Beef Tallow is an extremely useful ingredient in both cooking and wellness products. It is a favorite ingredient of mine in soap making, cooking, balms, salves and other skin products.
What is Beef Tallow?
Beef tallow is rendered beef suet, the beef fat surrounding the kidneys. Grass-fed tallow is so good for your skin because it is chock full of saturated fats, antioxidants, vitamins a, d, e and k. It is also known to be anti-inflammatory and research has shown its ability to help combat and prevent certain cancers.
When selecting your beef suet to render into tallow you must choose a grass-fed selection to get all of these benefits. The building blocks needed to generate these vitamins and antioxidants are found outside. From the sunshine, grass, air, etc. Cows with limited sunshine and given a grain based diet do not produce the same quality suet.
What Can You Use It For?
Beef tallow should be your number one choice for frying. Unlike most vegetable based substitutions, tallow does not oxidate in high temperatures. This means you aren’t exposing your body to damaging free-radicals when frying your foods. Polyunsaturated fats are leading contributors to heart disease and obesity related diseases. Saturated fats like tallow are desperately needed by our bodies to thrive. This is especially true for brain function, bone health and sustainable energy.
In addition to cooking, tallow is an extremely common ingredient in body products such as soap, body balms, lipstick and more. Unbeknownst to most, tallow has a very similar composition to our skin cells. The nutrients in tallow make it a perfect additive for supple, healthy skin. While many vegetable oils and butters are great for skin care, generations of time have proven that tallow is a skin health is here to stay.
So now that’s your super stoked to get your hands on some gorgeous beef tallow, let’s go through the steps to render your own.
Rendering Your Own Beef Tallow
Before anything else, you’re going to need to get yourself some high-quality suet from a grass-fed cow. My recommendation for online purchasing is CrowdCow.com but you should be able to find a local place that sells it too.
Beef Suet (Pictured is the rendering of 3#)
The first step is to take your suet and cut off any muscle that might be left over. Next, you can either put the suet in a food processor to chop it up or take a good old fashioned knife like I do and cut it into small pieces so it can melt faster.
Then throw it all in the crockpot and set it to low for a solid 5-6 hours.
Once it has melted you’ll see all of the impurities rise to the top. First get your skimmer and pull out the biggest pieces. Next, heat your mason jar by running hot water on the outside until the glass is heated through. This prevents the glass from cracking when you pour in the hot tallow. Then take your cheesecloth and use it to filter the rest of the tallow into the mason jar.
Let it cool overnight and just drool over that beautiful ivory goodness. Your newly rendered tallow can be stored in the pantry for a month, in the fridge for several months and in small batches in the freezer for years.