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How To Make Beef Tallow

If you are looking for ways to use up the fat trimmings that you have leftover from the likes of brisket, or other areas from a cow, then beef tallow is a great option. 

Not only is it super easy to make, but you can use it in place of butter and oil when cooking. It will produce a delicious taste, despite it being subtle – a little like butter. 

One way to describe it is by the marbling that a premium steak has.

It gives the beef a wonderful flavor profile, especially when it breaks down through cooking. If you like that, well then, you are going to love yourself some beef tallow.

In this article I will share a recipe on how to make beef tallow, but I will also discuss what beef tallow is, and what makes it so darn good.

What Actually Is Beef Tallow?

Tallow when it comes to beef is the rendered fat off the cow meat. This simply means that the fat has been removed to create something else that is useful, such as tallow.

It is a way to use up odd bits that you do not want to eat on the steak itself, without wasting it. 

While it may look like lard (which is really unhealthy), it is said to contain some nutritional value. For one, it has vitamins A, B1, D, E, and K. These are beneficial for the immune system, heart health, skin, and eyes.

Also, minerals such as choline and selenium are found within the cow’s rendered fat. These are essential for the human cells, the muscles, memory, and even our DNA.

So, if you are interested in making your own tallow, then you will be surprised to know that it really isn’t that difficult. 

How To Make Beef Tallow

What better way to make beef tallow than to follow a traditional recipe.

When I finally get around to using rendered fat, I always follow the following recipe because it never fails for me. I can then use the tallow to pan fry veggies and even fish. 

What You Will Need

  • Big Stock pot
  • Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Cheesecloth
  • Glass mason jar

Step-By-Step Guide On Making Beef Tallow

Put The Beef Fat Into A Pot

Heat the beef fat in a large stock pot using a medium low heat. You will let it simmer for around 4 hours, remembering to stir it every half an hour.

Make sure that none of the fat is stuck at the bottom of the pot. Scrape it away if need be. 

You might notice that the fat will begin to cook and tiny bubbles will form during this time.  If you notice that it begins to boil too much, then turn down the heat and make sure to stir. 

Remove From Heat

Once the fat has gone through the rendering process, it means that it is time to turn off the heat. To see if this has happened yet, all the pieces of fat will be brown in color, rather than white. They will also be crispy.

Let the rendered fat cool for a bit once the heat has been turned off.

Strain And Store

Once cooler, pour the (now) tallow into a bowl via a strainer to catch crispy beef.

Put a cheesecloth over the opening of the jar, and using a funnel, slowly pour the tallow to seep through the cheesecloth.

You’re Finished!

Now you can use the tallow immediately, or store it in the refrigerator to keep it in good condition to eat for 3 months or more. However, it all depends on how well you look after the tallow. 

How Long Does Tallow Last For?

Tallow can be stored for quite a long time. In fact, if you only use a bit at a time, it may turn out to be a very long while before you are heading out to the grocery store to pick up some oil.

In fact, if stored in the right conditions, tallow can last up to a whole year. However, if you have the tallow stored in an airtight container somewhere dark and cold like a pantry, then it will last for more than just one year.

Even better, keeping the tallow in the refrigerator will extend its life to an incredibly long time. It is said it may last for years and years.

Even so, you might not want to use tallow that has been stored in the refrigerator for the past decade, right?

But if that is your jam, then give it a go!

Can Tallow Go Bad?

Despite the long shelf life of tallow, it can go bad. In fact, while it will not turn rancid overnight, over time it will start to degrade. This is because it will begin to oxidize.

If you think about it, while you may be storing it correctly, the air will get to it every time you open it to use it.

This will also cause the tallow to start losing its nutrients too. Even though you probably are not making tallow for its health benefits, it is always a nice bonus with any food.

The smell of tallow should not be too strong, though it will have a meat-like aroma. It is pleasant, and will not make you gag.

If the tallow starts to smell funky, then it is time to throw it out. Just like with steak that was kept too long in the fridge. Like anything, if it starts to go bad, then it is not worth risking your health to consume it. 

Final Thoughts

Tallow is made from the rendered fat of a cow (or any animal) and can be used in the place of butters and oils when cooking.

Not only that, it can also be used within cosmetic products such as soaps and skin balms, and other goods such as leather belts and candles.

It is also really easy to make at home. Hopefully you will give it a try now you have seen how simple the recipe is to do so!



Richard is the founder of SteakBuff. He manages the team of expert writers on the site and is a foodie who loves eating steaks

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