It’s no secret that consuming fat has been vilified time and time again. For years, people have been sucked in a low-fat mania phase, thinking that fat is evil and should be avoided at all costs. However, in recent years, people started realizing how vital fat is. Not only is it important for balancing hormones, boosting the immune system, and absorbing nutrients, but it even aids with weight loss!
Thanks to this change of heart about the importance of fat in our diets, beef tallow is becoming a trending topic of discussion. Our grandparents and great grandparents knew the wisdom behind the use of tallow and how beneficial it is. But most of us don’t. That’s why if you keep reading, we promise to teach you all about beef tallow and how you can use it to your advantage!
What Is Beef Tallow?
In simple terms, beef tallow is cooked raw beef fat. This process of cooking is called rendering, and its purpose is to remove all impurities from the beef fat. So, beef tallow is cooked pure beef fat. The tallow’s texture is similar to coconut oil. It’s initially cooked down into a hot liquid that solidifies once it’s at room temperature.
While any beef fat can be rendered, the highest quality tallow comes from the fat around the kidneys. This is because fat around the kidneys is the most concentrated and the most nutrient-dense.
In case you’re wondering if it’s possible to render fat from other sources, then the answer is yes. For example, rendering pig fat gives us lard. Rendering chicken fat gives us schmaltz and rendering butter gives us ghee.
Is Beef Tallow Healthy?
Yes! A thousand times yes! Beef tallow is extremely beneficial for our bodies. It has an impressive nutritional profile full of vitamins and minerals, vital for optimal health.
Vitamin A – Vitamin A supports healthy vision, bones, and skin.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D plays a role in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in your blood. These nutrients are vital for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E is essential for supporting your immune system, as well as organ function in your body. It’s an antioxidant that fights off free radicals to slow down the aging process. Not to mention its benefits for your skin health and its elasticity and appearance.
Vitamin K – Vitamin K supports bone health, speeds up wounds healing process, and helps produce 4 out of the 13 proteins needed for blood clotting.
Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 prevents anemia, osteoporosis, loss of neurons, and depression. It also supports healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Omega 7 – Omega 7 is a monounsaturated fatty acid that improves symptoms of insulin resistance, prevents inflammation, and supports skin health.
Is Beef Tallow Keto Friendly?
The ketogenic diet, also known as keto, is a diet that consists of consuming a low carbohydrate intake and a high fat intake. Since beef tallow is saturated fat, it’s keto-friendly. If you follow a keto diet, then incorporating tallow in your meals will help you meet your required daily fat intake.
You can use it as an alternative for butter, coconut oil, olive oil, or any type of oil you usually use. You can also use it as a replacement for unhealthy vegetable oils such as canola oil. It’s been proven that canola oil can cause inflammation, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
While we’re at it, beef tallow is also carnivore diet-friendly. The carnivore diet is more restrictive than keto and it consists of eating only animal foods. This includes beef, poultry, fish, and organ meats (liver and kidneys). Since tallow is essentially from an animal source, then it’s carnivore approved.
How to Use Beef Tallow?
This may come as a shock to you, but tallow is a common ingredient in commercial soap bars. This is thanks to its ability to harden and lather well. It works as a replacement for oils commonly used in making soap, such as palm oil. To make tallow soap, you’ll need water, sodium hydroxide, tallow, and any essential oil of your choosing.
Yes, you read that right! Beef tallow can be an excellent natural moisturizer. Its texture, similar to coconut oil, makes it easy to apply. It also contains the same fatty acids as our skin, which makes its absorption easy and quick. Beef tallow can be a new cheap and beneficial staple in your skincare routine.
If beef tallow is nutritious for us, then why wouldn’t we share it with our pets? You can use the fat leftovers from rendering your beef fat, as a yummy healthy snack for your puppy.
How to Make Your Own Beef Tallow?
Making or rendering your very own beef tallow is extremely easy, and we will guide you through it. A rule of thumb is: 2kgs of beef fat will render 1kg of tallow, so plan accordingly.
What you will need:
Beef fat (preferably organic, grass-fed) A slow cooker or a reliable large pot Glass jars for storage A cheesecloth.
- Chop the fat into tiny, bite-sized pieces. The tinier the pieces, the better they will melt. If you don’t like cutting it into small pieces, then use a food processor.
- Place the fat into a large pot or your slow cooker, whichever you prefer.
- Place a lid on and pop it in the oven or on the stove, at low heat.
- Wait for 2–3 hours for the fat to melt completely. Make sure to keep an eye on it, to keep it from burning. You’ll know it’s done when the fat separates into a clear liquid at the bottom and crispy bits at the top. Those crispy bits are impurities.
- Use a strainer to strain out the crispy bits.
- Use cheesecloth to strain the remaining liquid again.
- Pour your strained liquid into glass jars.
- Enjoy your tallow!
How to Store My Beef Tallow?
After making your beef tallow, you can store it in an airtight container/jar at room temperature. It could last for over a year! You can also put it in your fridge, or freezer to make sure all its nutrients stay intact.
Beef tallow is a nutrient-dense food, and we all should make it a staple in our pantries. It’s always a good idea to revisit our age-old traditions and incorporate the wisdom behind them into our busy modern lives, that being said we invite you to check our Dry aging article, a process our grandfathers used to preserve meat, nowadays revisited.