Learning how to make tallow is an old-fashioned skill long forgotten by the modern world, but of great worth for food storage, soap making, and skincare!
Beef tallow is rendered beef fat. That means that you melt down large pieces of beef fat (at a low temperature, leave the solids in your pot, and pour the liquid into a mason jar. The liquid solidifies and you have shelf-stable beef tallow!
How Long Does Beef Tallow Last
After tallow solidifies, you can keep it at room temperature in a sealed container for up to one year, and WILL NOT go rancid. Beef Tallow keeps even longer if it’s refrigerated and stays good indefinitely in the freezer!
How To Use Beef Tallow
Beef tallow is chalked full of vitamins A, D, and K, so it’s super nourishing to your skin. Plus it is molecularly very similar to our human skin oil, so it does not clog pores and is absorbed very well. It’s great used in:
- Tallow Soaps
- Face Lotion
- In Makeup
- For diaper rash relief
- For Chapstick
- Homemade candles!
- Oiling Guns
- To Tan a Hide and Make Leather!
- Wood Lubricant
- Metal Lubricant
- Waterproofing Anything
- Seasoning Agent for Cast Iron!
- In natural shampoo & conditioner.
- In fire starters!
- As a pet food supplement.
- As a coating that preserves fresh eggs.
You can also use beef tallow in cooking in place of butter, Crisco, oil, or lard in cooking, baking, and frying.
How To Redner Beef Tallow
Rendering beef tallow is super simple, and easy to do! Just collect your beef fat, and place it in a large pot. Cover it and bake at 250 degrees F for 12 hours, or overnight.
Then pour off the liquid into a jar and let it seal! That liquid will solidify, and you have shelf-stable tallow that will last in the pantry for 1 year without going bad!
How To Store Tallow
Store your tallow in an air-tight container, and in a dark place like the pantry or cupboard. If you can’t store it in a dark place, use a dark “amber” mason jar to keep the light out. Refrigerating the tallow will make it last even longer!
That’s because longer exposure to light and air will cause tallow to go bad faster 🙂
Rendering beef fat to make tallow is simple and is useful in so many ways!
- 5 pounds all-natural grass fed Beef Fat
- 1 Large Pot
- 3 Storage Mason Jars & Lids
- Place beef fat into a large soup pot.
- Place in the oven
- Set temperature to 250 degrees F
- Bake for 12 hours or overnight.
- Sterilize Mason Jars
- Remove pot from oven
- Pour liquids off through a strainer, cheesecloth, or towel, into your jars.
- Cap with a clean canning jar lid.
- Let Cool
- Store in a dark place for up to one year at room temperature.
Is Tallow Good For You?
That’s a really good question, and pretty controversial right now! You will find reputable sources online that tell you it is bad for you, and other reputable sources say it is good for you.
After high school, while going to college, I worked at Placerville Health Foods for three years. While I was there, I learned so many valuable health lessons from very healthy people who were OLDER, including customers in their 90s that were healthy, and living on their own independently!
One of those lessons was, simply put: Fat that stays liquid at room temperature (and some in the refrigerator) is good for you, and fats that solidify at room temperature are BAD for you.
The more I research, the more I believe that this is true… But don’t take anyone’s word for it, do your own research!
I also strongly believe that moderation in all things is healthy. Will it kill you to make a tallow pie crust for Thanksgiving, and enjoy a slice? NO! But don’t consume it on a regular basis.
Points and resources to consider:
Tallow is made up of close to half saturated fats and half monounsaturated fats.
40% saturated fat, 45% monounsaturated fat, and 5% polyunsaturated fathttps://80twentynutrition.com/blog/nutrition-news/lard-tallow-healthy-fats/#:~:text=Tallow%20is%20rendered%20fat%20from,%2C%20and%205%25%20polyunsaturated%20fat.
Tallow is high in saturated fat which is full of bad cholesterol, and actually lowers your levels of good cholesterol.
Because beef fat is 19% stearic acid, the cholesterol-raising potential of beef is not as great as predicted by its total saturated fatty acid content. However, beef tallow is hypercholesterolemic compared with fats containing less cholesterol-raising saturated fatty acid. Therefore, curtailment of beef tallow in a cholesterol-lowering diet seems appropriate. Data suggest that lean beef is no more hypercholesterolemic than chicken or fish and, therefore, lean beef need not be eliminated from cholesterol-lowering diets.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7977148/#:~:text=Because%20beef%20fat%20is%2019,cholesterol%2Draising%20saturated%20fatty%20acid.
