The Leading 14 Uses for Tallow

Tallow is a versatile animal fat you’ll want to keep in your pantry. It’s great for homemade cosmetics, natural skin products like Tallow Balm, and for making candles or soap. Here are 16 creative and practical ways to use tallow!

Our family loves meat and believes in honoring the animals we raise by using as much of them as possible. For example, when we butcher chickens, we use the cleaned feet for stock and compost the feathers. With pigs, we utilize every cut and render the fat into lard for cooking.

In commercial meat processing, fat is often rendered into feed for animals. Even a friend of mine who farms pasture-raised beef regretted how his animals’ quality fat was often discarded as waste.

If you raise cattle or buy beef in bulk, consider rendering the fat into tallow. You can find simple, step-by-step instructions on how to render tallow here:

Once you have your tallow, here are some ideas on how to use it! And don’t forget to check out the Tallow Balm Shop for high-quality, natural skin products made from tallow.

14 Uses for Tallow

1. Make Tallow Soap

Tallow is perfect for soapmaking due to its nourishing qualities and affordability. Make sure to purify it to remove any beefy smell. To get started, check out The Nerdy Farm Wife’s Natural Soap Making eBook and try the Calendula Tallow Soap Bar recipe.

2. Use Tallow for Cooking

Tallow is great for high-temperature cooking or frying. It provides a local, inexpensive fat supply if made at home, saving you from paying high prices like $18.95 a pint in stores. Fried chicken and Elderflower Fritters are fantastic dishes to try with tallow.

3. Make Tallow Candles

Pure tallow can be used to make emergency candles or mixed with beeswax to lower costs. Use up to 50% tallow in homemade candles and make thinner tapers for even burning.

4. Make Tallow Laundry Soap

Tallow laundry soap is easy to make with washing soda and essential oils. It cleans well and is gentle on clothing. Check out DIY Tallow Soap for Laundry for instructions.

5. Nourish Your Skin with Tallow Balm

Incorporate tallow into balms or lotion bars for a moisturizing skin care product.


For a high-quality option, try the grass-fed tallow balm from Toups and Co. Organics, which is nourishing without being greasy.

6. Condition Your Hair

Use purified tallow as a deep conditioner for hair, especially for split ends or frizz. Apply to the ends and distribute it through your hair. Consider making a tallow shampoo bar for long-term benefits.

7. Season Your Cast Iron Pans

Tallow is great for seasoning cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens. It keeps your cookware in top condition.

8. Condition Cutting Boards

Regularly condition wooden cutting boards and utensils with tallow to maintain their quality. Rub a small amount of pure tallow into the wood to protect it from moisture and extend its life.

9. Use Tallow for Lubrication

Tallow can serve as a natural lubricant for machinery and door hinges. It also helps prevent rust.

10. Polish Wood with Tallow

Use tallow mixed with a few drops of essential oil as an inexpensive wood polish. It protects your furniture and enhances its grain and shine.

11. Make Suet Bird Seed Blocks

Combine tallow with seeds to make suet blocks for birds.


This provides essential fats for birds during winter.

12. Add to Your Animal Feed

Incorporate small amounts of melted tallow into your pets’ or livestock’s diet to boost fat intake, which is especially beneficial in winter. It can help improve their skin health as well.

13. Protect Chickens from Frostbite

Apply tallow to chickens’ combs and wattles to prevent frostbite in cold climates as a natural alternative to Vaseline.

14. Make a Natural Diaper Rash Cream

Create a homemade diaper rash cream by mixing tallow with coconut oil or another liquid oil. Be cautious with cloth diapers as it may cause buildup.

What’s your favorite use for tallow? I’m always on the lookout for new and creative ways to make the most of this valuable product. Share your ideas in the comments!