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How To Make Beef Tallow from Brisket or Beef Fat

graphic image top view of a pot of oil to show how to make beef tallow from brisket

Beef tallow, AKA liquid gold, is one of the best things to happen to man. It is essentially an alternative, extremely tasty, and cost-effective cooking oil. Once you know how to make beef tallow from brisket, you can use it virtually for anything you use cooking oil for.

Perhaps you recently purchased untrimmed brisket at the store, and you're not sure what to do with the extra fat. If you’ve never heard of beef tallow or you’ve only discovered it recently, this post is for you. It highlights everything you need to know about beef tallow with a special focus on how to make beef tallow from brisket fat.

Let’s begin.

hand holding up raw untrimmed brisket

What is Beef Tallow?

Beef tallow is simply rendered (filtered) cow fat. It has a subtle scent, the same texture as butter, and you can store it for a long time in a simple sealed glass jar. Tallow has been used for ages as cooking oil. Before the 1990s, it was one of the most popular cooking oils in America, Europe, and Asia.

However, in the 1990s, it declined in popularity as a cooking oil.This is because many studies published around that time revealed the link between fat consumption and heart disease. Nevertheless, further studies have since revealed that natural fats like tallow are not exactly harmful if used in moderation.

While tallow has never regained its position as a popular cooking oil, it is still widely used as a cooking oil. But tallow has other uses, too, besides cooking.

The Many Uses of Beef Tallow

Beef tallow can be used in a variety of ways. Keep reading to learn how to make beef tallow from brisket. 

Cooking Oil: Beef Tallow from Brisket

This is the most popular use for beef tallow. Since you make tallow from animal fat, it is perfect for use as cooking oil. The best thing about using it as cooking oil is the fact that it is made of natural unprocessed fat, which is healthier than the regular processed cooking oil. It also has trace amounts of various vitamins making it a healthy oil. Finally, you can use tallow oil to fry, bake, sear, and sauté.


Moreover, tallow has the same texture as butter. In other words, it is as smooth as butter. This means you can use it as a lubricant around the house and in your machines. So if you have any hinges or machines that need lubrication, you can use tallow for this.

Skin Balm/Oil

Tallow has good amounts of vitamins K, E, D, and A. Furthermore, it has good amounts of natural conjugated Linoleic acid. The vitamins and the acid make it great for use as a skin balm. This is because these healthy substances are known to improve skin health and reduce inflammation. There are many topical beauty products on the market that is made from tallow, such as tallow body lotion, tallow lip balm, etc..


Tallow oil has fatty acids that your skin can easily absorb. This makes it useful for making soap because the acids are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial.

How to Make Beef Tallow from Brisket

You now know the meaning of tallow. You also know its many uses/benefits. The steps below will reveal to you how to make the oil to enjoy any of its many benefits.

Needed Equipment

A good quantity of fatty brisket, a clean knife, a clean container, a cooking pot, a clean media strainer, and a glass jar

  1. Sharpen your knife

To easily get brisket fat trimmings, you will need to sharpen your knife (try our made-in-USA chef knife). The sharper your knife is, the easier it will be for you to make trimmings.

  1. Chill Your Brisket

It is easiest to trim your brisket when it is cold. Therefore, put your brisket in a refrigerator for a bit if it is not cold to ensure it is the perfect temperature for freezing (10 degrees under room temperature is best).

untrimmed raw brisket on a cutting board

  1. Trim the Fat into a Container

After sharpening your knife and ensuring your brisket is cold, start trimming off the fat. Read our other article on step-by-step on how to trim a brisket. Make small trims and ensure all the fat is off your brisket beef. Don’t worry if there is some beef on the fat trimmings.

  1. Cut the Trimmings into Smaller Pieces

After ridding your brisket of all the fat on it, you should set it aside and focus on the trimming. Cut or grind them into smaller pieces. This will make the next step easier.

pile of brisket fat trimmings

  1. Put the Fat Trimmings into a Pot

After cutting/grinding the fat trimmings into smaller pieces, you should put all of them in a cooking pot and add water. Four to five cups will be enough.

  1. Bring the Contents to Simmer

Put the cooking pot on a burner and turn it on. Once you bring the cooking port to a simmer add a full tablespoon of salt. Stir the trimmings thoroughly and then reduce the burner heat.

  1. Simmer for a Couple of Hours

Once you have reduced the burner heat, let the mix simmer for the next couple of hours. Stir it every now and then to ensure the fat doesn’t stick to the cooking pot as the water disappears (evaporates).

  1. Watch for a Color Change

As your fat mix simmers and renders down, it will change its color to more transparent. This is what you should look out for. Once it happens, it means the fat has been rendered.

  1. Strain the Oil

At this point, all you need to do is to strain the oil and it will be ready to use. You can use a cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a media strainer to strain tallow. Whichever method you use, do it carefully to avoid injuring scalding yourself with the hot oil.

  1. Put the Beef Tallow from Brisket in a Glass Jar

Straining tallow usually takes a bit of time. But once you’re done, your tallow will be ready for use or storage. Store it in sealed glass jars to ensure a longer shelf-life.

Final words

Beef tallow is a natural cooking oil made from cow fat. Boiling brisket fat trimmings and letting the mixture simmer for several hours is the easiest way to make beef tallow.

Feel free to share this post on social media if you feel like you’ve learned something important from it, and you think somebody else could do the same.



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