Cooking with Beef Tallow (USES, COOKING TIPS, & RECIPES)

If you enjoy grilling, BBQing, and cooking with meat, you’re definitely familiar with beef tallow.

Beef tallow is a type of fat that comes from cows. It’s like butter, made from cow fat instead of milk.

In this guide, we will cover

  • A guide to cooking with Beef tallow
  • What is beef tallow used for
  • Is beef tallow healthy?
  • Recipes with Beef tallow
  • And much more.
cooking with beef tallow
Cooking with Beef Tallow


Beef tallow is a rendered fat that is made by melting down the hard fat that surrounds the kidneys and loins of cows, which is called suet.

Once the suet is melted down, it separates into two parts: the liquid fat, which is called beef tallow, and the solid pieces of protein and connective tissue, which are called cracklings.

When beef tallow is melted, it has a smooth and creamy texture lie butter or coconut oil.

Even while suet is popular, any fat, including that from the ribs, sirloin, brisket or other cuts, can be cooked down to create tallow.

A simple low-heat cooking method called rendering is used to separate the pure fat from any connective tissues or membranes that might hasten the deterioration of the fat.

You can receive a mixture of various fats and oils instead of pure cow tallow when purchasing commercial tallow, which might be a bit of a mixed bag.

In doing so, you run the risk of having your beef tallow contaminated with undesirable seed oils and fats.

Cooking with Beef Tallow

You can enhance the flavor, nutritional value, and texture of your cuisine by cooking with beef tallow.

This cooking fat has a high smoke point of 420 F, which means it can be used for high-heat cooking methods like frying, roasting, and grilling without burning or smoking.

One of the best things about cooking with beef tallow is the rich, savory flavor it adds to your meat and vegetables.

Beef tallow is high in saturated fats, which makes it a popular ingredient in traditional cooking and baking.

Beef tallow is versatile and can be used for cooking, baking, and even as a skin moisturizer or lip balm.

You can roast anything with beef tallow for a crispy exterior and soft moist inside. Tallow can also be used in frying.

The original French fry from McDonald’s was fried in tallow.

You can even use beef tallow in baking like for making pie crust, cookies, biscuits, and cakes.

Beef tallow has a high melting point, which means that it is solid at room temperature and becomes liquid when heated.

It has a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature without spoiling.


Beef tallow has a delicious flavor similar to that of a juicy piece of steak.

You could notice that a steak has a delicious, savory flavor that makes it taste incredibly wonderful when you eat it.

The flavor you get from beef tallow is the same!

When you fry or roast foods like French fries or fried chicken it, it can enhance the flavor of your dish.

What is Beef Tallow Used For? Beef Tallow Uses

Beef tallow is a multipurpose substance that has been used for ages in cooking and other uses.

1- Cooking: It is frequently used in cooking to replace vegetable oil or other animal fats, giving food a rich flavor and creamy texture. Because of its high smoke point, tallow is perfect for high-heat cooking like roasting and frying.

It can be used for searing steaks or briskets, frying french fries or potatoes, and broasting a chicken. It adds a rich flavor to dishes and can be used in place of oil or butter for cooking meats, vegetables, and potatoes.

2- Baking: Some bakers use beef tallow in place of butter or shortening in recipes like pie crusts, biscuits, and pastries to add moisture and flavor.

3- Seasoning cast iron cookware: Beef tallow can be used to season cast iron cookware, creating a non-stick surface and helping to prevent rust.

4- Popcorn topping: Melted beef tallow can be drizzled over popcorn for a savory alternative to butter.

5- Making candles: Beef tallow can be used as a base for homemade candles, either on its own or blended with other waxes.

6- Soapmaking: Beef tallow is used in traditional soapmaking recipes to create a hard, long-lasting bar of soap with a creamy lather.

7- Leather conditioning: Beef tallow can be used to condition and protect leather goods, such as boots, belts, and saddles, keeping them supple and preventing drying and cracking.

8- Wood treatment: Some woodworkers use beef tallow as a natural wood finish to moisturize and protect wood surfaces, such as cutting boards or wooden utensils.

9- Pet food: Some pet owners add beef tallow to their pet’s food for added flavor and nutrients.

10- Cosmetics: Beef tallow is sometimes used in skincare products like moisturizers and lip balms for its moisturizing properties.


Here is a list of nutrients that one tablespoon of beef tallow contains:

Total Fat13 grams
Saturated Fat5 grams
Monounsaturated Fat6 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat1 gram
Protein0 grams
Carbohydrates0 grams
Fiber0 grams
Sugar0 grams
Cholesterol13 mg
Vitamin A0.7 mcg
Vitamin E
0.2 mg
Vitamin K4.2 mcg
Vitamin B120.1 mcg
Beef tallow nutrients

Saturated fat, which makes up the majority of beef tallow, has been linked to harmful health impacts like a higher risk of heart disease.

However recent research, raises the possibility that the saturated fat included in beef tallow may not be as dangerous as originally believed.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are good for the heart, are present in modest levels in beef tallow.

Moreover, it has fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins B and E, which are crucial for overall health.

Although beef tallow is a high-calorie meal, it can be included in a balanced diet when eaten in moderation.

Those with a history of heart disease or high cholesterol levels should consume beef tallow and other saturated fats in moderation, it is vital to mention.

Beef tallow that is prepared from the fat of calves that have been fed a diet high in grass and other forage plants rather than grains is known as grass-fed beef tallow.

The nutritional composition of the fat of grass-fed cattle differs from that of grain-fed cattle.

Grass-fed beef fat contains a higher proportion of nutrients like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids.

These nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties, that support heart health, and boost the immune system.


Beef tallow can be stored at room temperature for several months if you store it properly.

The goal is to keep it out of conditions that could cause it to spoil, such as heat, light, and moisture.

In order to store beef tallow at room temperature transfer the tallow to an airtight container, such as a glass jar with a tight-fitting cover.

To avoid any contamination, make sure to use a dry, clean container.

Next, store the beef tallow in a cool and dark place in your kitchen, pantry, or cupboard.

A pantry or cupboard away from direct sunlight and heat sources like stovetops or ovens is an ideal location.

The ideal position is a pantry or cupboard that is out of the reach of heat sources like stovetops and ovens.

Finally, check to see that the container is completely airtight and shut. This will help keep the beef tallow from oxidizing and spoiling.


Several supermarket stores and specialty shops carry beef tallow, usually in the baking or cooking section. Also, you may buy beef tallow online from a number of merchants, such as Amazon, Walmart, and butchers.

If it is possible look for a high-quality tallow made from grass-fed, organic beef when buying beef tallow,

This will guarantee that the tallow is of the greatest grade and has no chemicals or seed oils.

Consider calling a nearby butcher or farm to see if they sell beef tallow if you can’t seem to find it in your local retailers.

With the help of beef fat scraps from your neighborhood butcher or grocery shop, you might also be able to render your own beef tallow at home.

 Beef Tallow, Grass-Fed, Keto Friendly

How Long Does Tallow Last Unrefrigerated?

Tallow can go bad and begin to smell if left out in the sun, open air, moisture or close to a heater.

If you store it in a cold, dry location, like a pantry or cupboard, it can last for a very long time!

Tallow should be stored in an airtight container and exposure to air and moisture can cause the fat to become rancid, which will affect the taste and quality of the tallow.

Tallow can last for several months to a year, depending on the conditions if left unrefrigerated at room temperature.

But if you put it in the refrigerator, where it’s really cold, it can last even longer!

In fact, if you put tallow in the fridge, it can last for a few years!

How to tell if beef tallow is rancid?

If tallow is exposed to air, light, and moisture for an extended period of time, it can turn rancid.

During this process the tallow’s fat molecules may break down and oxidize, giving it an unpleasant flavor and odor.

There are a few signs to look for if you believe your beef tallow may have become rancid.

Check the smell first. Tallow that is rancid will smell sour, rancid, or nasty, which is markedly different from how it normally smells. If something smells off, it may have gone rotten.

Next, check the texture and color. Tallow that has gone bad could be yellow or brown in color and feel slimy or sticky to the touch. It might have gone bad if it seems or feels different from how it usually does.

If you’re still unsure, taste a little bit of the tallow. Tallow that has gone rancid will taste sharp or bitter rather than how it usually does. If something tastes unpleasant, it may have gone rotten.

Always remember that it is better to be safe than sorry and toss out your tallow if you are ever unclear whether it has gone bad.

If you use rotten tallow, it may make you sick.

Beef suet vs Tallow

So whats the difference between beef tallow and suet?

Tallow and beef suet are both made from beef fat, however they are not the same thing.

Suet is the uncooked, raw, dense fat that covers a cow’s or sheep’s kidneys.

It has a waxy texture and high melting point. It is commonly used in british cuisines especially for making pastry, puddings, and mincemeat.

While, tallow is rendered cow fat that has been purified by melting down and straining to remove any impurities.

It is usually made from suet, but it can also be made from the fat of sheep or other animals besides cows.

Tallow and suet aren’t necessarily interchangeable, though they can both be used interchangeably in some recipes.

For instance, a typical British Christmas pudding contains a significant amount of suet; substituting tallow for it can result in a different texture and flavor.

Similar to how the waxy texture of suet produces flaky, delicate pastry crust, using tallow might not be the best choice.

Healthy alternatives to Beef Tallow

There are many healthy alternatives to beef tallow that you may want to consider. Here are a few:

1- Coconut oil:

A plant-based oil that is high in healthy saturated fats. It is a good alternative to tallow for those who prefer a plant-based diet.

It is easily digestible and may have health benefits, such as aiding in weight loss and reducing inflammation.

2- Avocado oil:

Avocado oil is a healthy oil that is high in monounsaturated fats, that help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

It also contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

3- Olive oil:

A staple in the Mediterranean diet and is known for its heart-healthy properties.

It is also high in monounsaturated fats.

It also contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body.

4- Ghee:

A clarified butter that is high in healthy saturated fats and is a good source of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy skin and eyes.

5- Duck fat:

Duck fat is a good source of healthy saturated fats and is a good alternative to tallow for those who prefer a different flavor profile.

It is high in oleic acid, which helps lower cholesterol levels.

How to use beef tallow – BEEF TALLOW RECIPES

Here are a few famous recipes that use beef tallow:

French Fries

Beef Stew:

Beef tallow can be used to sear the beef and vegetables, adding extra depth of flavor to the dish.


Pemmican is made with dried meat mixed with melted beef tallow and sometimes other ingredients like berries or nuts.

Tallow Roasted Vegetables:

Beef Tallow Popcorn:

Beef Tallow Roasted Chicken:

Wrap Up:

Beef tallow is ruminant fat thatis used for frying, roasting, and grilling without burning or smoking. Because it has a high smoke point of 420 F, and a long shelf life, that makes it an ideal choice for cooking.

Make sure to choose pure, real and nutritious beef tallow. Much cheaper alternatives combine oils and fats, which dilutes the qualities and flavor of beef tallow.

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