Wagyu Beef Tallow Is The Perfect Alternative To Bacon Fat

McDonald's french fries — they're an iconic fast food staple that you know and likely love. But did you know that they used to taste even better than they do today? McDonald's diners of a certain age remember the days when they deep fried their fries in beef tallow, which didn't just impart a natural beefy flavor, but yielded a crunchier exterior with a fluffy center. If those fries are the product of using low-grade beef fat, imagine what you could achieve by using wagyu beef tallow in your cooking.

What makes wagyu beef tallow so good? For starters, wagyu is a special breed of cattle that can only be called wagyu if their lineage can be traced back to Japan. These cows — when fed a certain diet — develop a rich, sweet marbling that is more intramuscularly dispersed than other breeds. And while the average home cook would probably have trouble justifying a purchase of wagyu beef tallow from Japan, the American-bred wagyu counterparts will still yield a fantastic type of tallow to use in the home kitchen that won't break the bank. Move over leftover bacon grease; make way for this cleaner, meatier, longer-lasting cooking fat.

How to use wagyu beef tallow

Beef tallow is an ideal lipid to cook with, especially because it has a high smoke point of approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to its natural durability, it has a perfect synergy with the cast-iron skillet, a go-to workhorse for most home cooks. Wagyu beef tallow will help impart savory aromas and great caramelization to anything you like cooking in a skillet, whether it's breakfast hash or grilled cheese sandwiches. Moreover, imagine getting a great sear on your favorite cut of steak using wagyu beef tallow, and then finishing it with some rosemary, garlic, and butter right at the end. That is how you pay proper respect to the cow you're eating.

Wagyu or not, beef tallow is not only reserved for frying pans and deep fryers. In fact, it was historically a common ingredient used in baking. It may sound like an antiquated item to use in comparison to butter, but some dishes like British hot water crust pastries and even the good old-fashioned biscuit taste best with tallow. Try using wagyu beef tallow in a 1:1 substitution ratio for butter in some of your favorite baked treats, or ease into it by using half butter and half tallow. And don't worry about your biscuits and cookies coming out tasting like beef — professionally made wagyu beef tallow is properly rendered to yield a clean fat with very little aroma. To alleviate any concerns you still have, you can always add a little more sugar to your dough.