Home-Made Tallow. Make your own and enjoy the King of Fats.

It’s great for cooking and skin care. But it’s also expensive to buy and difficult to source. And you can never be sure that it’s from kidney fat – although it should be. Nor that it came from 100% grass-fed cattle, which is crucial in order to avoid toxins from environmental pollutants.

So the best thing is to buy a chunk of organic, raw fat and render it to make your own tallow. Guaranteed to be cheaper and healthier.

Thinking that it must be a convoluted process? You couldn’t be more wrong. It’s really simple and you only need a cooking pot.

What is Tallow?

Tallow is rendered beef fat, as opposed to lard which is rendered pig fat. In the UK, it’s best known as dripping, which doesn’t sound quite so elegant.

Grass-fed beef kidney fat contains about 50% saturated fat and 50% monounsaturated fat, it’s low in PUFA, and has a high smoke point (250°C/480°F). It is rich in oleic acid, conjugated linoleum acid (CLA) and other fatty acids that are essential for cognitive (brain) health and a strong metabolism.  Add a bunch of Vitamins (A, D, K, E, B12, Choline) and you can see why it’s king of the fats.

For centuries, tallow was considered the best choice for cooking and baking. Then cheap, highly processed vegetable fats and oils came along, and tallow was cast aside. In recent years, however, tallow has been resurrected and given the credit it deserves once again. And not just in keto and carnivore worlds, either: it’s THE Superfat, no matter the ‘diet’.

How To Render and Store Home-Made Tallow

First of all, you need to get hold of some beef renal fat, preferably from organic, grass-fed beef. Kidney fat is unlike muscular fat in several ways. It has a different taste and consistency, contains different kinds of fatty acids, is more waxy than greasy, has higher melting and smoke points, and remains safe at room temperature for much, much longer.

If you’ve purchased ready-made tallow and found it creamier than home-made, it’ll be because the manufacturer added inferior-quality muscle fat. Look at the photos and you’ll see the difference: pure white tallow (from renal fat) and yellow tallow (from muscle/bone fat). 

In the UK, I buy my kidney beef fat from Grierson (no affiliation). All other suppliers I’ve checked out use fat from other parts of the body. 

Shred the fat mass into small pieces, put it in a heavy-base pan, and let it melt over medium heat. Once your fat becomes a golden liquid and the crackling noises have stopped, you cool it, strain out the crispy bits (called cracklings or greaves) and pour it into sealable glass jars.

You may have read here and there that you should store tallow in the fridge or freezer, and/or that it will keep for a few weeks/months. Not so! Tallow does not require refrigeration. And if you keep it in a dark cupboard, it will last for years. I still have 2 jars of perfectly good tallow that I made in 2012!

How Do You know If Your Tallow Is ‘OFF’?

Have you just found a forgotten jar of tallow in the back of a cupboard? Sniff it. If it has a rancid smell, throw it in the bin. If it has a sweetish, faint beefy smell, it’s good.

Tallow will turn rancid if subjected to extreme temperature changes. From personal experience, it’s not a good idea to keep it where it’s very hot in summer and freezing cold in winter (e.g. shed). It will also spoil if some moisture remained during the rendering process. Avoid both scenarios and your tallow will be fine for decades. 

Tallow For Skin Care

Many people are shocked when I tell them that I use it as a daily moisturiser. In fact, I’ve been using it on my skin for a very long time, and it’s the only thing that kept my psoriasis manageable. As a moisturiser, it’s unbeatable. Human skin absorbs it well, and the initial, slightly waxy feel disappears quickly. I also use it on my hands, my elbows, feet, anywhere I see some dry skin. That said, my face doesn’t like it. I don’t know why. It might be due to facial skin having a different dermal matrix, or it might be just me.


I bet you didn’t know that tallow and its components (glycerides and fatty acids) are used in the pharmaceutical industry, explosives industry, cosmetics industry, leather industry, and to make myriad products, from soap, detergent containers, plastic bags and rubber, to bank cards and even the British polymer bank notes.


Home-Made Tallow

It's easy, and you'll have something far superior to anything you can buy.
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Course: Make your Own
Diet: Carnivore, Keto, Zero Carb
Keywords: beef fat, dripping, kidney fat, moisturiser, skin, suet, tallow
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 300 g


  • 500 g beef kidney fat


  • chop and shred the fat mass into small pieces, and put them in a large heavy-base pot or deep pan over medium heat, uncovered.
    500 g beef kidney fat
  • stir initially, then let the fat liquefy for 1.5-3 hours, until the crackling sound has subsided and you’re left with a golden liquid and some crispy bits.
  • use a straining ladle to remove the cracklings, and leave the fat to cool for 30 minutes.
  • pass the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer, directly into individual jam jars / mason jars.
  • the golden liquid will solidify and become white or cream coloured.
  • once completely solid, pop the lids on and store in a cool, dry cupboard.


Don't seal your jars until the tallow has completely cooled and solidified.
You do not need to keep tallow chilled. In fact, if refrigerated, tallow will become very hard and difficult to use. It will keep for years in a cool dry cupboard and away from extreme temperature fluctuations.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 900kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 100g
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