Beef Tallow Vs. Lard:  Is it Better to Cook in Lard or Tallow?

When cooking at home, many believe you are better off using animal-based fats and avoiding omega-6 heavy seed oils. Let’s compare two of the most common animal fat choices for frying: lard and tallow.

Is Beef Tallow the Same as Lard?

No, beef tallow is not the same as lard… Before processed seed and vegetable oils became widely available, meat fat was often used to fry dishes.

Lard is rendered pork fat. (If you’re from the south you have probably already seen lard in the form of bacon grease in a coffee cup next to the stove.) But rendered lard can come from any part of the animal.

Tallow can come from lamb or beef, but beef fat is more popular. For our purposes, we are referring to beef tallow in this article. Rendered beef fat is seen often in barbecue, as pitmasters invent new ways to use trimmings.

Composition of Fats in Tallow and Lard

The main difference you’ll notice immediately is both lard and tallow are semi-solid at room temperature because they are comprised of monounsaturated fat and saturated fat.

At a certain temperature, your oil will start to smoke and this is known as the fat’s ‘smoke point’. Like most foods, if you see your cooking fat starting to smoke, you have a problem.

Smoke Points Of Tallow and Lard

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