What is Beef Tallow Used For?

What is Beef Tallow Used For?

Beef tallow, derived from rendering beef fat, has a rich history deeply rooted in culinary, skincare, and household traditions. Dating back centuries, tallow has been praised for its many uses, offering a variety of benefits across different applications. 

In today’s post, we’re breaking down all the different ways beef tallow is used and how you can start incorporating it into your daily routines!

1. Culinary Uses of Beef Tallow

Cooking with tallow

Cooking and Frying with Tallow

Beef tallow's high smoke point makes it ideal for cooking and frying at high temperatures without burning. Its rich flavor profile enhances the taste of dishes, imparting a savory depth that complements a variety of ingredients.

Beef tallow has a long history of use in traditional cuisines worldwide. From British fish and chips to Mexican carnitas and Middle Eastern falafel, tallow adds distinctive flavor and texture to dishes across cultures.

Baking with Tallow

In baking, beef tallow can be used as a substitute for butter or other fats, providing moisture and richness to baked goods. Its neutral flavor allows the other ingredients to shine while contributing to a tender crumb and golden crust.

When used in baking, beef tallow helps create flaky, tender pastries and baked goods. Its solid consistency at room temperature ensures proper distribution of fat throughout the dough, resulting in superior texture and mouthfeel.

Seasoning and Flavoring with Tallow

Beef tallow serves as an excellent medium for infusing with herbs, spices, and aromatics to create flavorful seasonings. Whether used to marinate meats, roast vegetables, or season potatoes, infused tallow adds depth and complexity to dishes.

In cooking, beef tallow can be melted down and used as a base for sauces, gravies, and soups. Its rich flavor and velvety texture enhance the depth and richness of sauces, providing a luxurious mouthfeel and satisfying taste.

2. Skincare and Personal Care Uses with Tallow

Tallow for skincare

Tallow is Moisturizing and Nourishing Skin

Natural Emollient Properties for Dry Skin: Beef tallow's natural emollient properties make it an excellent moisturizer for dry, parched skin. It forms a protective barrier that locks in moisture, keeping the skin hydrated and supple, even in harsh environmental conditions.

Benefits of Tallow-Based Skincare Products: Tallow-based skincare products, such as moisturizers and balms, harness the moisturizing power of beef tallow to nourish and revitalize the skin. These products are often formulated with other natural ingredients to enhance their effectiveness and provide additional benefits, such as soothing irritation and promoting skin health.

Healing and Soothing Properties

Anti-inflammatory Effects on Skin Conditions: Beef tallow exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate symptoms associated with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Its soothing effects reduce redness, itching, and inflammation, providing relief to individuals with sensitive or irritated skin. Tallow may also help treat acne!

Traditional Use in Skincare Throughout History: Throughout history, tallow has been a staple ingredient in skincare due to its healing and soothing properties. Ancient civilizations used tallow-based balms and ointments to treat various skin ailments, recognizing its ability to promote skin health and vitality.

DIY Beauty Recipes Using Tallow

Homemade Balms, Salves, and Creams: Beef tallow is a versatile ingredient in DIY beauty recipes, allowing individuals to create their own customized skincare products at home. From nourishing balms and salves to luxurious creams and lotions, tallow-based formulations offer an affordable and effective alternative to store-bought products.

Incorporating Tallow into Natural Skincare Routines: Incorporating tallow into natural skincare routines allows individuals to take a holistic approach to skincare. By opting for natural ingredients like beef tallow, individuals can minimize their exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and synthetic additives, promoting overall skin health and well-being.

3. Household Uses of Tallow

Tallow soap made with natural ingredients

Soap Making

Historical Significance of Tallow in Soap Production: Tallow has a long-standing history in soap making, dating back centuries. Its high-fat content and cleansing properties made it an essential ingredient in traditional soap formulations. Tallow-based soaps were prized for their ability to effectively cleanse the skin without stripping away its natural oils, leaving it soft and moisturized.

Benefits of Homemade Tallow Soap: Homemade tallow soap offers numerous benefits for the skin. Rich in moisturizing fatty acids, tallow-based soap provides hydration and nourishment, making it suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and dry skin. Additionally, tallow-based soaps produce a creamy lather that gently cleanses the skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Candle Making with Tallow

Utilizing Tallow as a Natural Candle Wax Alternative: Tallow can also be used as a natural alternative to traditional candle waxes. When rendered and cooled, tallow forms a solid, stable base that burns cleanly and evenly, emitting a warm, natural glow. Tallow candles have a long burn time and produce minimal soot, making them an eco-friendly and sustainable choice for candle making.

Eco-friendly and Sustainable Candle Options: Tallow candles offer several eco-friendly advantages over conventional paraffin wax candles. Tallow is a renewable resource that can be sourced from ethically raised animals, making it a sustainable option for candle making. Additionally, tallow candles biodegrade naturally, reducing their environmental impact compared to synthetic alternatives.

