Should You Reuse Beef Tallow?

Beef tallow is a great alternative to oil for frying, as it has a higher smoke point and does not break down under high heat. After frying with beef tallow, you may be wondering if you can use it again. Let's take a look before you throw it away.

It is completely fine to reuse beef tallow. For breaded foods, it's okay to use it three to four times before needing to discard it. For non-battered or breaded foods, you can reuse beef tallow eight times or more.

When frying, it's important to know how many times you can use cooking oil or fat before having it replaced. In this article, we will take a closer look at how many times you can reuse beef tallow before it needs to be changed. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about beef tallow and cooking oils, so read on!

Cook cuts raw pork fat into small pieces on a wooden cutting Board. - Should You Reuse Beef Tallow?

How Many Times Can You Reuse Beef Tallow?

Beef tallow is a type of rendered animal fat, primarily derived from cattle, that can be used as a cooking oil or shortening. Traditionally, it is made by melting the fat down and separating it from other elements, such as connective tissue. It has a high smoke point and does not break down under high heat like some other oils.

Beef tallow is great for roasting or frying, and because of its high smoke point, it can be reused several times. For food that is battered or breaded, the general rule of thumb is to only reuse the oil up to three or four times.

The reason being is that battered or breaded foods absorb oil quickly, and the oil loses its flavor after a few uses. In addition, it is likely pieces of the breading or batter will break off with each use and accumulate in the oil. This will make the beef tallow less effective as a cooking oil.

However, if you're using beef tallow to fry food that is not battered or breaded, it can be used eight times or more before needing to discard it.

It's important to filter the beef tallow after each use and check for signs of breakdown, such as a rancid smell or discoloration. If the oil appears cloudy or has a strange odor, it's best to discard it.

It's also a good idea to replenish the leftover beef tallow with fresh oil after each use. This will help prevent the oil from breaking down and becoming rancid more quickly.

Lastly, frying at a lower temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit can help extend the life of your beef tallow. Lowering the temperature reduces the amount of oil absorbed by food and keeps it from breaking down as quickly.

Salted white pork fat slicing on a cutting board

How Should You Store Beef Tallow?

One thing that can ruin your leftover beef tallow is improper storage. It's important to keep it in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. The refrigerator is ideal for storing cooked beef tallow.

If you want to keep beef tallow even longer, you can also freeze it. It will last almost indefinitely in the freezer. To reheat, simply thaw out the tallow and use it as you would normally in your recipe.

You can leave beef tallow at room temperature if it's in an airtight container. However, it won't last nearly as long as when it's stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Your storing method greatly depends on when you plan to use the beef tallow. If you plan on using it in a few days, just store it in an airtight container at room temperature. If you won't be using it for several weeks or months, then freezing is your best bet.

No matter which option you choose, make sure to label the container with a date so you know when it was made and when it's time to discard it.

How Long Does Beef Tallow Last?

As mentioned, beef tallow can last almost indefinitely depending on how it is stored. In the refrigerator, it should keep for several months to a year. In the freezer, it can last indefinitely.

It should keep up to three months at room temperature in an airtight container. However, it is much better to store it in the refrigerator or freezer if you plan on keeping it for an extended period of time.

If beef tallow comes in contact with air, it will spoil more quickly. The oxidation process causes the fat to break down and gives it an unpleasant smell.

If you have had your beef tallow for a while, look for these signs of spoilage:

Pork lard in a glass bowl on vintage wooden board on wooden background. Traditional eating

Foul Smell

A foul smell is a telltale sign that your beef tallow has gone bad. If it smells off or rancid, discard it immediately.


If the color of your beef tallow is darker than when you first made it, that could be a sign that it has gone bad and should not be consumed. This includes any yellow or brown edges, spots, or streaks.

Bad Taste

If your beef tallow has a bitter or off taste, discard it immediately.


Mold is a dead giveaway that the beef tallow has gone bad and should be discarded immediately.

Any sign of spoilage should prompt you to discard your beef tallow, as it could lead to food poisoning if consumed.

What Are The Benefits Of Beef Tallow?

Even though it's high in fat, beef tallow has several health benefits.

First, it's a good source of energy. One tablespoon of beef tallow contains about 115 calories, most of which come from healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

It also provides omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain and heart health. Omega-7 fatty acids help with skin health, which is great for those who have skin sensitivities.

Beef tallow is also rich in vitamin A, D, E, and K, which helps to protect the body from free radical damage. Additionally, it's a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that can help reduce cholesterol levels and support weight loss.

Finally, beef tallow is used in many traditional recipes as a flavorful alternative to other cooking fats.

Bowl of lard spread on grey background

Can You Eat Raw Beef Tallow?

Similar to eating butter or lard, you can eat raw beef tallow. However, it's important to note that the bacteria in raw meat could make you sick if consumed.

For this reason, it is not recommended to consume raw beef tallow. Instead, cook it thoroughly before consuming it, or use it as a cooking fat for other dishes.

How Much Does Beef Tallow Cost?

Beef tallow can range widely in cost depending on where you buy it and how much you purchase. Generally, a one-pound package of beef tallow will cost around $5-10 or more.

It's important to note that the quality of the beef tallow can vary greatly depending on the source. Always make sure to purchase from a reputable supplier so that you know you are getting a quality product.

It's best to shop around and compare prices to get the best deal. Many stores also offer bulk purchases, which can help bring the cost down if you plan on using a lot of tallow.

Rustic salted lard lies on a napkin on a wooden surface

What Else Can You Do With Beef Tallow?

In addition to cooking, beef tallow has been used in a variety of other applications. It's often used for making candles and soap, which makes it a great choice for those looking to get creative with their tallow.

Beef tallow is also used in many skincare products due to its moisturizing and nourishing properties. You can make your own lotions and creams using beef tallow as a base.

It's also used in leather tanning, which helps to add strength and durability to the leather. You can also find beef tallow being used in metalworking, as it helps to lubricate the tools and machines.

As you can see, beef tallow is more than a one-trick pony. It has a variety of uses that can bring out the creative side in anyone!

Final Thoughts

Overall, as long as you strain your beef tallow after each use and store it properly, you can enjoy its many benefits for a long time.

Always make sure to check for signs of spoilage before using your tallow and discard any that looks or smells off. This will help ensure that you are getting the most out of your beef tallow without putting yourself at risk of food poisoning.

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