Feature image showing a bloack of tallow on a chopping board and the words 'Miracle Tallow - Optimise Your Health Inside and Out'

Miracle Tallow: Optimize Your Health Inside And Out

Tallow amazes me with its versatility. It’s mostly known for being used as food or as a fat for cooking, but it has many other uses.

For example, tallow was the original fat used for soap and skin balms until plant-based oils took the throne. However, it seems to be making something of a resurgence as people try and find products more in harmony with their skin.

I personally use both tallow soap and whipped tallow balm and wouldn’t go back to plant-based soaps.

Tallow starts off life as suet, the solid fat found around the loin and kidney area of cows and sheep – I’ve written more about all you need to know about suet here.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of tallow, its benefits, and how you can incorporate it into your lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • Tallow is a versatile, nutrient-rich fat derived from beef that can be used for cooking, skin care products, and candle making.
  • It offers health benefits such as aiding in fat loss and boosting the immune system due to its high levels of CLA & essential fatty acids.
  • Using tallow is sustainable and ethical as it supports local agriculture communities while reducing the environmental impact of supply chain production.

The Basics of Tallow

a large piece of beef suet on a chopping board

Derived from suet primarily from beef, tallow is a type of rendered animal fat. It’s a natural, healthy, and sustainable ingredient that has been used for centuries in various applications.

Pork tallow and mutton tallow are also available, though their uses and properties may differ from beef tallow.

Tallow’s prominent use throughout history is largely attributed to its versatile nature. It can be incorporated into many beef tallow recipes, skincare products, and even candle-making.

The basic process of rendering tallow involves melting it down and removing any impurities, resulting in a pure, clean, and shelf-stable fat.

The reason tallow is solid at room temperature is due to its composition of saturated fatty acids. As with all animal fats, they are saturated meaning the molecular structure is stable and less prone to oxidization and making it solid at room temperature.

See here for more information saturated fats.

Health Benefits of Using Tallow

a man and woman running on a pavement by the sea

Animal fats are not usually associated with health, but tallow is packed full of nutrients that offer a health boost. For instance, it can aid in fat loss, support skin health, and boost the immune system.

This is largely because it includes such nutrients as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), essential fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. These nutrients can boost your metabolism, support weight loss, and promote overall health.

Beyond its internal health benefits, tallow proves advantageous for skin repair and regeneration. Its high content of saturated fatty acids makes it an essential component of skin cells, contributing to healthy, nourished skin.

Research indicates that tallow, especially beef tallow, is rich in nutrients that encourage a healthy metabolism and fat burning.

Did you know that grass-fed tallow has been found to have higher levels of:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Beta-carotene
  • Alpha-tocopherol
  • CLAs

Compared to other fats, fatty acid content makes it a great source of healthy saturated fat derived from natural sources.

Find out about other ways you can give yourself a nutrient boost and achieve optimal health by including organ meats in your diet.

Cooking with Tallow: Tips and Techniques

a steak frying in a pan on a stone using tallow

I steer well clear of all highly processed man-made vegetable and seed oils – I’m not convinced they’re healthy. I stick to what we’ve eaten for thousands of years.

That’s why tallow is perfect for cooking with. It enhances dishes such as sautéed potatoes, seared steaks, and roasted vegetables. You can use beef, sheep or pig tallow… it’s all good.

When it comes to frying techniques, tallow is well-suited for:

  • high heat frying
  • deep frying
  • stir-frying
  • making French fries

Its high smoke point of around 250°C (482°F) is similar to other cooking fats like avocado oil and clarified butter, making it a safe and delicious option for various cooking methods. Mutton fat, though having a different flavor profile, can also be used in cooking.

In baking, tallow can serve as a replacement for oil or butter in recipes. Its saturated fat content contributes to the moistness and tenderness of baked goods, imparting a unique flavor that sets it apart from other fats.

Tallow for Skincare Products

3 pieces of tallow soap wrapped in reed and stacked on top of each other

Tallow’s utility extends beyond the kitchen into the world of skincare products. It’s a common ingredient in commercial soap bars and can be used in body butter and soap recipes. Its high content of fatty acids makes it a natural moisturizer and nutrient for the skin.

In the creation of tallow soap or skincare products, incorporating other ingredients such as carrier oils and essential oils helps to mask the scent. This ensures a pleasant aroma while still benefiting from tallow’s nourishing properties.

Tallow can be used instead of other vegetable oils like palm oil in soap making, providing an alternative option for those looking to create sustainable and eco-friendly products.

Purifying tallow is essential when using it for skincare products, as it reduces the beefy scent and gives it a more pure white color.

A large stainless steel bowl works great for straining tallow when purifying it, ensuring a clean and high-quality final product.

Tallow in Candle Making

table with tallow candles at various stages of the making process

With its hardening properties and extended burn time, tallow is an ideal ingredient for candle making. Historically, tallow candles were used after beeswax candles, and they remain a popular choice today for those seeking a sustainable and eco-friendly option.

Making tallow candles at home is a simple process:

  1. Melt the tallow in a pan.
  2. Add a wick to each container.
  3. Pour in the melted tallow.
  4. Let it cool down and solidify.
  5. Burn the candles for at least two hours to avoid tunneling.

Tallow candles generally have a burn time of about 7-8 hours per ounce, making them a long-lasting option for those seeking an alternative to beeswax or soy candles.