Leather Care Using Tallow

Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather Goods: Tallow has been traditionally used in leatherworking to condition and waterproof leather goods. When applied to leather surfaces, tallow penetrates deeply, nourishing the fibers and restoring suppleness. Tallow also forms a protective barrier that repels moisture, helping to prevent water damage and prolonging the lifespan of leather products.

Traditional Use of Tallow in Leatherworking: Throughout history, tallow has been prized by leatherworkers for its conditioning properties. Tallow-based leather dressings and conditioners were commonly used to maintain and preserve leather goods, such as saddles, boots, and belts. Today, tallow continues to be valued for its effectiveness in caring for and protecting leather items.

4. Health and Nutritional Benefits of Tallow

Tallow for skin

Nutrient Profile

Vitamins and Minerals Found in Beef Tallow: Beef tallow has small amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin k. These nutrients play key roles in supporting overall health and well-being, contributing to immune function, bone health, and antioxidant protection.

We recommend checking out Nourishing Traditions for more information on correct nutrition facts! 

 The Weston A. Price Foundation is another great source for accurate information on nutrition and health! 

Comparison to Other Cooking Oils and Fats: Compared to other cooking oils and fats, beef tallow offers a unique nutritional profile. While some oils may be higher in certain types of fatty acids, tallow provides a balanced combination of saturated and monounsaturated fats, making it a versatile and nutritious cooking fat.

Keto and Paleo Diets

Incorporating Tallow into Low-Carb, High-Fat Diets: Beef tallow is an excellent choice for individuals following low-carb, high-fat diets like keto and paleo. With its high fat content and minimal carbohydrates, tallow fits seamlessly into these dietary lifestyles, providing a source of energy and satiety without spiking blood sugar levels.

Digestive Health

Tallow's Role in Supporting Gut Health: Tallow contains a balanced ratio of saturated and monounsaturated fats, which are easily digestible and gentle on the digestive system. Incorporating tallow into the diet may help support gut health by providing a source of nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria.

Potential Benefits for Those with Digestive Issues or Sensitivities: For individuals with digestive issues or sensitivities, tallow may offer a well-tolerated alternative to other cooking oils and fats. Its simplicity and purity make it less likely to cause digestive discomfort or exacerbate existing digestive conditions, allowing individuals to enjoy flavorful and satisfying meals without compromise.

5. Environmental and Sustainability Considerations


Ethical Sourcing

Importance of Sourcing from Ethical and Sustainable Producers: Ethical sourcing of beef tallow is essential to ensure the well-being of animals and the environment. By choosing products from ethical and sustainable producers, consumers support responsible animal practices and contribute to the preservation of natural ecosystems.

Supporting Regenerative Agriculture and Responsible Animal Husbandry: Ethical sourcing of beef tallow promotes regenerative agriculture practices that prioritize soil health, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration. 


Eco-friendly Properties of Tallow-based Products: Tallow-based products offer eco-friendly alternatives to synthetic counterparts due to their biodegradable nature. Unlike synthetic chemicals and additives, tallow breaks down naturally over time, reducing environmental pollution and minimizing harm to ecosystems.

Minimizing Environmental Impact Compared to Synthetic Alternatives: Choosing tallow-based products over synthetic alternatives helps minimize the environmental impact of household and personal care items. Tallow's biodegradability and renewable sourcing contribute to a more sustainable product lifecycle, aligning with principles of environmental stewardship and conservation.

Waste Reduction

Utilizing All Parts of the Animal for Minimal Waste: Tallow production supports the utilization of all parts of the animal, minimizing waste and maximizing resource efficiency. By rendering fat trimmings and other by-products into tallow, producers reduce the need for additional waste disposal methods, promoting a more sustainable and efficient use of resources.

Sustainable Practices in Tallow Production and Usage: Sustainable practices in tallow production and usage further reduce environmental impact and promote resource conservation. From optimizing rendering processes to implementing efficient packaging and distribution methods, producers can minimize their ecological footprint while maximizing the benefits of tallow-based products for consumers.

Uses of Tallow Wrap-Up

Organic tallow balm for face by Eternal Tallow

Ultimately, the diverse uses of beef tallow serve as a testament to its timeless appeal and adaptability!

Whether in the kitchen, the bathroom, or around the home, beef tallow continues to enrich our lives with its natural, sustainable, and multifunctional properties, connecting us to our culinary heritage and the bounty of the earth. 

As we continue to explore and embrace the many uses of beef tallow, let’s celebrate its contributions to our health, well-being, and sustainability efforts.

Interested in trying tallow for yourself? Shop all our organic tallow products here!
Back to blog