With the cost of food right now we need to make smart choices and work on building up a buffer for our families to help make it easier to thrive no matter where life takes us. With the cost of meat and oil being on the rise saving bacon grease and even the fat or Tallow that comes from your ground beef is a good way to help save money.
One thing I do is take the cheaper high-fat ground beef when I find it on sale and cook it up in bulk to freeze or can it for use in pasta, tacos, and other dishes later on. The fat can be stored in the cabinet for up to a year and used to replace butter and cooking oil when you are cooking including in your cast iron.
Ways to use beef tallow
Beef tallow has many great uses simpler to bacon grease.
Frying: With its high smoke point (around 400°F or 200°C), beef tallow is an excellent choice for deep frying or pan-frying foods. It imparts a delicious, rich flavor to items like french fries, fried chicken, or fish.
Sautéing: Use beef tallow in place of butter or oil when sautéing vegetables or meats. It adds a depth of flavor that complements a wide range of dishes.
Baking: Beef tallow can be used in baked goods like pie crusts or biscuits to create a flaky texture and rich taste. Substitute tallow for other fats in your favorite baking recipes.
Roasting: Use tallow to coat vegetables or meats before roasting to enhance their flavor and help with browning and crisping.
Grilling: Brush beef tallow onto meats and vegetables before grilling to keep them moist and add an extra layer of flavor.
Seasoning cast iron cookware: Melt a small amount of beef tallow and use it to season your cast iron pans, maintaining their non-stick surface and preventing rust.
Homemade candles: Beef tallow can be used to make eco-friendly, non-toxic candles with a long burn time. Simply melt the tallow, pour it into a heat-resistant container with a wick, and let it cool and solidify.
Soap-making: Tallow is a traditional ingredient in soap-making, known for creating a hard, long-lasting bar with moisturizing properties. Combine beef tallow with lye and other additives like essential oils to create your custom soap.
Skin moisturizer: Beef tallow is rich in vitamins and fatty acids that can benefit the skin. Use it as a natural moisturizer or add it to homemade skincare products like balms or salves.
Leather care: Melted beef tallow can be used to condition and preserve leather goods like shoes, belts, and bags. Rub a small amount onto the leather surface and let it absorb before buffing with a clean cloth.
How to save your beef tallow from ground beef
When doing this batch I was talking to a friend and she told me that you can not save beef tallow from ground beef I told her about how I have been doing this for years and it works very well.
Yes, this is not how it is done traditionally but this is a great way to reduce food waste,. save money. and handle the less-than-positive changes we are facing in the world.
Separate the fat: When cooking ground beef, drain the excess fat from the pan into a heat-resistant container, like a glass jar or bowl. To do this I use a strainer in a large mixing bowl.
Chill the fat: Allow the fat to cool down and solidify in the refrigerator. Once it has hardened, it’s easier to handle and remove any impurities.
Chop the fat: Remove the solidified fat from the container and chop it into small, even pieces. Smaller pieces render more quickly and evenly.
Prepare the equipment: You’ll need a heavy-bottomed pot or slow cooker, a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, and a heat-resistant container to collect the rendered tallow.
Render the fat: Place the chopped fat into the pot or slow cooker and heat it over low heat. You can also add a small amount of water (about 1/4 cup) to help prevent the fat from burning before it starts to melt. Slowly melt the fat, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the amount of fat and the temperature.
Strain the liquid: Once the fat has completely melted and there are only small bits of meat or connective tissue left (called “cracklings”), carefully strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a heat-resistant container. This will separate the rendered tallow from any remaining solids.
Cool and store the tallow: Allow the liquid tallow to cool and solidify at room temperature or in the refrigerator. The tallow will become opaque and creamy white when it’s solid. Transfer the tallow to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dark place or the refrigerator for up to a year.