Fats · Wholesome Ingredients

Why Choose Beef Tallow?

Before entering into the world of real food you most likely never heard the words beef tallow before. [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NJYM12O” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]Lard[/easyazon_link] yes, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MOT5TCE” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]beef tallow[/easyazon_link] no. That is unless you’re:

  • Really interested in history.
  • Went to cooking school.
  • Getting on in years ;-).

So I thought we’d talk a little about [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MOT5TCE” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]beef tallow[/easyazon_link], what it is and how to use it.

What is Beef Tallow?

[easyazon_link identifier=”B00MOT5TCE” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]Beef tallow[/easyazon_link] is to beef what [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NJYM12O” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]lard[/easyazon_link] is to pork. In other words it’s a rendered saturated fat from beef. For centuries people have been making their own [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NJYM12O” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]lard[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MOT5TCE” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]beef tallow[/easyazon_link] at home so the process of rendering is very simple unlike solid fats commonly found in the grocery store. These shortenings are highly refined and denatured fats that have been through a process called hydrogenation. Virtually all of the fats, particularly solid fats available in the supermarket are hydrogenated. They have a shelf life of many many years, some say decades. These fats are very, very bad for you and are to be strictly avoided (More detail on this in the links below). [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MOT5TCE” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]Beef tallow[/easyazon_link] is an easy replacement for these fats in your cooking.

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What do I use Beef Tallow For?

Lots of things, it’s a real staple in our home! So far I haven’t had much luck acquiring non-hydrogenated lard so this is my main cooking fat. The story of lard will have to wait for another day :-). I use it at the stove for most situations where a little oil is needed. I use it for deep frying like in my beef tallow french fry recipe or for frying chicken. You could use it in place of shortening for biscuits and pastries though I generally use butter.

Where to Get Beef Tallow

There are three primary ways to get your hands on some beef tallow:

  • Buy it from a local rancher/farmer.
  • Buy the fat from a butcher/processor and render it yourself.
  • Order [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MOT5TCE” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]beef tallow online[/easyazon_link].

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I’ve opted for the last choice since my farmer doesn’t sell rendered fats. I did however receive the fat from the beef I bought this spring and plan to give a go at rendering my own using the crockpot method mentioned below. I order mine from [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MOT5TCE” locale=”US” tag=”grannysvitalvittles-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link]. They can send it in small jars or a big 1 gallon bucket.

Links to more on Beef Tallow

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Links to more on Hydrogenated Fats


52 thoughts on “Why Choose Beef Tallow?

  1. Thanks for a good look at a healthy old time staple. Rending your own beef fat isn’t hard, but can be smelly. We do our in the turkey fryer outside. I love having beef tallow handy. We also use it as the fat in our soap. Blessings~Elizabeth


  2. Hey Kathy – I just rendered some lard. I got about 1.75 quarts from, I think, 5 lbs of pork fat. I’m hoping to use it for deep frying. Any idea how many times I can use it to fry with?

    A old friend of mine used to keep a coffee can on her stove and all drippings went into it. Then when she wanted to fry something, or make popcorn, she’d dip some out. I never asked her how long it would keep without going rancid but I wish I had!

    I had some grass-fed tallow in my fridge, in a glass jar, and it went rancid. I never thought it would, though it was a couple years old. How long have you kept tallow for?



    1. I’ve kept tallow as long as a year and not refrigerated either :-O . Most everyone says to keep it cold, but I’ve not had the space in either freezer or fridge for the amount I have. I bought a 5 gallon bucket from US Wellness Meats. Now you know why I haven’t reused tallow much πŸ˜‰ I’ve only found a few folks who store at room temperature as I do. Most are freezing or refrigerating.

      The tallow in the bucket does oxidize on the surface when kept at room temperature, so we simply scrape that off. I know that people used to use tallow and lard for preserving meat at room temperature, so I think Grandma generally kept hers on a shelf, and not just the coffee can on the stove, but her whole supply. I have a large sealed jar in the pantry, and it never oxidizes. We’ll use it up in a couple of months.


    2. You’d be surprised how much help a nice piece of waxed paper can do.
      But no, I wouldn’t put it in the fridge. Fridges are … weird. They’re too wet, but at the same time too drying. Just somewhere darkish and coolish is fine. And probably not much more than you can use in a year. After all, you’ll get more next slaughter season, right?


  3. *delurks*

    How far out of Austin do you live cause im in North Austin and I can get fresh rendered lard from the farmer’s market.

    Anyways, i love me some beef tallow too but rendering it tends to get stinky lol.


    1. Hi Tamara πŸ™‚ I live in Elgin, so not that far away. Who do you buy from? I’d love to find someone local who makes lard. I tend to buy in large quantities so warn them to lookout πŸ˜‰ Not that I need a bunch right now but I will pretty soon.


