You might recognize tallow as something used as shortening, but preppers know that this versatile animal product has various survival uses. While tallow usually comes from beef or mutton fat, it can refer to rendered fat from any animal as long as it has a high melting point like lard or suet. (h/t to SurvivalSullivan.com)
Preppers practice smart survival, and this means finding a use for every part of an animal so nothing goes to waste.
The best tallow comes from naturally grazing animals and it is rendered from suet or the fat that surrounds the organs of an animal. Suet is often used in the bird feeders sold commercially.
When heated, suet turns into a liquid gold oil. Once this oil is strained, it is purified by washing it in boiling water, then it is filtered again. If being used for other applications, suet has to be triple filtered to remove all impurities. Filtered suet can then be used in all sorts of ways. (Related: The many uses of animal fats)
Here are some reasons to consider using tallow:
- It doesn’t generate free radicals when it’s cooked.
- It has a long shelf life.
- It has triglycerides, which is good for the easy absorption of minerals and nutrients.
- It helps build bones.
- It helps fight breast cancer.
- It is full of vitamins A, D, E, and K, which can be crucial during the long winter months.
When storing tallow, keep it away from direct sunlight. Tallow can spoil with prolonged exposure, so keep it in a glass or opaque container to block sunlight. There’s no need to freeze tallow because it is solid at room temperature. Do not touch tallow with your hands or utensils to avoid contaminating it with bacteria and microbes. Store tallow in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.
The 40 survival uses of tallow
Knowing the survival uses of tallow is vital for every prepper. The ones listed below are suitable for self-sufficient living and they only use healthy organic materials.
Tallow can be used for food preparation or cooking.
- It can be used for deep frying as tallow has a high melting and smoke point.
- It can be a healthy butter substitute when cooking.
- It can be made into pemmican (a concentrated mixture of fat and protein) or sausage.
- It can be used in pastries to replace vegetable oil.
- Pregnant mothers can use tallow as an energy source for the baby.
- Tallow is a great food supplement for pets.
- Tallow can season a cast iron skillet.
It also has first aid/medical/skin care uses.
- It can help with allergies thanks to its antimicrobial properties. Just rub the inside of your nose with it and it can act as a filter.
- Tallow can soothe poison ivy or chicken pox itch.
- Nursing moms can use it as a natural healthy fat, and it can be applied on the perineum to help and soothe the area after birth in humans and animals.
- It can prevent stretch marks. Apply it during pregnancy.
- It is antimicrobial and antibacterial so it can help kill yeast, candida, and yeast infections.
- Tallow can prevents wrinkle thanks to its antioxidant properties.
- Tallow prevents blisters from boots and shoes, and it soothes cracked skin by conditioning it.
- It can help you sleep by providing the brain and body with the fats and amino acids that it needs.
- It can boost circulation and heart function.
- Tallow can be used as a hemorrhoid relief cream and prevention aid.
- It can reportedly help prevent Alzheimer’s and other diseases thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It can be used as a healing salve for rashes and skin irritation.
- It can be used as mustache wax and organic shaving cream.
- It can be used as suntan oil. It soothes sunburns and increases sun tolerance.
- Tallow can be used to make nails and hair grow faster since the fats and acids can nourish them.
- It can be used on babies’ skin as it is gentle and free of chemicals. Use it as diaper cream and baby lotion. It also kills cradle cap, which is a scalp rash in babies.
- Mix it with apple cider vinegar for a natural lice killer.
- Mix it with baking soda for a natural deodorant.
- It can soothe insect bites. It will coat the skin and draw out venom.
- It can be used as makeup, makeup remover, and as a night cream.
- It is used in balms as it coats and protects the skin. Use it in cold weather to prevent chapping and wind rash.
And here are its various survival uses.
- It doubles as gun grease.
- It can be made into soap.
- It can condition leather, making it soft, supple, and waterproof.
- It can be used to make candles.
- It can be used as flux to solder.
- It can be used as good lubrication for moving parts.
- It is a biodegradable motor oil.
- Tallow can replace plants in biodiesel fuel.
- It is an additive for conditioning clothes.
- Tallow will keep your weapons from rusting.
- It is good for waterproofing almost anything such as fabric, shoes, tents, and tools.
- Tallow mixes can be used as a projectile lubricant in modern black powder guns.
- It can be used in woodworking since it prevents corrosion and screw breakage.
How to render tallow
To render tallow, follow the steps below:
- Harvest meat and remove the fat.
- Grind the fat so it’s easy to melt.
- Boil the hard fat.
- Let the fat cool, then remove the white portion. What you get is basic tallow, which is perfect for cooking or as a food supplement for pets.
To use tallow in lubricants and lotions, strain the animal fat several times.
To make soap using tallow, follow the steps below:
- Gather your ingredients: lye, scent, and tallow. You can use any scent you want.
- You can supplement the soap with milk and other oils (e.g. coconut oil) depending on its use. Prepare a mold for the soap you’re making.
- Melt tallow pieces. You can use scraps from old soap.
- Pour the melted tallow into your mold. For bigger blocks of soap, cover your mold with a garbage bag or parchment paper so you can easily remove the soap. When making a loaf of soap, cut it with wire after it cools.
For moisturizing soap, you can add goat milk. Add coffee grounds for scrubbing soap.
For emergency candles, you will need to do the following:
- For smaller candles, use tallow scraps. For larger candles, you can mix tallow with beeswax, soy, or lard.
- Pour tallow into small bottle caps or lids for small candles.
- Add a cotton wick to the tallow. You can also use cotton fibers from a piece of clothing, hemp fibers, kite string, strands from a mop head, twine, paracord fibers, or shoelaces as makeshift wicks.
- To make scented candles, add some drops of saffron.
Experiment with the various survival uses of tallow to add more useful skills to your prepping arsenal.
You can read more articles about how to use tallow for survival scenarios at Preparedness.news.