Tallow comes from rendered fat derived from the meat of many types of ruminants, including lamb. It contains a high amount of stearic acid, which makes it perfect for soap, candles, and skincare products.
Humans have used tallow for hundreds of years – and lamb tallow has been a staple in cooking for centuries as well. People use tallow for cooking their favorite meals because of the high smoke point.
As a chef, I have made and used lamb tallow in quite a number of dishes.
By using the rendered fat from a lamb, I find it adds even more flavor to some of my favorite recipes.
- Lamb tallow can be used in a number of dishes.
- It’s rendered from fat cells found around the internal organs of either mutton or lamb.
- Lamb tallow is very calorie dense, and has several health and skin benefits.
- It can be used in cooking, and for making items such as soaps and detergents.
Lamb Tallow Basics
Lamb tallow has a history of being used for the same reasons as other tallows, such as beef, deer, and even buffalo.
It is used for food, lubrication purposes, candles, and soaps.
Tallow is often extracted from sheep fat, whether from mutton (adult sheep) or lamb (young sheep).
It is rendered from the fat cells, often from those found around the internal organs.
Tallow has a higher melting point than most other fats and can be a great addition to your cooking and baking.
It has a delicious flavor while also adding exceptional richness to whatever you are making.
Lamb tallow is a calorie-dense substance, with 256 calories in every ounce.
Tallow derives all those calories from fat, without any calories from proteins or carbohydrates.
This makes tallow a particularly good choice for those on a low-carb, carnivore, or ketogenic diet.
A single tablespoon of lamb tallow contains 12.8 g of total fat, 6.1 g of saturated fat, 5.2 g of monounsaturated fat, and 1 g of polyunsaturated fat.
Lamb tallow is a significant source of dietary cholesterol but does not generally raise serum cholesterol levels .
This appears to be due to the high stearic acid levels found in tallow.
Stearic acid increases the metabolism inside the cells, which helps them rapidly convert dietary cholesterol into needed hormones.
It is also thought that this reduces heart disease and diabetes.
Animals, like lambs, who eat a lot of grass have a high level of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in their fat.
People who have high CLA levels in their system have lowered cardiovascular risks .
Additionally, lamb tallow may offer anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects because of its high levels of CLA.
Naturally occurring trans fats like oleic acids seem to increase mitochondrial fat burning.
"The goal of my diet-style is eating for optimal health and longevity. What greater benefit could there be than living healthfully and actively into old age with no dependence on medications and almost no risk of heart disease, diabetes or dementia?"
- Joel Fuhrman, Scientist
Lamb tallow, because it is 100% fat, is an excellent vehicle for bringing vitamins into your system.
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and so require substantial amounts of fat to be absorbed by the body.
The tallow found in lamb is highly saturated, which increases the bioavailability of those vitamins as well as carotenoids like beta-carotene.
Topically applied lamb tallow can promote skin regeneration on a cellular level so that it heals and renews more quickly than it would on its own.
Further, the fatty acids of tallow are similar in profile to those in your natural skin oils.
In this way, tallow links well with the skin - keeping it hydrated and healthy by locking moisture in.
Lamb tallow's moisturizing effect both reduces dryness and improves the barrier function of your skin.
Thus, it leaves your skin feeling soft and supple while helping to protect it from irritants and infection.
Ways to Use Lamb Tallow
First and foremost, you can use lamb tallow as a substitute for any other cooking fat or oil. It has a smoke point of 480℉, making it able to fry at high temperatures before burning.
This leads to tallow producing fewer free radicals than plant-based oils such as canola or olive when heated.
Thus, you can use it to fry eggs, vegetables, meat, or seafood in a kitchen that stays smoke-free.
Lamb tallow does not only have to be used for cooking. In fact, throughout history, tallow has been the primary ingredient of soaps and detergents.
By mixing this fat with lye, you end up with a cleaning agent that does not melt away quickly, is gentle on your clothes, and is easy on the skin.
Lamb Tallow - The Verdict
Although many people feel that lamb fat is a waste product to be discarded, the fact that you can render it into tallow makes it a useful and valuable byproduct.
You can use lamb tallow while cooking many different foods, as it is a unique fat that can add a depth of flavor to your dishes.
Not only that, but it has significant health benefits that are not to be missed.
Add to this tallow's protective qualities for your skin and its ability to create soaps and detergents, and you have a very versatile and useful fat.