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Tallow, Lard and Schmaltz Battle Royale

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 28, 2012 at 6:17 AM

I live in Nairobi, where there's an interesting variety of meats that you can't find elsewhere, but also a huge absence of easily available meats and meat by-products stateside. I recently found a guy who delivers all manner of German products, one of which is Goose Schmaltz. I know the omega profiles of poultry meat aren't ideal, but how does that transfer to the rendered fat? Which also had me thinking about tallow and lard as well:

What's best (taste, nutrition, etc)? Anyone know of a comparison chart? How do you like to cook with them?

F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 30, 2012
at 01:14 AM

I tried deodorizing the finished lard on two occasions. The first time, I filled a huge stockpot with water, and melted a small amount of lard in it, and allowed to simmer for ~30 mins. I used a fat separator to remove the water. Made no difference with the smell. The second time, I added slippery elm bark to the melted lard (I found a very old patent that said slippery elm bark can instantly deodorize lard). That didnt work either. I need to take a break before I try yet another deodorizing method. It's a shame though because I have a lot of this pastured lard in glass jars in my freezer.

C1484e8cfca0cc00f40da25d36f689b8

(374)

on August 29, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Perhaps you may consider washing your lard. Melt it, stir in some heavily salted water, and stir it vigorously. Pour it into a large mason jar and tightly seal the lid. Turn it upside down and put it in the fridge until the fat solidifies. Open the container and pour off the water, then reheat the lard over the lowest heat until it stops bubbling out water.

F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 28, 2012
at 06:39 PM

hmm...since I prefer the taste of chicken fat, and the omega 6:3 proportions aren't as healthy as in lard/tallow, maybe I should pay a little more & get pastured chicken for making schmaltz. Chickens need to eat grass & bugs for that healthy omega ratio!!

F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 28, 2012
at 06:33 PM

I do prefer chicken fat (both the scent and taste) over lard & tallow...hmmm I bet duck fat would be delicious!

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 28, 2012
at 07:44 AM

I guess someone else can tell you about lard. I've never cooked with it and I don't have any papers handy on it's fatty acid composition.

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5 Answers

best answer

0
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 28, 2012
at 07:42 AM

According to this study (which unfortunately doesn't include lard):

100 grams of beef fat from a feedlot (grain fed) cow has about 44 grams of saturated fat, 44 grams of monounsaturated fat, 5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and an omega 6:3 ratio of 6.4.

100 grams of chicken breast fat (also probably grain fed) has about 35 grams of saturated fat, 35 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 25 grams of polyunsaturated fat, with an omega 6:3 ratio of 18.5 (ouch).

Source matters of course. Pastured and whatnot will have different fats and better ratios. Either way, I favor beef fat nutritionally. Taste wise I favor schmaltz. You just can't make better french fries than with poultry fat in my humble opinion.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 28, 2012
at 07:44 AM

I guess someone else can tell you about lard. I've never cooked with it and I don't have any papers handy on it's fatty acid composition.

4
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on August 28, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Mark Sisson has a great post on various animal fats: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/yet-another-primal-primer-animal-fats/

Goose and duck fats are lower in PUFA than chicken fat (11g, 13g, 31g respectively).

1
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:53 PM

If we are just talking about taste and not nutrient value, duck fat followed by your own self rendered lard.

F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 28, 2012
at 06:33 PM

I do prefer chicken fat (both the scent and taste) over lard & tallow...hmmm I bet duck fat would be delicious!

1
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on August 28, 2012
at 12:37 PM

Flavor-wise I like tallow the best, but the stuff I make has a pretty strong flavor, so it has to go well with what I'm making.

The store-bought lard I've used has always had petty mild neutral flavor that didn't effect taste of the final dish much, if at all.

I have very little experience with chicken schmaltz. I would say the strength of the flavor lies between tallow and lard.

0
F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 28, 2012
at 06:32 PM

I've carefully rendered my own beef suet and pastured pork leaf lard (because I know they are such healthy fats!)...they both turned out snowy-white and perfect-looking (not browned at all). However, unfortunately, I don't care for the smell of either. Overly rich and gamey smell.

As far as taste and smell goes, I prefer chicken fat rendered with onion (schmaltz) for savory foods. And 100% organic palm shortening for baking.

A lot of paleo people also like coconut oil...but I don't care for the smell of that either when it is hot. Although I do use extra virgin coconut oil for uncooked desserts.

F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 28, 2012
at 06:39 PM

hmm...since I prefer the taste of chicken fat, and the omega 6:3 proportions aren't as healthy as in lard/tallow, maybe I should pay a little more & get pastured chicken for making schmaltz. Chickens need to eat grass & bugs for that healthy omega ratio!!

C1484e8cfca0cc00f40da25d36f689b8

(374)

on August 29, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Perhaps you may consider washing your lard. Melt it, stir in some heavily salted water, and stir it vigorously. Pour it into a large mason jar and tightly seal the lid. Turn it upside down and put it in the fridge until the fat solidifies. Open the container and pour off the water, then reheat the lard over the lowest heat until it stops bubbling out water.

F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 30, 2012
at 01:14 AM

I tried deodorizing the finished lard on two occasions. The first time, I filled a huge stockpot with water, and melted a small amount of lard in it, and allowed to simmer for ~30 mins. I used a fat separator to remove the water. Made no difference with the smell. The second time, I added slippery elm bark to the melted lard (I found a very old patent that said slippery elm bark can instantly deodorize lard). That didnt work either. I need to take a break before I try yet another deodorizing method. It's a shame though because I have a lot of this pastured lard in glass jars in my freezer.

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