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How to Make Beef Tallow At Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Beef Tallow At Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Feb 28, 2024

How to Make Beef Tallow At Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Once a kitchen staple, beef tallow has made a resurgence as chefs and home cooks alike rediscover its rich flavor and myriad uses. Based on a video by Butcher Wizard, we will break down the process of making beef tallow and how to incorporate it into your cooking.

What is Beef Tallow?

Beef tallow is rendered beef fat, a byproduct of trimming and processing beef cuts. When rendered, the fat transforms into a stable cooking fat that's solid at room temperature, similar to lard or butter. Tallow has been a cornerstone of traditional cooking, lauded for its high smoke point and ability to impart a unique flavor profile to dishes.

What is beef tallow and its benefits? - DSR Cattle

The Benefits of Using Beef Tallow

  • Flavor Enhancement: Tallow adds a rich, savory taste to foods, elevating them with a complex umami character.
  • High Smoke Point: With a smoke point of around 400°F (204°C), tallow is excellent for high-heat cooking methods like frying and roasting.
  • Versatility: From sautéing vegetables to creating the perfect sear on a steak, tallow can be used in numerous culinary applications.
  • Sustainability: Rendering tallow makes use of fat that might otherwise be discarded, embracing a nose-to-tail approach to meat consumption.

Rendering Beef Tallow

Preparing the Fat

You'll start with beef trimmings, cutting away any excess muscle meat. The goal is to maximize the fat and minimize the lean meat content. Cut the fat into small, grindable pieces, about one inch in size, using a sharp knife, which will help in the rendering process by increasing the surface area.

The Rendering Process

Take your prepared beef fat and grind it to further increase the surface area for more efficient rendering. Place the ground fat in a large pot and add water (about 8 cups of water to 5 pounds of fat). The water will prevent the fat from burning and facilitate an even rendering. Heat the mixture, allowing it to simmer gently. The water will eventually evaporate, leaving you with pure, liquid tallow. Stir occasionally and check after about an hour. Once the water has fully evaporated, you'll be left with rendered beef tallow.

Straining and Storing

Strain the liquid tallow through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down to extract every bit of fat. Allow the tallow to cool. If any water remains, it will separate from the tallow as it solidifies, allowing you to remove the pure fat easily. Store the tallow in airtight containers; it can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated for long-term storage.

Cooking with Beef Tallow

Roasting Vegetables

Beef tallow can transform even the simplest of vegetables into a culinary delight. Take Brussels sprouts as an example; toss them with a couple of tablespoons of tallow, season with salt and pepper, and roast in a 400°F (204°C) oven for 30 minutes. The result? Crispy, golden-brown sprouts with a depth of flavor that can only come from tallow.

Perfect Potatoes

Potatoes and beef tallow are a match made in culinary heaven. Roast or fry potatoes in tallow to achieve a crispy exterior while maintaining a fluffy interior. The tallow imparts a richness that elevates the humble potato to a gourmet experience.


Beef tallow is more than just an old-fashioned ingredient; it's a testament to the timeless wisdom of traditional cooking. By rendering and utilizing this versatile fat, you can enhance flavors, achieve perfect textures, and celebrate a sustainable approach to cooking. Whether you're roasting Brussels sprouts, crisping potatoes, or seeking that perfect sear on a steak, beef tallow is a kitchen essential that deserves a place in the modern cook's repertoire. Embrace the richness of tallow and let your culinary creations shine.


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