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What Is Beef Tallow: Uses and How to Make It

what is beef tallow

Beef tallow, a rendered form of beef fat, has been used since the ancient ages in various applications. From culinary uses to skin care products, beef tallow offers a range of benefits and versatility.

In this post, we will talk about what the beef tallow is, its production process, and its various uses.

What is Beef Tallow?

Beef tallow is basically rendered beef fat.  Beef tallow is a component that has been used for hundreds of years and is now making a comeback in modern kitchens.  It is produced by heating beef fat trimmings until they melt, after which it is strained to remove any impurities. The result is a clean golden fat that solidifies when cooled. 

Tallow was once a popular cooking fat. However, it was later replaced by vegetable shortening and other oils. Beef tallow can have many productive uses in your kitchen.

Moreover, the skill of converting trimmed fat to beef tallow is a good way to make use of fat trimmings. That way, you can make the most use of your cut instead of discarding the extra fat.

Beef tallow is a versatile product. Apart from its obvious uses in the kitchen, it can be used to make soaps, skin care products, and candles. It has a high smoking point of 420 degrees Fahrenheit and a mild beefy flavor.

Uses of Beef Tallow

Using beef tallow on hands

As mentioned above, beef tallow is a versatile product. Here are some common uses:

  1. Cooking

Beef tallow can be a good replacement for your regular vegetable oil. First, it has a high smoking point meaning you can use it in high-heat cooking techniques such as sauteing. You can also use it when baking as it results in a unique depth to pastries and bread. Perhaps the most unique selling point of beef tallow as a replacement for regular cooking oil is the beefy flavor it introduces to the meal.

  1. Skincare

You may be skeptical about thinking of beef tallow as a good skincare product. However, it has many benefits. First, when combined with coconut oil and olive oil, you can use the mixture as a skin moisturizer. It helps with scars, stretch marks, dryness, and wrinkles.

Beef tallow is also an important ingredient in making your DIY healing salve. You can mix it with herbs such as lavender, chamomile, and calendula. This healing salve helps with insect bites, rashes, cuts, and burns.

Make your own healing salve with beef tallow and herbs like lavender, chamomile, and calendula. Lastly, beef tallow may sound smelly. However, it is proven to actively work to prevent body order and instead keep your armpits smooth and fresh. 

  1. Candle-Making

If you are a DIY lover, you can convert beef tallow to homemade candles. Tallow candles last longer and are often cheaper and environmentally friendly. To make your beef tallow candles, melt the tallow in low heat.

Dip some wicks into the melted tallow and let them dry. Repeat the process until the cotton wicks are coated enough to form a candle. 

  1. Lubricant

Moving on to the less common uses of beef tallow, you can use it as a lubricant. Beef tallow can serve as an excellent natural lubricant for your locks, hinges, machinery, and other tools. Apart from the lubrication, beef tallow also prevents corrosion, thus making your tools last longer.

  1. Leather Conditioning

Beef tallow is a great conditioner for your leather products. It is also environmentally safe and restores softness, shine, and durability.

The list is endless. Some noteworthy uses of beef tallow include rust protection, nail and hair care, and soap making. 

How to Make Beef Tallow at Home

Making beef tallow at home is a simple process. With some basic kitchen tools, patience, and the will to learn, making tallow is pretty straightforward. 

The ingredients and tools you will need include:

  • Beef fat 
  • Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Strainer
  • Glass jars
  • Slow cooker

Here is the step-by-step process for making beef tallow at home:

  1. Preparation

The first thing to do is to get the beef fat. You can obtain it at your local butcher or grocery store. Once collected, trim away any bits of meat from the fat. Any meat can spoil the quality of your tallow.

  1. Cutting the Fat

Cut the fat into small uniform pieces using a knife. The smaller the pieces, the better. 

  1. Rendering the Tallow

Put your fat pieces into your slow cooker. Set it to low heat and cover it. The fat will slowly begin to melt. Stir it occasionally to make sure no pieces get burnt. The procedure may take up to seven hours in low heat. Patience comes to play here. 

  1. Straining and Storing

When all the fat is completely rendered, turn off the heat. Use a strainer to separate the liquid tallow from the cracklings. Carefully pour the melted tallow to clean jars through the strainer. Discard the solids. 

  1. Storage

Let the tallow cool at room temperature in the glass jars.  Store your tallow in clean airtight glass jars in a cool dark place or in your fridge. 

To learn more about how to make beef tallow from brisket trimmings, check out this article with detailed instructions and tips.


To wrap it up, beef tallow is a versatile and beneficial ingredient you can incorporate into your lifestyle. Its high smoking point makes it a perfect oil to use when cooking. Its properties also make it a great component to use in skincare, candle making, lubricants, and leather conditioning. 

With a bit of patience, you can even render your own tallow at home. Just ensure you have the purest form of beef fat you can get.

Related Articles

Beef Cuts: A complete guide

How To Make Beef Tallow From Brisket Or Beef Fat


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