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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Beef Tallow

Getting creative in the kitchen is our jam, especially when we’re swapping out ingredients to keep things fresh.

Beef tallow might not be on everybody’s grocery list, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on flavor or texture in your favorite recipes.

We’ve all been there: ready to cook, only to realize we’re missing a key ingredient. It’s like wanting to hit play on your favorite playlist but finding out your headphones are missing.

The good news? There are some amazing substitutes for beef tallow that will keep your dishes delicious and your kitchen adventures exciting.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Beef Tallow

If you have an allergy or are simply trying to reduce the amount of animal fat in your diet, you might be wondering what the best substitute is for beef tallow.

Here’s a detailed comparison of the key characteristics and proper ratios for substituting beef tallow with five different alternatives: lard, beef suet, ghee, coconut oil, and palm oil:

CharacteristicLardBeef SuetGheeCoconut OilPalm Oil
TextureSolid at room temperature, similar to beef tallowSolid at room temperature, similar to beef tallowSemi-solid at room temperatureSolid at room temperatureSolid at room temperature
FlavorPorky and slightly savoryBeefy and slightly savoryNutty and butteryMild coconut flavorMild flavor
AvailabilityCommonly available in most grocery storesMay require a butcher or specialty storeReadily available in many storesWidely availableWidely available
Proper RatioEqual substitution for most recipesEqual substitution for most recipesEqual substitution for most recipesEqual substitution for most recipesEqual substitution for most recipes

Let’s explore more details for each substitute:

1 – Lard


Lard is rendered fat from pigs.

It can be used as a substitute for beef tallow and comes with the same cooking properties.

There are some minor differences, of course.

For example, lard’s flavor is more neutral than beef tallow’s distinct flavor, so you’ll likely notice a difference in taste when you use it as a substitute.

There’s a reason why lard is the most popular choice for cooking in Mexico, Poland, France, and Germany.

In addition, it’s a favorite in the Southern United States as well.

The main reason for this is that lard can fry with better results than butter or olive oil.

It has a very high smoking point and can stand up to heat without burning as quickly as other oils.

In addition, lard contains no flavor, so its flavor won’t affect the taste of your food.

2 – Beef Suet

beef suet

Suet is another alternative to beef tallow. However, suet can be made from beef and lamb.

If you would like to substitute beef tallow with suet, you should know that the two are very similar.

They are both hard fats with a high melting point.

Because of its bland taste, suet is typically used when frying items to avoid making them overly sweet or salty.

However, it does contain small traces of flavor and can be quite greasy.

So, please don’t use it when you want to add more flavor to your dish.

3 – Ghee


Ghee is another cooking fat you can use in place of beef tallow.

If you prefer, you can substitute beef tallow with ghee instead.

The two are very similar in taste and have the same consistency when chilled.

Some people prefer making their ghee because it’s difficult to find commercial varieties that come from grass-fed cattle.

Regardless, this is a good alternative for those who don’t like the taste of butter but would prefer not to use something like coconut oil.

Beef tallow and ghee can be used interchangeably in most recipes that require cooking fat, so you won’t have to worry about making any adjustments when substituting one for the other.

4 – Coconut Oil

coconut oil

If you would rather not use any animal fat, coconut oil is surprisingly good for cooking.

Coconut oil has a lower smoking point than animal fats, but it’s still high enough that you can cook with it without worrying about ingesting harmful substances.

Coconut oil is also incredibly healthy.

It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can help boost your energy, metabolism, and immune system.

In addition to all of these benefits, coconut oil has a distinct flavor of its own.

It gives off a slightly sweet taste that some people prefer over beef tallow’s more pronounced flavor.

5 – Palm Oil

palm oil

Palm oil is another option for vegetarians or people trying to cut down on their intake of animal fat.

You might be surprised to know that palm oil has one of the highest smoking points among cooking oils.

Palm oil is very similar to beef tallow when it comes to flavor.

It has a slightly nutty taste that you might like if you’re accustomed to using animal fats when cooking.

As with ghee, commercial products are usually made from grass-fed cattle, so there’s no need to worry about ingesting harmful chemicals.

Palm oil isn’t as healthy as coconut oil, but it’s still much better than other types of cooking oil.

And like any animal fat, it can be used interchangeably with beef tallow.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Beef Tallow

Searching for the perfect substitute for beef tallow? Your quest ends here! Delve into our carefully curated list of the 5 best alternatives that will seamlessly replace beef tallow in your recipes, maintaining the rich flavors and textures you desire.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Lard
  • Beef Suet
  • Ghee
  • Coconut Oil
  • Palm Oil


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for beef tallow
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