The use of tallow in candles offers several benefits:

  • Provides a clean and long-lasting burn
  • Promotes sustainable and eco-friendly practices by utilizing animal fat
  • Reduces waste
  • Supports local agriculture.

Sourcing and Rendering Your Own Beef Tallow

Tallow is rendered from suet. There are plenty of places you can get your hands on suet including your local butcher and online delivery meat suppliers such as White Oak Pastures, U.S. Wellness Meats, and Seven Sons.

It’s important to consider the health of the animal when sourcing tallow, as it can impact the nutritional value of the final product. I recommend organic tallow from grass-fed cows which is what you’ll get from the previously suggested online suppliers.

Rendering entails:

  1. Heating the beef fat in a large pot, perfect for roasting vegetables as well
  2. Simmering it for several hours and stirring occasionally
  3. Straining the rendered fat through a strainer
  4. Straining it again into a glass jar for storage or immediate use

Rendering your own beef tallow is a great way to save money while creating a healthy, multi-purpose ingredient.

Beef tallow can be stored in the fridge for up to three months with a tight-fitting lid or in the freezer for up to two years before losing its quality. Proper storage ensures that you always have a supply of tallow on hand for cooking, skincare, or candle making.

However, if you want to save the hassle, you can grab some pre-prepared tallow – again from the same suppliers White Oak Pastures, and U.S. Wellness Meats.

Tallow vs. Other Fats and Oils

Among the multitude of fats and oils available for cooking and other uses, tallow is one option. Lard, for example, is made from pork fat and is often used in baking and frying due to its high smoke point.

Schmaltz – made from chicken fat – is softer than lard, making it ideal for several cooking methods such as roasting, frying, and greasing pans.

Tallow, lard, and butter each have unique properties and uses:

  • Tallow has a high smoke point, making it ideal for frying and baking.
  • Lard is often used for searing and browning meats, as well as making pastries.
  • Butter, the classic go-to but has a lower smoke point than tallow and lard. Usually added at the end to add richness and creaminess.

Choosing the right fat or oil for your needs depends on factors such as flavor, texture, and smoke point. By understanding the unique properties of each option, you can make informed decisions about which one is best suited for your specific application.

Tallow Recipes for Various Diets

With its healthy saturated fats, tallow can be integrated effortlessly into numerous diet plans like keto and paleo diets. Its unique flavor and texture make it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of recipes, from savory dishes to baked goods.

For vegetarians seeking to replace tallow in their recipes, the following substitutes can be used:

  • Coconut oil would be my top pick for cooking with due to its high saturated fat content making it less prone to oxidizing.
  • Olive oil – quality is important. Ensure it is cold-pressed and you purchase from a reputable source.
  • Avocado oil – again cold-pressed is essential although avocados are not the most eco-friendly option.
  • Vegetable oils – I’m not a fan as I’ve already complained about but do your own research and make your own choices here.

Keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the dish might turn out differently depending on which substitute you use.

Tallow can also be used in gluten-free cooking, providing moisture and flavor to gluten-free baked goods like breads, biscuits, and pie crusts. Additionally, it can be used to fry gluten-free ingredients, creating delicious and crispy dishes that cater to various dietary preferences.

Sustainability and Ethical Considerations

earth cradled by a pair of hands

Opting for tallow provides a sustainable and ethical alternative for a variety of reasons. It promotes nose-to-tail consumption by utilizing more parts of the animal and reducing waste.

Choosing tallow over other fats and oils can help cut down on waste and make the most of our resources.

For more on utilizing more parts of the animal – whether for eating or other uses – see my article Deep-diving into offal.

Supporting local agriculture communities and small-scale farms is another benefit of using tallow. By choosing tallow sourced from ethically raised animals, you are respecting their lives and minimizing the environmental impact of the supply chain.

Sourcing tallow locally can have a positive effect on carbon footprint by reducing transportation distances and carbon emissions.

This not only supports local farmers but also minimizes the environmental impact of the supply chain, making tallow an eco-friendly choice.


In conclusion, tallow is a versatile, healthy, and sustainable ingredient that can be incorporated into various aspects of our lives, from cooking to skincare to candle making.

By understanding its unique properties and benefits, we can make informed choices about how to use tallow in our diets and lifestyles while promoting sustainability and ethical consumption by adopting a nose-to-tail philosophy.

So whether you want to make your own from suet or grab some pre-prepared, I urge you to give it a go – your taste buds and body will thank you.

If you’re interesting in optimizing your health through nutrition, I’ve a load of articles to get you going. A great place to start is by incorporating beef liver or chicken liver, or perhaps the other organ meats into your diet.

If you have any questions, please reach out – I’d love to hear from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tallow made from?

Tallow is a rendered animal fat, primarily from beef, but can also be sourced from pork or mutton.

Can I use tallow instead of butter or oil in cooking?

Yes, you can definitely use tallow instead of butter or oil in cooking. It works well for frying and baking.

How do I make my own beef tallow?

To make beef tallow, source some beef fat, heat and low simmer it to render it, then strain and store the tallow.

Is tallow suitable for various diet plans?

Yes, tallow can be part of a variety of diets such as keto, paleo, and gluten-free as it’s a healthy source of saturated fats.

How does using tallow promote sustainability?

Tallow helps promote sustainability by making better use of the entire animal, reducing waste, and providing economic benefits to local agricultural communities.

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