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What is Tallow and How is it Different from Suet?

Watch the What is Tallow video

Ever wondered what tallow is? In this video, I explain what tallow is and how it is different from suet.

Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My content may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.

What is Tallow?

Tallow is a type of rendered beef fat that is rendered from beef suet. Rendering melts the fat and separates the impurities. If you’re new to making traditional foods and especially new to cooking with traditional fats, I go into more detail in the following sections.

How is Beef Tallow Different than Beef Suet?

Tallow is rendered beef fat, but what is the relationship of beef fat to beef suet? Suet is a specific type of beef fat that is removed from around the internal organs of a cow.

The best suet is the fat that is removed from around the kidneys of the cow. Once rendered, this suet is called tallow. (Watch my explanatory video for more information.)

Tallow is an excellent fat for cooking or baking for many reasons:

  • Suet, as opposed to other types of beef fat, does not smell or taste like beef!
  • Once suet is rendered into tallow, it has a very high smoke point.
  • Tallow is shelf-stable at room temperature.
  • Tallow is very rich in nutrients.

As you can see, tallow rendered from suet is definitely something we want to have in our traditional foods kitchen!

What Type of Fat Can You Get From Beef Bone Broth?

When you make beef bone broth and then chill it, you may see a layer of fat form at the top. Technically this is not tallow. It is fat that that has dissolved from the muscle meat during the bone broth making process.

This fat is very nutritious and can be used in the same way that you would use tallow. The only difference is that it is softer than tallow at room temperature, and it has a shorter shelf-life than tallow when left out at room temperature.

As you can see in the picture below, tallow is quite hard at room temperature.

Learn how to use beef fat from beef bone broth in the following video.

Learn How to Make Real Beef Tallow

You will be surprised to learn how easy it is to render suet to make tallow. In the following recipe video, I walk you through the entire process step-by-step.

Make Apple Fritters with Beef Tallow

When it comes to deep-frying, nothing works as well as beef tallow! So if you enjoy making apple fritters, be sure to fry them up in tallow. You will be so pleased with the wonderfully crispy exterior that you will achieve with this animal fat!

Balms and Creams with Beef Tallow

Keep in mind that tallow rendered from suet does not smell like beef, so it is perfect for making balms and creams. In addition, tallow is amazingly nourishing to your skin. Once you start using homemade tallow balm, you’ll never want to buy commercial-prepared and chemically-laden creams again. I’m in my mid-60s, and I love my tallow balm!

Do you have cracked heels? If so, be sure to try making your own tallow foot cream. It’s easy to do, and your heels will be petal soft in no time!

How to Render Chicken Fat

Once you have incorporated tallow into your traditional foods kitchen, be sure to try rendering other animal fats, including chicken fat and pork fat. These fats are incredibly nutritious!

Rendered chicken fat, or schmaltz as it is known, is a must-have ingredient for chopped chicken livers.

How to Render Pork Fat

When it comes to baking, no traditional foods kitchen would be complete without lard—and even better—leaf lard! I show you how to make lard the right way in the following video.

Pork fat from around the kidneys is called leaf fat, and like suet, this leaf fat produces a nutritious fat called leaf lard, which does not smell like pork. Bakers prize leaf lard, as it will create the most tender and flaky pie crust you have ever had. So throw out that can of highly processed vegetable shortening and add lard to your pantry!

But don’t worry if you can’t find leaf fat. Back fat from the pig can also be rendered into lard. It will have a slight pork aroma and flavor, but it works beautifully in savory recipes, including savory baked goods.

Looking for Beef Suet or Beef Tallow?

If you can’t find beef suet or beef tallow in your neighborhood supermarket or farmer’s market, check out US Wellness Meats.

This is not a sponsored post. I’m a long-time customer of US Wellness Meats because I have always been impressed by the quality of their products. Check out my US Wellness Meats unboxing video to see the types of products you can get, including bones for beef bone broth!

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

As you begin your journey leaving a processed foods kitchen behind and building your traditional foods kitchen, you will want to download my FREE 36-page Essential Traditional Foods Pantry List.

In addition to listing what you need to stock your pantry, I also share lots of links to videos and printable recipes for how to use what you stock. So don’t delay. Download and start using your copy today!

Kitchen Academy Videos

Are you looking for more traditional foods videos? Then, I invite you to join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy. Members of this optional paid YouTube community get access to exclusive videos, live streams, and other members-only perks. Plus, your YouTube comments include a special members-only badge.

In the following members-only video, I talk about The Importance of Cooking with Traditional Fats: Animal Fats.

Stay in Touch with Mary’s Nest

  1. Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for Traditional Foods Videos (Free) - When you subscribe, be sure to click on the notification bell that will let you know each time I upload a new video.
  2. Subscribe to Mary’s Traditional Foods Newsletter (Free) - Get a free 36-page eBook for signing up: How to Stock Your Essential Traditional Foods Four-Corners Pantry.
  3. Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy (Optional Paid) - For more detailed videos and exclusive members-only perks, join my YouTube membership community.
  4. Order The Modern Pioneer Cookbook (Optional Paid) - Get a printed book of Mary's nourishing recipes from a Traditional Foods Kitchen. This bestselling cookbook is published by Penguin Random House with their DK imprint.

I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!

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Disclaimer:I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.

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