The Most Delicious Homemade Beef Tallow

After reading this, you would know all about beef tallow and how to cook up homemade beef tallow.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 16, 2023
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Fat might be an atrocious word to throw around as regards people and might even be so when used to describe meals. Still, they are essential to your diet, especially if we are talking animal fats because they are important to the flavor of meat.

The flavor they enhance is one of the reasons why animal fats are an ideal substitute for cooking oils in many homes. One of the best animal-sourced cooking fats Trusted Source The Seven Great Cooking Fats—Ranked! | Food & Wine Are all fats created equal? Josh Ozersky doesn’t think they are. Here, what he thinks of as the eternal hierarchy of Seven Great Greases. around, if we take this reputable lifestyle website seriously, is the beef tallow or rendered beef fat.

You don’t have to take our word for it, though; you could always just learn to cook your own beef tallow from this article and see just how much improved the taste and flavor of your cooking would be.

What is beef tallow?

The Most Delicious Homemade Beef Tallow
Rich in nutrients – not only does it help you absorb more nutrients from your food, but beef tallow is also rich in vitamins A, D, E, K, and B1.

Beef tallow is the solid, paste-like fat that is obtained from rendering and cooling beef fat. Personally, we consider it to be one of the best cooking oil alternatives. It makes economic sense to utilize the fat rather than throwing it away after trimming a beef brisket (to prepare a smoked corned beef, perhaps).

As well as a cook, though, you could also use the beef tallow to fry stuff. While environmentalists and vegetarians could still point to this use of beef tallow and find faults in the source or processes taken in attaining it, you would be maximizing the resources that can be obtained from the cow, and that should be worth something.

Tools and ingredients you’ll need

Obviously, to cook your homemade beef tallow, you’d need beef fat. This is the same way you’d need chicken fat to make schmaltz and pig fat to make lard. As such, when you purchase or cut out your chuck roast to make a smoked pulled beef for friends, rather than throw away the sliced out fat, you could repurpose it for making tallow and save yourself the costs on cooking oil. However, if you’re doing the cutting up yourself or outsourcing the butchering of the animal to professionals, you could have them keep the leaf fat around the kidneys as this is the prime fat to use. Personally, though, we prefer to get the already cut and processed white beef fat directly.

Don’t look so disgusted at the suggestion. According to CNN and a couple of reputed news sources, McDonalds fried their “vegan” French fries with beef tallow Trusted Source McDonald's sued for using beef fat in fries - May 3, 2001 McDonald’s Corp. said Thursday it “has always used” beef flavoring in its French fries, refuting allegations made in a class action lawsuit brought against it by a vegetarian lawyer. back in the day, which caused quite a rancor. The relevant point to take there is that if the big food companies are interested in using beef tallow to improve the quality of their food and conserve their resources, why shouldn’t you.

However, the beef fat is simply the major ingredient you’d need as there are still a couple more things to have before your fat becomes tallow. In total, you should have the following ingredients and tools (in the quantities prescribed) to make about 30 servings of beef tallow:

The Most Delicious Homemade Beef Tallow 2

Beef Tallow – Recipe

Bruce Williams
Some of us might find beef tallow and the use of animal fats to be unhealthy, but even the most healthy of diets would need to make provisions for a more balanced diet, and the knowledge of how to cook and use beef tallow could be fitted into your dietary routine. This article about kcal and calories should do the trick to understand better what this means to your diet.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 30
Calories 9168 kcal


  • A stockpot
  • A strainer
  • A funnel
  • 100% cotton cheesecloth
  • A wide-mouth jar


  • 3-4 lbs. whitebeef fat or suet


  • Adding the beef fat into astockpot
    The stockpot used should be big enough to contain the fat to be rendered. A suitable commercial-grade stockpot, according to reviews, is this 16 Quart StockPot from HOMICHEF.
    The Most Delicious Homemade Beef Tallow 4
  • Simmering the beef fat
    The best way to go about this is to operate at low heat. This is the real reason the process takes as much time, but it’s important that you don’t want to have burnt fat in your pot instead of beef tallow. Even if you feel the heat is low enough, monitor them melting fat and check from time to time to stir and notice any burning.
    The Most Delicious Homemade Beef Tallow 6
  • Straining
    When the fat is done melting, the content of your pot should look like a liquid at the bottom with crispy stuff on top. At this point, you can turn off the heat and whip out your cheesecloth and/or a strainer. An alternative to cheesecloth is to use a mesh like the ZulayKitchen Stainless Steel Fine Mesh. Strain through the cheesecloth to remove the crispy stuff.
    The Most Delicious Homemade Beef Tallow 8
  • Storing or serving
    The strained fat can then be poured into jars using the funnel for storage as you fit. The KALAVE Food GradeStainless Steel Funnel is a good choice for this as it can deal with the heat of the hot fat. Depending on the type of animal breed the fat was obtained from, it might turn white as it cools in the jar. Once it hardens in the jar, the beef tallow formed can be stored at room temperature or with refrigeration depending on the user's preference, with some leaving their tallow in frozen storage for over a year.
    The Most Delicious Homemade Beef Tallow 10



Calories: 9168kcal

Ways of using beef tallow

Nowadays, after a lull in the use of beef tallow for a while, people are starting to grow wise once again to the economic advantages of using beef tallow rather than a cooking oil, leading to renewed popularity.

However, beef tallow is not like peanut butter that can be consumed by itself and rather, people incorporate it into recipes to improve meals and foods. Some of these food recipes that could do with a good helping of beef tallow are:

  • Roasted vegetable where you coat the vegetables with the beef tallow before roasting in an oven
  • Making French fries as a cooking oil alternative
  • For baking biscuits
  • For cooking pinto beans
  • For making gravy

Final thoughts

Granted, you might notice while melting or using your beef tallow that it has a beefy odor about it. Some might find it to be a good aroma, but others might find it offensive, and depending on where you stand, you might not be the biggest fan of beef tallow.

However, as previously implied, even restaurants use this product, representing advantages that modern living standards should appreciate. For starters, it is conservation-positive and economical.

Secondly, it is quite a storage stable at room temperature, meaning that there would be little need if any for refrigeration. Arguably, the best part, in our opinion, is that it can be homemade and can be tweaked to suit your purposes and made from spare fats.

Considering the emphasis of the world on sustainability, it’s high time you got started on making your beef tallow and joined the homemade cooking movement.


The Seven Great Cooking Fats—Ranked! | Food & Wine
Are all fats created equal? Josh Ozersky doesn’t think they are. Here, what he thinks of as the eternal hierarchy of Seven Great Greases.
McDonald’s Corp. said Thursday it “has always used" beef flavoring in its French fries, refuting allegations made in a class action lawsuit brought against it by a vegetarian lawyer.
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