of vitamin D, choline, and other healthy fatty acids like palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. It also has 902 calories (kcal) per 100 grams, which is a lot more than the 717 kcal in butter.

Does beef tallow need to be refrigerated?

Tallow is shelf stable so no need to refrigerate, just keep it in an airtight container like a mason jar. You can keep grass fed tallow on the kitchen counter for a year. It’s easy to scoop at room temperature, and hardens in the refrigerator.

Is cooking with beef tallow healthy?

Beef tallow isn’t just more flavorful and a better option for high-heat cooking, it offers some surprising health benefits. Boosts your immune health – with unprocessed fats like beef tallow in your diet, it’s easier for your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins that support your immune system.

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