40 Ways to Use Tallow for Survival

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 Can Be from Any Animal

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 40 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.

Making resources from deer tallow video:

Top 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 helps fight breast cancer
  • 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

The Best Tips on 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

40 Ways to Use Tallow for Survival

  1. Tallow is used in cooking deep frying as to its high melting and smoke point
  2. Tallow is a healthy butter substitute when cooking
  3. It can make candles
  4. Tallow can be used to oil muskets and rifles as it doubles for gun grease
  5. It can be made into pemmican or sausage
  6. Tallow can be used in pastries and can replace vegetable oil in any recipe
  7. It can be made into soap
  8. Tallow will condition leather making it soft and supple, also waterproof
  9. It can help with allergies as to its antimicrobial properties, rub the inside of your nose with it as a filter
  10. It can be used as flux to solder
  11. Tallow can sooth poison ivy or chicken pox itch
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. It is antimicrobial and antibacterial so can help kill yeast, candida, and yeast infections
  15. It is a good lubrication for moving parts
  16. It is a biodegradable motor oil
  17. Tallow can replace plants in biodiesel fuel
  18. Tallow is good for your skin as is prevents wrinkles and its antioxidant properties infuse it
  19. It is an additive for conditioning clothes
  20. Tallow was used for makeup, makeup remover and as a night cream
  21. It is used in balms as it coats and protects the skin, use it in cold weather to prevent chapping and windrashes.
  22. Tallow is a healing salve for rashes and skin irritation
  23. It is a good mustache wax and organic shave cream
  24. Tallow will keep your weapons from rusting
  25. It can be a sun tan oil and it soothes sunburns and increases sun tolerance
  26. Tallow can be used to make nails and hair grow faster as its fats and acids composition nourishes them
  27. 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
  28. It can be a natural lice killer when mixed with apple cider vinegar
  29. It can be mixed with baking soda for a natural deodorant
  30. It is good for insect bites as it coats the skins and soothes the bite site drawing out venom
  31. Tallow is a great food supplement for pets
  32. Tallow is good for seasoning a cast iron skillet
  33. It is good for waterproofing almost anything- fabric, shoes, tents, tools, etc
  34. Tallow mixes are still used as a projectile lubricant in present day black powder guns
  35. It is good for woodworking by using screws and brass fittings with wood as it prevents corrosion and screw breakage
  36. Tallow prevents blisters from boots and shoes and soothes cracked skin by conditioning it
  37. It can help you sleep by providing the fats and amino acids your brain and body needs
  38. It can boost circulation and heart function
  39. Tallow can be a hemorrhoid relief cream and prevention aid
  40. It is believed to ward off Alzheimer’s and other diseases as to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits

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!

DIY Rendering of 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. To use it for lubricants or lotions, etc you need to strain it a few times. But this simple method is great for just getting big basic chunks for cooking, pets, etc.

We saved a bunch of scraps and cut them into chunks for melting:

tallow pieces

DIY 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:

melting fat

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.

pouring tallow

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:

tallow soap
Photo: tallow soap

Making DIY 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.

tallow candle 2

tallow candle 1

Here is a great video on making candles with tallow:

About Dyann Joyce

Dyann Joyce
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. I thought I would be a natural scientist like Audubon and travel the world NatGeo style painting and recording the fantastical. I love to create and paint in many mediums. After 3 years following the nursing track, I switched to natural and holistic medicine as that is where my passion lies. I am hoping to finish my doctorate in homeopathic and botanical medicine to achieve my nMD in Naturopathic Medicine by late 2018 (hopefully). 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.

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