Monday, April 8, 2013

Homemade Tallow Balm

For the past year and a half I have embarked whole heartedly into my whole foods journey. I have always had more of a "natural route" approach when it comes to feeding and caring for my family. In finding out about the Weston A Price organization I had an 'ah-ha!' moment. It was like I found what I never realized I was looking for. An organization - more like a group of people -  who are dedicated to eating what is nourishing to our bodies and are committed to helping others do the same. I became a member immediately and in doing so I received their quarterly journal quickly in the mail.

I devoured it. I read it. I scoured it. And I learned from it.

I can't emphasize to you enough of my enjoyment of reading that lovely journal. In it I found a jewel, one that I have been looking for long and hard.

I have been battling diaper rash with my daughter for months. It seems like I have had an issue with it since she was born last July. It has been terribly frustrating to not be able to figure out why it wont go away and not have any home remedies work in healing her poor bottom. Weston A. Price to the rescue! In the quarterly journal there was an article about tallow balm, it's history, it's healing properties, and a 'how-to' in making your own. There even was mention of a mama using it on her baby's diaper rash and it was cured. Say no more, I decided that I was going to try it out. What was there to lose? Nothing. Absolutely nothin'.

There I was, standing in my kitchen looking at something that should be in a sci-fi movie sitting on my counter top. I had made several calls earlier in the week and had walked into a local grocery store/butcher shop and finally obtained what I was looking for. Beef tallow or as the butcher called it suet (I will proceed to call it tallow/suet since I have had so many people call it these two names). Since I have my quirks and like to have fun with my food I decided to name the newest addition to my REAL foodie journey.

Meet 'Little Miss Suet'.

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Isn't she disgustingly awesome?

I think so too.

I'm serious, she was and is awesome in so many ways. I never knew the greatness that I had before me. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let me give you a few facts on tallow balm and why I am so excited about this. Once rendered you can cook with this, bake with this, and make your own skin care products with this. You heard me correctly. Skin. Care. Products. This is where I am heading with this post. Food tastes amazing using tallow/suet and it is full of natures goodness, but I want to focus on what it does for your skin.

In the article it states that, "From biology, we know that the [human] cell membrane is made up primarily of fatty acids, a double layer, to be exact. Saturated fats constitute at least 50 percent of the cell membrane. Since saturated fats tend to be more solid  than unsaturated fats at a given temperature, they help give the cell membrane its necessary stiffness and integrity for proper function...Healthy, "toned" skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin. Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all the rest being monounsaturated, so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology."

Isn't that just so amazing? I love learning about how the Lord made our bodies and how intricately we were designed. Did you also know that "tallow also contains fats like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as palmitoleic acid, which has natural antimicrobial properties?" (quotes cited from article)

I could go on, but I'll spare you. I'm hoping this will lead you to do some more reading and research on your own.

*wink, wink*

Back to my baby's diaper rash. I'll admit, this was my last ditch effort before I resorted to more drastic measures. I am so glad that I tried this because it really worked wonders and I love that I'm putting something on my baby's skin that not only is helping her, but is also healing her.

Tallow/suet balm is so easy to make. If your interested in learning how to do it follow along and then...get you some suet!

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You'll want to cut up the suet in small pieces and cut out anything that isn't hard and waxy. The kidney you can either throw away or if you have a dog...give the dog a treat! Franco loved his treat so much he buried it. What can I say?  He's a smart one. There is major sarcasm going on here.

Once that job is complete, put the tallow/suet in glass cooking dishes and preheat your oven to 220 degrees. Just a warning, it takes quite a while to cut up this hunk of fat, so make sure you do this early in the day. By early I mean, start in the morning so you can have this whole process done well before bedtime. And yes, I was straining tallow/suet while the rest of the family was snoozing. I didn't get the early start that I'm advising...

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You'll want to bake the tallow/suet for 6+ hours, or until all the fat is cooked out and the hard tissue is floating in the rendered fat. During the cooking process I took my potato masher and gave everything a good smooshing.

Once this step is finished you'll want to put a metal strainer over a large bowl and strain out all the large chunks. You will need to do a final strain through a cheese cloth to make sure that you got everything. I draped the cheese cloth in the metal strainer and then re-poured the fat through the cheese cloth. It was pretty simple. Don't worry about your cheese cloth, after I used it to do the final strain, I rinsed it out with warm water, gave it a good hand scrubbing with dish soap, let it sit overnight in soapy water, and then washed it the next morning with my laundry. It was as good as new. Whew, that was a mouthful!

Pour your liquid gold into jars and let cool. The rendered fat will stay good for a looong time in your fridge. I use it for all my cooking now and let's just's delicious.

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I didn't make my tallow balm right away and so I just let it all cool. When this stuff cools it turns white and once you place it in the fridge it gets hard. When it came time for me to whip up some tallow balm, I just took a jar out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit so it would easily mix up with my other ingredients.

