The theory of planning beforehand is not new for preppers of those wanting to insure a better chance of survival by being prepared. There are many substances with a multitude of uses, but tallow is such an all-purpose liquid gold, we had to explore it a bit more in-depth.
Tallow is usually considered beef or mutton fat, but actually it is any rendered fat that meets the criteria of a high melting point compared to lard or suet. Using everything from the animal, nose to tail eating, is smart survival.
Tallow is considered a by-product of animals in modern times, but many people in history traditionally used tallow in almost every aspect of daily life as a matter of survival as it was widely available: like primitive cultures, the colonists, settlers, and pioneers.
The best tallow comes from naturally grazing animals and is rendered from suet, which is the fat that surrounds an animals organs. Suet is used in the bird feeders we see commercially.
When heat is applied, the suet turns into liquid gold oil. After it is strained, it is purified by washing it in boiling water and filtered again. For more applications it will need to be triple filtered to get out all impurities. Once filtered, it can be used in a variety of ways.
We found 41 good ones that can be applied to self-sufficient living, using only healthy organic materials, and survival practices.
There are many reasons to use tallow as it’s easy to render, being able to collect and render it into useful items it is a valuable skill to have.
Reasons Why You Should Use Tallow
- ✅ It is packed full of Vitamins A, D, E and K, in winter months this can crucial to have
- ✅ It is an anticancer food due to its high concentration of CLA conjugated linoleic acids
- ✅ It allows high triglycerides allow for easy absorption of minerals and nutrients
- ✅ It is a high energy food
- ✅ It is an anti-inflammatory food
- ✅ It doesn’t generate free radicals when its cooked
- ✅ It has a high smoking point
- ✅ It helps build bones
- ✅ It has a long shelf life
- ✅ It doesn’t need to be refrigerated
- ✅ It gives a mental boost by being brain food
- ✅ It boosts your immune system
- ✅ It lowers cholesterol
- ✅ It is heart healthy unprocessed animal fat and a good source of the safe fats, monounsaturated fats
- ✅ It is a good flavoring
- ✅ It is a good source of amino acids
- ✅ It is made up is much like our cell structures, that’s why it’s so good for skincare and used in skin products as its biocompatible
- ✅ It is antimicrobial due to being rich in palmitoleic acid
- ✅ It is inexpensive
How to Store It
- Do not let light hit tallow, it can spoil if kept in prolonged exposure, so use colored glass or opaque containers to block out light
- Do not freeze tallow, you do not need to, its solid at room temperature
- Do not stick utensils or your fingers in stored tallow, bacteria and microbes will grow in it
- Store your tallow in an airtight container to prevent oxidation
All of the Possible Ways to Use Tallow
- Tallow is used in cooking deep frying as to its high melting and smoke point
- Tallow is a healthy butter substitute when cooking
- Tallow can be used to oil muskets and rifles as it doubles for gun grease
- It can be made into pemmican or sausage
- Tallow can be used in pastries and can replace vegetable oil in any recipe
- Tallow will condition leather making it soft and supple, also waterproof
- It can help with allergies as to its antimicrobial properties, rub the inside of your nose with it as a filter
- It can be used as flux to solder
- Tallow can alleviate poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac or chicken pox itch
- It helps nursing moms by providing a natural healthy fat, and can be applied on the perineum to help and sooth the area after birth in humans and animals
- Tallow helps pregnant mothers by providing energy and nourishment to the baby for proper development, it also helps prevent stretch marks when applied during pregnancy
- It is antimicrobial and antibacterial so can help kill yeast, candida, and yeast infections
- It is a good lubrication for moving parts
- It is a biodegradable motor oil
- Massage cold hands or other body parts will tallow to possibly help increase circulation.
- Tallow can replace plants in biodiesel fuel.
- Tallow is good for your skin as is prevents wrinkles and its antioxidant properties infuse it.
- As a base for natural homemade lip balms and salves.
- It is an additive for conditioning clothes.
- Tallow was used for makeup, makeup remover and as a night cream
- It is used in balms as it coats and protects the skin, use it in cold weather to prevent chapping and windrashes.
- Tallow is a healing salve for rashes and skin irritation.
- It is a good mustache wax, and organic shave cream.
- Tallow will keep your weapons from rusting.
