Did you know there are so many more uses for beef than just an amazing meal? The byproducts of a cow can be used much beyond human consumption and one of my favorite byproducts is tallow. I love the idea is taking something which would potentially go to waste to make amazing new skin care products. I am loving tallow balm.
What exactly is tallow balm? It is a lotion made from rendered beef fat. I know, I know, it does not sound appealing but I promise this stuff is amazing. My son has terrible eczema, if you have seen him, you know about it. We have tried everything under the sun from expensive creams to possible allergies, and have found the most simple solutions work the best. I use tallow balm that I have made and Vaseline.
Tallow balm is made by rendering animal fat, which involves melting down the fat and separating it from any impurities or solids. The resulting pure fat is then combined with other natural ingredients like essential oils, coconut, or olive oil. This mixture is said to have soothing properties for skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. The addition of certain essential oils, like tea tree oil, has certain anti-inflammatory properties to naturally soothe dry skin.
Tallow balm is rich in fatty amino acids, which help to hydrate and moisturize the skin. It forms a protective barrier that locks in moisture, preventing dryness and promoting softness. The natural fats in tallow closely resemble the oils produced by our skin, making it easily absorbed and compatible with our skin. Tallow balm can improve skin texture and reduce redness in a more natural way.
Tallow, much like beef itself, contains essential nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients can nourish the skin, support its natural healing processes, and contribute to overall skin health. Tallow balm is considered a natural, nutrient-dense alternative to synthetic moisturizers for the most sensitive skin.
How do I make my Tallow Balm?
It is a touch time-consuming but overall a fairly easy process to make tallow balm.
- Using the natural pure tallow from our beef, I cut down the beef suet (beef fat) into smaller chunks, about the size of my palm.
- I place enough of the beef suet in my slow cooker to fill it ¾ of the way full. Turn the slow cooker up to high and cook for 4 hours, stirring about every 30 minutes.
- Once the beef suet had been rendered, I remove any large chunks of impurities. Then I use a cheesecloth and grease strainer to begin straining the beef suet.
- After the impurities have been removed, allow the beef tallow to cool completely in a large bowl. I turn the tallow over and scrape off any impurities that fell to the bottom while cooling. The beef tallow should be completely white and odorless.
- Repeat the above process once more.
- Once the beef suet has been rendered down twice, I add coconut oil and essential oils, typically lavender or tea tree oil, to the mixture. Using my large mixer, I whip it together until it forms a velvety texture.
- From there, I store them in mason jars in small batches.
What other tallow products are out there?
Beef tallow has a high smoke point, making it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods like frying and roasting. It adds flavor and richness to dishes and is commonly used in traditional recipes, such as frying, pastries, or rendering lard for pie crusts. Some people also use beef tallow as a cooking fat for its unique taste and texture. I initially became interested in Tallow products because I wanted a more natural and sustainable cooking fat.
Using rendered fat has been a traditional process for so many generations and I began to ask myself why we got away from that. Beef tallow has a long-lasting shelf life, less prone to oxidation compared to oils with higher unsaturated fat content, which can turn rancid more quickly. Other cooking and baking oils have higher inflammatory properties. The older I get, the more I believe in whole-food nourishment.
Tallow can also be used for candles due to the low heat burn, however, tend to produce a little bit more smoke and soot. Tallow candles are also prone to lose their shape and must be poured into a mason jar or other type of jar. The fat is melted down, purified, and then combined with a wick made of natural materials like cotton or hemp. Tallow candles were used years before the modern soy and beeswax candles we see of today, mostly for religious and cultural ceremonies. Made with natural products, historical and traditional aspects of tallow candles, can provide a unique experience.
I love the idea of taking something that would typically be used for waste and being able to repurpose it. Tallow is a great product that can be turned into a face balm or body butter that can be a natural solution to soothe skin conditions. I do have a limited number of Tallow Balm on hand available at farmer’s markets. I’m hoping to get more made and added to my website soon!