Promoters Clain: beef tallow is also high in Omega 3 fatty acids. However, according to the sources above, Tallow is only 5% polyunsaturated fats (source of Omega 3)
A well-publicized 2014 study questioned the link between saturated fat and heart disease, but HSPH nutrition experts determined the paper to be seriously misleading. In order to set the record straight, Harvard School of Public Health convened a panel of nutrition experts and held a teach-in, “Saturated or not: Does type of fat matter?“
The overarching message is that cutting back on saturated fat can be good for health if people replace saturated fat with good fats, especially, polyunsaturated fats. (1, 15, 22) Eating good fats in place of saturated fat lowers the “bad” LDL cholesterol, and it improves the ratio of total cholesterol to “good” HDL cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease.
Eating good fats in place of saturated fat can also help prevent insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. (16) So while saturated fat may not be as harmful as once thought, the evidence clearly shows that unsaturated fat remains the healthiest type of fat.https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/
Dr. Axe’s website tells us why Tallow is healthy and that we should be using it:
Provides Healthy Fats, Including Cholesterol (My Note: Ya, bad cholesterol, and half Saturated Fats!)
In the 1950s, researchers first began advocating for a lower-fat diet since animal fats were being linked to development of coronary heart disease. However, since this time we’ve come to understand that foods high in fat and cholesterol actually provide certain health benefits.
As mentioned above, tallow provides both saturated and monounsaturated fats. It’s made up of about 40 percent to 50 percent monounsaturated fats, which are considered one of the most heart-healthy fats in our diets.
This is the same type of fat found in olive oil.
The type of saturated fat found in tallow is believed to have a mostly neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels, or the ability to raise “good” HDL cholesterol, meaning that consuming it in moderate amounts shouldn’t increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Consuming saturated fat as part of a healthy diet has also been shown in some cases to have an inverse relationship with obesity-related type 2 diabetes.
Another benefit of consuming natural fats is for cognitive health, since a high percentage of your brain is made up of cholesterol and fat.https://draxe.com/nutrition/tallow/
May Help Support Weight Loss/Management (My Note: Questionable!)
Tallow is rich in CLA, a fatty acid that studies suggest can support a healthy metabolism and may lead to fat burning. There’s some evidence demonstrating that CLA also has anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting properties, possibly even fighting growth of tumors, as does the fatty acid oleic acid.
Consuming animal fats can be especially helpful for weight loss if you follow a high-fat keto diet, which leads to ketosis and can also have benefits such as reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.https://draxe.com/nutrition/tallow/
Can Help You Absorb Essential Vitamins (My Note: So Can Good Fats, good for skin, not internally.)
You need fats in your diet to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K. These essential vitamins help support your immune system, skeletal system, heart, skin and more.https://draxe.com/nutrition/tallow/
Has a High Smoke Point (My NOTE: so does Avocado Oil!)
Compared to other cooking fats and oils, including olive oil and butter, tallow has a higher smoke point around 420 to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn, smoke and lose many of its nutritional benefits.
Tallow can be used at high temperatures without causing its chemical composition to change. When cooking at high heat — such as roasting, frying and baking — use it over oils like canola, corn and even virgin olive oil, which are prone to oxidizing at high temperatures and can contribute to problems such as formation of free radicals.https://draxe.com/nutrition/tallow/
Can Help Hydrate Skin – (My NOTE: Ya, when used on top of the skin!)
Why is tallow good for your skin? It’s rich in fatty acids that help form the lipids that keep skin protected and moisturized.
These include palmitoleic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid (the same type of fat found in olive oil).
Consuming fats can help support the skin, while some fats, including tallow, can also be applied topically to your skin. Some benefits of tallow for skin health include:
Improving moisture and treating dryness
Helping increase skin’s flexibility and ability to heal
Supporting the protective barrier function of skinhttps://draxe.com/nutrition/tallow/
Juliea, thank you for this post. I’m super excited to make my own beef tallow! I talked to a local New Seasons store and they are going to gather up the fat from grass fed cows and call me when they have five pounds of it.
I wonder if you have ever heard of a book called Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, M.D. I bought it several months ago and it has been an absolute eye opener in many ways and especially concerning good fats and bad fats. She goes into the mechanisms within our bodies which use and transport various fats, what happens when we consume bad fats and also explains what makes fats (like polyunsaturated ones) become bad fats. I hope you will check it out because I can see you are always learning and sharing. I love your entire website, and only wish you were around when I was a young mother with three sons. I have grandkids now, but am still cooking and learning. I wish you the very best success in your wonderful endevors.
Thank you Betsy! I will definitely look into the book Deep Nutrition! Thank you for the recommendation!