- It can be a sun tan oil and it soothes sunburns and increases sun tolerance
- Tallow can be used to make nails and hair grow faster as its fats and acids composition nourishes them
- It can be used on babies’ skin as it is gentle and free of chemicals, so it makes a good diaper cream and baby lotion and it kills cradle cap
- It can be a natural lice killer when mixed with apple cider vinegar
- It can be mixed with baking soda for a natural deodorant
- It is good for insect bites as it coats the skins and soothes the bite site drawing out venom.
- Lather onto the skin to use as a natural sunblock and to treat sunburn.
- Tallow is a great food supplement for pets
- Tallow is good for seasoning a cast iron skillet
- It is good for waterproofing almost anything- fabric, shoes, tents, tools, etc
- Tallow mixes are still used as a projectile lubricant in present day black powder guns
- It is good for woodworking by using screws and brass fittings with wood as it prevents corrosion and screw breakage
- Tallow prevents blisters from boots and shoes and soothes cracked skin by conditioning it.
- To make a natural version of hair shampoo and conditioner bar.
- It can help you sleep by providing the fats and amino acids your brain and body needs
- It can boost circulation and heart function
- Mix tallow with natural plant matter to dye it in earth tone shades to make a natural camo and body paint.
- Dip small metal fittings like nuts, bolts, and screws into tallow before storing them away to help protect them rusting.
- Tallow can be a hemorrhoid relief cream and prevention aid
- It is believed to ward off some diseases as to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Combine 1 part tallow to 2 parts apple cider vinegar to help remove head lice.
- Used alone or as part of a natural home remedy against candida and yeast infections.
- Treat candle wicks with a thin coating of tallow to help protect them from moisture – and also to help them catch more quickly and burn longer.
- To make a bone broth filled with nutrients that can be eaten as a soup or used as a soup base.
- Rub fire-starters or kindling with tallow to help them catch more quickly and burn longer.
Bonus one: For me personally seeing rendered tallow could be used as a medium for oil paint, that’s something I would use for my survival!
Soapmaking with Tallow
We have been using more and more beef and deer tallow in cooking, instead of lard, due to all the DDED health benefits it has.
For soap, it’s a basic mixture of lye, scent, and tallow. Also, any scents you want to add to it. You can supplement with milk and other oils such as coconut oil, etc depending on its use.
Find the shape of the soap you wish to make and have a form for that shape.
Here I am demonstrating with a small cup I added scent to. Melt your tallow pieces you have, this can be prior soap you made and want to reuse the scraps:
Then pour the melted tallow into the shape. On bigger forms they have a garbage bag or slick parchment paper for easy removal of the soap loaf. If making a loaf, you can cut it with a wire when it cools.
In these examples, I have natural tallow and goat milk soap for moisturizing, and the brown soap pictured below has coffee grounds added to it for a sweet smell and added scrubbing texture for a wake up revitalizing soap, and the orange is mango, fruit and citrus scents.
Here is a wonderful video on making soap with tallow:
Making Emergency Candles
You can make small candles that burn a few hours and are easy to store with your tallow scraps. To make large candles that burn quite a while, you can mix it with beeswax or soy or lard, or just straight tallow.
Use small bottle caps or lids to make these small candles. Just pour melted tallow into your cap and add a cotton wick. It is that simple! I added a few drops of saffron to give it a nice scent.
Here is a great video on making candles with tallow:
A simple DIY rendering of tallow is harvesting your meat and grinding the fat so it’s easy to melt. To render it, just boil the hard fat after grinding. Once it cools, remove the white portion. That’s basic tallow.
We saved a bunch of scraps and cut them into chunks for melting:
To use it for lubricants or lotions, you need to strain it a few times. But this simple method is great for just getting big basic chunks for cooking, pets, etc.
updated 05/03/2020 by Tara Dodrill
Growing up in the Bluegrass State, it was a point of familial pride to be able to shoot, trap, identify plants and track animals. Summer camps helped us be well versed in camping, weapons, and survival skills from a young age. We were surrounded by such a lush environment and we used the resources we had.
I met my soulmate in my happiest place to be- a seemingly enchanted winding trail next to a beautiful wooded glen- where I spent as much time exploring as I could during daylight hours with my trusty four-legged friends.
After 3 years following the nursing track, I switched to natural and holistic medicine as that is where my passion lies.
The bucket list includes living the days painting and writing on a fully self-sufficient homestead, off-grid with our animals and family and plenty of land for the significant other (who I think is a true artist at weapons and living that way) to shoot to his heart’s content. Naturally organic living for us and the animals is a goal.