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HOW TO RENDER AND PURIFY ODORLESS BEEF TALLOW

Updated: Jun 13

This recipe is perfect for DIY skincare recipes because the purification process removes the beef smell while still leaving all the nutrients in tact and yielding beautiful white tallow. You can also use the rendered tallow for cooking delicious carnivore meals!

This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own.


What is tallow?


Tallow is rendered suet from ruminant animals such as cow, bison, and sheep. Suet is the hard fatty part of the cow that surrounds the kidneys and the loins of the carcass. Suet has a white appearance, is slightly crumbly, and almost dry to the touch. At room temperature, rendered tallow is solid.


Using fat from ruminant animals dates back to ancient times. Tallow was used as early as the Bronze age (3300 BC to 1200 BC) as a skin emollient and for making soap and candles. The people of those times tended to use the whole animal at harvest. In the past century, industrialization moved us away from this practice. With the recent rise in awareness of animal based nutrition, many people are going back to being more responsible with resources and learning about the benefits of 100% grass-fed tallow.


Where can you get grass-fed tallow or grass-fed beef suet?


Check with your local rancher or butcher to see if they have grass-fed beef suet available. If you can't find it locally, check online. You can also ask your butcher to ground the suet for you which makes the process a whole lot easier.


What are the benefits of grass-fed tallow for your skin?

#1 Tallow's bioavailability makes it a deep penetrating skin food and intense moisturizer

Bioavailability determines how much your skin is actually absorbing the products that you are applying to your skin. If your skin is not absorbing the skincare products that you are using then they won't be very effective! You don't have to worry about this with tallow though. That's because the composition of tallow is so similar to our own skin oils, that it easily absorbs and softens skin making it better than plant based hydration. Since tallow is compatible with our skin, it works better than plant based hydration and it is less likely to cause irritation, break outs, or clogged pores.

#2 tallow is high in skin benefiting fatty acids

We know that tallow is fat, but lets take a closer look at tallow's fatty acid composition. Tallow contains oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Oleic Acid

This is the most abundant fatty acid found in tallow. It's classified as a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. One of the biggest benefits of oleic acid, is that it replenishes moisture and can help prevent water loss from your skin. It can also help to balance natural oil production and prevent breakouts. Oleic acid is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores. It can form a protective layer on your skin's surface which can help prevent environmental damage. Finally, oleic acid is high in antioxidants, which can help fight off free radicals and prevent damage to the skin.

Palmitic Acid

Another important fatty acid found in tallow, this saturated fatty acid is widely used in cosmetics and skincare. This fatty acid acts as an emollient which can soften the skin and help it retain moisture. Since our skin loses palmitic acid as we age, this fatty acid is crucial for mature skin.

Stearic Acid

This saturated fatty acid is also found in high concentrations in tallow. It's used in many cosmetics and personal care products. Stearic acid has 2 main functions. It works as a surfactant and an emulsifier. Surfactants help to lower the surface tension of the skin so that water can penetrate the skin more easily. Emulsifiers helps tallow contain both oil and water without separating.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

Tallow contains a significant amount of the essential omega-6 fatty acid CLA which is not produced by the body and must be obtained through your diet. CLA has so many skin benefits! It can help your skin retain moisture and plumpness, promotes cell turnover and regeneration, prevent signs of aging, and protects skin from harmful UV rays. It can also help brighten your skin. CLA has also been shown to help acne prone skin at the sebum level. Linoleic acid helps soften sebum. Sebum that hardens can clog pores and cause breakouts. It can also help fight acne and other inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis by reducing inflammation in your skin. Grass-fed tallow contains higher levels of CLA compared to tallow that comes from cattle that are grain fed.

#3 Tallow is rich in skin nourishing fat soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin A helps protect against UV damage and slows the signs of aging. It also helps with skin cell production, boosts collagen, and minimizes fine lines, acne, and hyper-pigmentation.

  • Vitamin D helps calm skin inflammation, provides protection, and improves skin cell turnover. Due to its calming effects, vitamin D can help soothe skin conditions such as dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, or atopic dermatitis.

  • Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that is important for aging skin. It help protect the skin from damaging UV light and helps decrease the damage that's already caused to the skin. Because of this, tallow is effective in handling free radicals and preventing fine lines and wrinkles from developing. Using tallow regularly can make your skin softer and more radiant. Vitamin E has also been shown to prevent the breakdown of collagen. Collagen is a supportive protein found in the skin. It helps give the skin strength and elasticity. Collagen products decreases with age, contributing to skin wrinkling and sagging. So, long story short, collagen helps keep our skin looking youthful.

  • Vitamin K can help strengthen the skin's natural barrier function and retain hydration. This vitamin also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, or atopic dermatitis.

how to render & purify odorless tallow


Ingredients

  • grass-fed beef suet ground or cut into small pieces

  • 4-8 cups of water

  • 2-3 tbsp salt

Equipment

Directions

  1. Cut your beef fat into small pieces or grind it in a food processor. You can also get beef fat from your butcher that is all ready ground.

  2. Add the beef fat to a large stainless steel stock pot or slow cooker. Then add the water and salt.

  3. Cook the tallow on low heat bringing to a simmer. Stir the tallow occasionally. Cook for several hours on the stove. The slow cooker method can take up to 6-8 hours to render.

  4. When the rendering is completed, strain the liquid tallow into a large heat safe bowl through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth.

  5. Put the tallow in the refrigerator to cool. When the tallow is solidified, remove the tallow cake from the bowl and discard the water.

  6. Scrape the discoloration off the bottom of the tallow cake.

  7. Cut the tallow cake into quarters and place it back into a stock pot or slow cooker. Add the same amount of water and salt. Cook on low heat to melt the tallow and simmer for about 1 hour.

  8. Strain the tallow for the second time and allow it to cool in the refrigerator. Once the tallow is solid, remove the tallow cake and scrape the bottom to remove any discoloration.

  9. Store the tallow in glass jars by melting it in a double broiler and pouring it into jars or cut it into chunks.


You can repeat this process as many times as it takes to get the beef smell out, or until the water in the bottom of the bowl is clear. Adjust the amount of water and salt that you add based on how much tallow you are rendering. I do at least 3 renderings with the last rendering being dry or without the added water and salt to make sure all the water, salt, and sediment are out of the tallow. I always strain the tallow after each rendering.



Have you rendered tallow before? What process did you use and were you able to get the beef smell out? Let us know in the comments.

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