Sustainable Cooking Fat

This is an odd name for a post I know. One challenge I have is the oil & fat for our diet. Local butter is crazy expensive but still a mainstay in baked goods and because of the health benefits I choose to continue buying coconut oil. My other oil of choice is olive oil from California.

We don’t fry much or use much mayo (which I make using a combination of olive and coconut oil) so I typically purchase just a few bottles of olive oil a year, mostly in the summer months when we like to sautee oil-absorbing veggies like egplants and zucchini.

Last spring I had made beef broth from Thundering Hooves soup bones which tasted great but had an amazingly thick layer of beef fat on the surface. After letting the broth cool I scraped it off and stored it in the freezer, unsure what to do with it.

Last night I pulled it out, shaved off a chunk and heated it in the frying pan. Then I took about 4 of the potatoes from our tuber buy through Sustainable Greenlake and cut them with the mandolin. Thanks for growing them for us, Skeeter! I fried them gently in the tallow until golden brown and crunchy, then sprinkled on some kosher salt and gave them to the kids.


Even Mr. Pancake aka “I don’t like potatoes” was lured into trying one based on his brother’s ecstatic reaction. They scarfed them down faster then I could fry them. The potato chips were crunchy and salty with a hard to place beefiness, much like the McDonald’s french fries of my youth.

So when we pick up our cow from Cascade Range Beef complete with soup bones next week and I make bone broth for winter Pho I know just what to do with the tallow this time. Potato chip on! And now in search of a fry daddy…

12 Responses to Sustainable Cooking Fat

  1. Excellent! The chips sound delicious.

  2. Hey, great idea. I think I’ll try freezing the tallow next time too!

  3. Rebecca, you get so much of it when you make soup. A few weeks back I posted to several local groups that I had pork leaf lard and got an overwhelming response so I expect I’ll do the same with the tallow.

  4. Pingback: Beef Bone Broth

  5. My understanding is that the fries at McDonalds are fried in a frying compound that includes beef tallow, or at least they were in times past

  6. Hi Alison,

    They were indeed until some time in the 1980′s and man were they good! We made french fries two days ago and gorged ourselves silly.

  7. Homemade tallow chips and fries are AWESOME! Try them with lard, too — you won’t be sorry. :o )

  8. If I wanted to cook these in a non-animal fat, could you recommend something? coconut oil maybe? thanks! :)

  9. Hi Jenny! You would have to check the label on your particular brand since it really depends on how refined an oil is. Palm oil is a saturated fat with a higher smoke point so I would start there. PCC wrote a great article on why animal, coconut and palm oils are the best for you healthwise here: and somewhere on there they have a chart comparing smoke points and uses. Hope this helps.

  10. Hi Annette – thanks for your reply and the article link. I found it very interesting / helpful! I think I will try with palm oil and see what happens.

  11. Hi Annette – just wanted to let you know I tried making the potato chips with palm oil…O…M…G…they were GREAT!!! Such a simple thing, but I never thought of it before, and they turned out fantastic. Both kids loved them, even 6yo who was skeptical because they were made from potatoes and he “doesn’t like potatoes”…his comments were “can I have more???” followed by “are all chips made from potatoes? I didn’t think I’d like them because I thought they’d be cut up potatoes and I don’t like those!”

    I did them in a single layer in a frying pan with a little oil…maybe 1/8″ thick layer…kept them moving a bit with tongs so as not to stick…turned them…removed them to a paper towel and immediately sprinkled with sea salt…WOW!

    Anyway, thanks for posting this idea! Hope my description of what I did might be useful to others who want to try it!

    • Jenny I’m so glad! I really need to make some tomorrow. I pick up another 1/2 pig and requested all the lard so I’ll be rolling in it this week!

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