Beef Fat and Tallow: Similar But Different
What Is Beef Fat?
It’s the fat your see around the muscle fibers.
What Is The Difference Between Beef Fat And Tallow
Traditionally, tallow was made from fat found in the internal organs of animals, particularly around the kidneys, loins or back.
Tallow was derived from pigs and beef.
Recently, the definition for tallow has become more flexible, meaning it can be any fat.
There is still a difference. Traditional tallow is harder and used for soap and candle making.
Beef rendered fat is softer like butter.
In restaurants, the tallow commonly used is often derived from rendered fat.
Health Benefits In Beef Fat And Tallow
Animal fat is rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which increases fat burning and improves your immune system.
Grass fed cows have twice as much than grain fed.
And tallow doesn’t trigger your insulin levels and may help reduce gut inflammation.
And people experience less hunger cravings from eating fat versus carbs.
And like the liver organ, animal fat is rich in Vitamin A, D, K and E. If you want a detailed explanation of each vitamin, please check out this extensive write up here
Why We Stopped Using Tallow?
Simple Answer: Crisco and Marketing.
In the early 1900s, Crisco was heavily promoted as a healthier option compared to lard, tallow and rendered fat. I
It’d made by converting seed oils into hydrogenated vegetable oils. A trans fats heavy product.
Today, trans fats are now recognized as unhealthy, as they are associated with heart disease and oxidative damage.
The FDA took action in 2015 by no longer considering artificial trans fats as "Generally Recognized as Safe" (GRAS). And as of June 18, 2018, manufacturers are no longer allowed to add trans fats to food products.
Surprise! Surprise! McDonald’s used beef fat for their fries. Can you imagine how they would taste like! They were delicious! But in 1990 they switched to “healthy” vegetable oils.
I’m kind of getting hungry thinking about this.
What type of tallow to get.
If possible focus on getting 100% organic and pasture raised. If not, look for 100% organic.
How To Render Beef Fat
1. Get any type of fatty meat. If you can, focus on 100% grass fed cuts.
2. Trim the fat. It’s ok if there is some muscle meat still on the fat.
3. Cut up the fat in cubes. No need to over do it.
4. Use any pot. A lot of people prefer cast iron.
5. Use a stove top or oven. For stove stop use medium heat. For oven heat to 250 F.
If it starting burning, it means it’s too hot. Lower the temperature.
6. Stove top will take between 30 - 90 minutes. Oven is 1.5 to 2 hours. Stir once in a while. Give it time to melt fully.
7. Strain it into another bowl. You may want put the trimmings back into the oven/stove to squeeze out more fat.
8. The tallow / rendered fat will solidify to a butter like consistency. If you used real tallow, it will get very hard.
Storage / Use
If you cook a lot, leave the jar on the counter for everyday use. Room temperature is fine.
If you use it once in a while, keep in the fridge for 5-6 months. Freezer storage can almost be forever.
But after a year, it will absorb the smells from the freezer and get a funky smell.
Smoke point is 420 degrees.