How To Turn Restaurant Steak Scraps Into Easy Beef Tallow

There's nothing quite like a perfectly cooked steak at a restaurant or steakhouse. Perhaps you went for the big 18 oz. ribeye or the 32 oz. Chicago cut prime rib, and find that you can't finish it all in one sitting. Not one to waste a perfectly good (and expensive!) piece of steak, you take the steak scraps home with you. After all, you can reheat those leftovers (try using the oven for even results) to enjoy as a steak dinner for a second night, or cut the steak up to serve over a salad, in a sandwich, or for breakfast (steak and eggs, or breakfast burritos, anyone?).

Your leftover steak scraps may include some fatty bits or outright chunks. Trim those fatty parts off before enjoying your leftover steak, but don't throw those pieces of fat away. You can easily turn them into beef tallow, or rendered beef fat, instead. It usually takes hours to make beef tallow, but if you have an air fryer, you can do it a fraction of the time. Simply chop your fat into small chunks and cook them in your air fryer at 400 F for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on how much fat you have. You'll end up with some crispy bits of fat and liquid fat. Pour that liquid fat into a heat-safe container and store the beef tallow for later use.

Making easy beef tallow without an air fryer

If you don't have an air fryer, you can still make easy beef tallow using just a pan. Simply add the fat (cut into small chunks) to a pan and fill it with half an inch of water. Bring everything to a boil and let simmer until the water has evaporated. What remains should be browned pieces of fat and liquid fat. Pour and store the liquid for later use.

Be careful when pouring the liquid fat into a container and make sure you use something that can withstand the heat, like glass, ceramic, and porcelain, and not plastic. You can also strain your tallow first using a fine-mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or even a coffee filter before storing, but it's not usually necessary (unless you're planning to use it for making pastries and need really pure tallow). Use it to cook with — frying, sautéing, and searing are especially good uses for beef tallow, as it has a high smoke point, and will add extra flavor to your dishes. You can store the tallow at room temperature for a few months, or in the refrigerator for up to a year.