Long post made longer, here's my recipe for my tallow balm.

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Homemade Tallow Balm

Recipe Type: Home Remedy

Author: Noël McNeil

Here's a wonderful skin balm that has a wide range of uses. Such as face lotion, hand and body lotion, diaper rash cream, and etc.


  • 2 Tablespoons soft tallow

  • 1 teaspoon organic olive oil

  • 4-7 drops lavender essential oil* (or desired scent**)


  1. Mix tallow and olive oil together in a small glass bowl.

  2. Add essential oils and mix.

  3. Once the desired consistency and scent is achieved transfer to a small glass container with a lid, keep at room temperature, and enjoy!

  4. Makes approximately 2 oz.

  5. *I would start with a few drops and then add more if you are wanting a stronger scent. You can always add more, but you can't take away.

  6. **Use essential oils that are known for being good for skin and skin health. I wouldn't use anything strong that could be an irritant. Peppermint for example would NOT be a good choice.

  7. ***I wouldn't recommend using any essential oils that aren't 100% pure therapeutic grade. DoTERRA essential oils are what I use and I highly recommend them.

I hope you love this tallow balm as much as I do.

However, I know that not everyone is up to making their own skin care products. If you are still wanting to have this skin care goodness but don't want to make it you can go HERE and buy some. You won't regret it.

And just so you know, I also use this on my face. Don't be shocked, it's wonderful.

If your in need of essential oils click HERE and you can find everything you need.

*** Excerpts in this post were from the article written by Andrew J. Gardner titled, "Traditional Nourishing and Healing Skin Care". It can be found in the Winter 2012 Volume 13 Number 4 edition of Wise Traditions.


  1. I am so intrigued by this recipe! I've pinned it and plan to make it ASAP.

  2. Oh, that's awesome! Let me know how it goes. :)

  3. So, I was thinking of ordering the 5lb bag of coarse ground grass-fed beef suet from US Wellness Meats and attempting the tallow. So you think this turns out just the way it would if you were to buy already made tallow? Seems like a lot of work, but the price seems so much better this way! Thanks for the help! Blessings to you!

  4. Yes and probably better. I meant to write about the cost difference, but it is SO much cheaper to make it yourself and it's really very easy. Especially if your getting yours already ground. I hope it turns out well...let me know how it goes. :)

  5. I enjoyed reading your article, but had to have a bit of a chuckle at how life always returns full circle. My mother used to do this when I was a kid! I don't remember the smell being much to write home about though! Basically, you end up with lard, the same lard sold in the stores.

    I just wanted to add a bit of what could hopefully be a helpful tidbit. You write to and you did, put the tallow/suet (we were real back country people living in the city, we merely called it beef fat! LOL) into glass dishes. My mother would just throw it all into a big roaster. I don't know if there is a reason why you suggest the glass and have so many dishes but maybe this will be helpful. I will try to watch these comments to see if there was a reason why you chose the glass dishes, so I can learn too!

    Thanks so much for writing about this. I have been thinking about doing it, following in my mother's footsteps but for some reason had reservations. This gave me courage!

  6. Ah, I hope you do follow your mama's footsteps! :) I did it in the oven because there was too much fat to fit into my roaster. I'm sure it would work the same either way and I can easily put the glass dishes in my dishwasher where I can't with my roaster. The smell wasn't too bad, or at least not as bad as I was expecting. My house didn't smell the next day either...which was VERY nice. And yes, life does often go full circle. There is truly nothing new under the sun! Lord bless and I hope to 'see' you around again.

  7. One more question before I oder the suet...does the balm/lotion leave your skin greasy? Are you able to get dressed soon after you moisturize or does it leave a greasy layer for a while? Hoping that it soaks into your skin pretty quickly.

  8. You don't have to use a lot when you use it and I totally think its fine to get dressed after application. If you plan on using it on your face too (like I do) I would probably plan on putting it on my face a while before applying makeup. Or if you wash your face at night and then apply the balm you'd be groovy by morning. :) Summary: not too greasy to put clothes on, but a little time should pass before applying makeup. I love this stuff!

  9. [...] Our ancestors knew how to use and reuse everything so that nothing went to waste. One of the ways we can make the most out of animal products is to make tallow to use in cooking and frying. Tallow also makes an excellent homemade diaper rash cream. [...]

  10. how long does the tallow balm last if not in the fridge

  11. I like to make it in small amounts so it gets used faster. I made my last batch about a month or so ago and am about out. It has been just fine, but I probably would want it to be used up in about 1-2 months 3 at the longest. If you are concerned I would look it up more, but from what I've read there's really no need to worry about it.

  12. [...] Now that you know how to make tallow (link above) – you can make The Sheperd’s Farm Tallow Balm – it looks so [...]

  13. [...] Skin – This recipe for bag balm, or beef tallow balm is a real lifesaver. A commercial version of this is a big seller at the local feed store. Great [...]


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