Tallow, Dripping, Suet – What’s the difference? Know your Organic Beef Fats!

Do you know your tallow from your dripping? Your suet from your shortening? Here we explain the differences between all the different types of organic grass-fed beef fat that we have available on the website.

Why Eat Organic Grass-Fed Beef Fat?

Animal fat is still recovering it’s reputation after decades of being much maligned!

Despite being a dietary staple for millennia, animal fat became prime suspect number 1 as a major driver of heart disease and as a result many of us were encouraged to avoid it and use vegetable fats instead.

Evidence is mounting that in fact, processed meals, junk food, hydrogenated fats and added sugars are likely the real culprits behind the epidemics of obesity, heart disease and cancer, and that switching from natural fats to margarines and industrial oils most likely exacerbated the problem!

Organic grass-fed beef fats such as dripping, tallow and suet are actually highly nutritious.

  1. They are a blend of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, all essential for good health.

  2. They are also packed with fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K in forms that are highly bioavailable and therefore easily absorbed and utilized by the human body.

What’s the difference between Beef Fat, Tallow, Dripping and Suet?

So we know that organic grass-fed beef fat is highly nutritious, but what’s the difference between all the different types?

This is a rather confusing topic, as there are regional variations between the names!

Essentially however, the names depend upon whereabouts in the animal the fats come from and how they are prepared.

Below we’ll explain the terms as you’ll find them on our website. Beware however that this may not be universal, so if shopping elsewhere, do make sure to check exactly what it is you are buying!


Suet is specifically the soft fat from around the kidneys. This fat is special as it is extra high in vitamins and essential fatty acids, hence its softer texture and deep yellow colour. It is prized for its nutritional value and baking properties.

Beef Fat Trimmings

These are the fat trimmings from a body of beef that are left over after butchering. It’s a mix of subcutaneous fat, fat from around the muscles, and from inside the body cavity. It’s typically harder and whiter than pure suet. Our beef fat trimmings are actually a mix of white fat and suet.


Dripping is the UK term for rendered beef fat trimmings. So called because it was originally made from the fat that dripped into the pan when roasting meat.

We gather beef fat trimmings in a large pan and gently heat them until they melt. The liquid is then poured into tubs where it solidifies.

Our dripping is a mix of white fat trimmings and a small percentage of suet. Dripping is a great fat for cooking as it is flavoursome, nutritious, and stable at high temperatures.


Tallow is actually a generic term for any type of rendered fat. In the US it is most commonly used to refer to what we here in the UK call dripping – rendered beef fat.

Ossa Organic Tallow however is specifically 100% rendered organic grass-fed beef suet. This nutrient dense fat from the kidneys is in short supply, hence it is just available in 265g jars and we have limited supply.

None of the organic grass-fed beef fat products we offer are bleached, deodorised, hydrogenated or treated in anyway aside from gentle heating in the case of the dripping and tallow.

We hope you found this article useful! You can check out our full range of organic grass-fed beef fats below, with more info on each individual product page.

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