      1. Thank you Tamara! I appreciate the links … With my bucket of tallow I hadn’t looked all that hard recently. Now its getting kinda close to used up I think I’ll be branching put to using lard more πŸ™‚


  4. Been wanting to render tallow for some time now because I have wanted to make real french fries. Your post has inspired me to get to it. I have had tallow in my freezer for almost a year now. Gotta get er done. πŸ™‚


  5. Looking at the US Wellness 5 gallon nutriution information I noticed that there are 760 calories per serving, of which 770 come from fat. I gotta get me some of that!


    1. How funny! I went to take a peek and they’ve defined a serving as about 6 tablespoons! That’s more than I would use in a dish for the whole family, except for deep frying.


  6. I love using both tallow and lard! Right before I started the GAPS diet, I made homemade French fries in the tallow. So delicious! Now I also love mixing in tallow with cooked carrots. It gives them such a nice flavor.

    If you ever render your own, I’d definitely recommend the crockpot method. I did that for both my tallow and lard and found it to be quite easy.


  7. Hi, look very forward to the beef tallow fried chicken recipe. Any idea when it will be up?



  8. I don’t care for tallow much, but do love lard and have a local source.

    I do the “save drippings” thing with bacon fat. Basically, when one jar is about 3/4 full, I start a second jar for pouring into, and just use up the older jar. So it rotates.

    I think both because it is largely saturated AND because it’s salty, it doesn’t go bad very fast. It’s handy cause it adds bacon flavor to pretty much everything, like frying eggs or cooking greens or beans, without having to thaw a pound of bacon for just a few strips.

    We ate more bacon when we had chickens and I saved drippings other than what I was actively using in the fridge. I gave lots to the chickens in winter just to add calories, especially when the coop got snowed in and they couldn’t free range.

    Once, I cleaned it (like rendering with water, then letting it settle into layers) and made soap from it, but that was a lot of work. A fun experiment, but not “worth it” given how cheap soap is. πŸ˜‰


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  10. I keep my 5 gallon bucket of Beef Tallow from US Wellness meats next to my deep freezer full of grass fed beef. πŸ™‚ When I make my bean-less chili in a giant crockpot, it doesn’t taste the same unless I add about a cup of beef tallow to it. I keep trying to figure out more ways to use this stuff. I also make my own Pemmican with it too.


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    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! πŸ™‚


  12. I get a liter of tallow when I make beef broth. I boil the soup bones for a good 8-12 hours with all the other herbs and veggies. This is strained, and put into the fridge overnight to cool. The tallow floats to the top and hardens. The next day, I use a spatula to remove the tallow.

    This gets a nice beef broth without a lot of fat, and the tallow is pure. I remelt that tallow, and I place it in a narrow container. The bottom portion has a bit of soup mix, and it is easier to remove once it is cooled. Into the fridge again, remove the broth residue, remelt the tallow, and put it into the actual container you wish to store it in.


  13. Thak you for the explanation!
    I’m trying to learn everything about real food and know exactly what I’m giving to my family.
    I’m from Mexico and here it’s easy to find lard with any butcher, but most of people (including me until today!) think lard is not good, and we try to avoid foods cooked with lard!! , Not anymore for me.
    About Tallow, I’ve never heard about it, I don’t even know the name in spanish, but I will start my search from today.

    Thank you again πŸ˜‰


  14. Questions about beef tallow. Can you use it to make a pie crust? are the proportions different?

    I can’t use lard because my husband is allergic to all pork products. I would like to get away from the Crisco!


    Martha in Minnesota


    1. Hi Martha … I would think you could but it might have a stronger flavor than lard. I’d buy a small tub and try it out.


    2. Martha, you CAN use tallow to make pie crust and I promise you that you will be amazed at how good it is!! It makes a wonderfully flaky crust that will have everybody asking for your secret!!


  15. I too thought buying tallow online (or even at a supermarket) would be a good idea… however… look at the nutritional label. Each 85 gram serving has 7 grams of TRANS FAT. Yes, tallow bought from US Wellness has partially hydrogenated oil in it as well. Evidently from what I have read that is the only way to keep tallow from going rancid too quickly. I believe the only safe way to get tallow is to render your own. 😦


  16. We render our own tallow and lard and LOVE it. My question is when should I use tallow and when should I use lard? Is one better to use with certain things than the other – or is it a matter or personal preference?


    1. Hi Kathey … lard is blander making it a good choice for many many things. Beef tallow has a mild ‘beefy’ flavor to it, is the only way I can think to describe it. So it’s good for dishes where that would be wanted … that said it’s really very mild.


    1. Hi Joni … I wish I had something handy to point you to! I’d imagine the main difference is in the mixture of fat types. Tallow is slightly more saturated and lard has a bit more monounsaturated fat, if memory serves πŸ™‚


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