where does beef tallow come from

Tallow is made by rendering suet which is the fat of cattle or sheep, typically the fat that surrounds the animals organs. The process of rendering involves gently heating suet to separate the fat from any remaining muscle or connective tissue. The result is a pure fat that once cooled, is solid at room temperature.

Composition edit

Tallow is 100% fat, mainly of monounsaturated fats (52%) and saturated fats (42%), and contains no water, protein or carbohydrates (table).

The fatty acid content of tallow is:[5]

What Is Beef Tallow?

Beef tallow is essentially rendered beef fat. In culinary terms, beef tallow is adjacent to suet or lard but has a special rendering process that makes it unique.

What’s the difference between beef tallow, suet and lard? Firstly, “lard” is a term typically reserved for rendered pork fat sourced from pigs, although it can also describe duck fat. Tallow and suet are the terms used for beef fat, but you may also see them used to describe other types of ruminant animal fat, such as goat, sheep or elk.

Tallow comes from the hard fatty tissue that surrounds organ meats, most often the kidneys and loins of the cow. Before it is rendered, this fat is called suet. Because it hasn’t been processed yet, suet has a slightly tougher and grittier texture than tallow. Suet is best suited for use in pastries, dumplings and pie crusts, where the texture won’t be noticeable.

When suet is melted slowly, the tough and grainy bits can be easily strained out, leaving behind a smoother, firmer and more versatile product known as tallow. When used for culinary purposes, beef tallow has a very mild beefy or meaty flavor.

Before refrigeration and food preservatives were common, beef tallow served a vital role in people’s daily lives. Tallow is solid at room temperature and is shelf-stable for about twelve months. It can last about 12-18 months when kept in the fridge and up to two years in the freezer.

This versatile product can be used in food preparation as an ingredient or cooking oil. Outside of the kitchen, beef tallow can also be used to make candles, soaps, cleaning products, skin salves, healing ointments and industrial lubricants.

where does beef tallow come from

When consumed in moderation, beef tallow can be beneficial for your skin and hair, provide a good source of fat-soluble nutrients and promote healthy weight management. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, one tablespoon of beef tallow contains about 115 calories, 12.8 grams of total fat and 6.37 grams of saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats as overconsumption can lead to higher levels of “bad” cholesterol in your body.

With that being said, using beef tallow in moderation still has a range of health benefits. For one, beef tallow is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and choline, which are vital for cognitive function and overall health. Beef tallow also offers more vitamin D than olive oil, canola oil or margarine.

While it does contain some saturated fat, beef tallow is also a good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, or “good fats.” If you’re looking for more keto-friendly or calorie-dense foods, using beef tallow can also be a good way to meet your nutrition goals.

However, the benefits can vary greatly depending on the quality and sourcing of your beef tallow. Per the National Library of Medicine, studies have shown that environmental pollutants are often stored in fatty tissues, so using low-quality beef tallow can raise your risk for consuming these toxins. It’s always better to source your beef tallow from grass-fed, antibiotic-free, organic and ethically raised cows whenever possible.

where does beef tallow come from

Food edit

Greaves (also graves) or cracklings is the fibrous matter remaining from rendering,[1] typically pressed into cakes and used for animal feed, especially for dogs and hogs, or as fish bait.[11] In the past, it has been both favored and shunned in dog food.[2][3]

Tallow is made by rendering suet which is the fat of cattle or sheep, typically the fat that surrounds the animals organs. The process of rendering involves gently heating suet to separate the fat from any remaining muscle or connective tissue. The result is a pure fat that once cooled, is solid at room temperature.

FAQ

What part of the cow does beef tallow come from?

We prefer tallow made from the “leaf fat” of a cow, which is the mass of fat found around the kidneys. Leaf fat produces a cleaner, milder tasting tallow. If you are butchering yourself, you’ll find the leaf fat in a big mass around the kidneys.

How unhealthy is beef tallow?

Some people believe that because tallow is high in saturated fat, it may increase LDL-cholesterol concentrations, and raise the risk for cardiovascular disease. However, it is worth noting that recent research has shown that much of the purported “dangers” of saturated fat have been overplayed.

Are animals killed for tallow?

The predominant source of tallow comes from cattle and is a by-product of the meat industry. At the time of slaughter for human consumption at registered abattoirs/meatworks around the world, the carcasses are first stripped of their hides for the leather industry, whilst hooves and horns are removed to the glue pots.

Is beef tallow healthier than butter?

However, it, especially grass-fed tallow, is also a good source of vitamin D, choline, and other healthy fatty acids like palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. It also has 902 calories (kcal) per 100 grams, which is a lot more than the 717 kcal in butter.

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