Difference Between Lard and Tallow

The animal products industry all over the world generates total revenue of around $185 billion easily. In contrast, some of these products are in the form of materialistic things such as horns, teeth, and leather, etc. Some of these are in the form of edible products.  

Lard and Tallow are the two forms of extracted fat from animal meat. These are rendered to make them come into their purest form. These two are then widely used for multiple purposes. While these two are termed super fats, they are completely different from each other in many aspects. 

Lard vs Tallow 

The main difference between Lard and Tallow is that they both share a different source or origin. While the former is rendered from pig or pork, the latter originates from beef or mutton. Despite their difference in origin, these both are generally called super fats because of their usefulness. Both of these fats are separated from the piece of skin so as to make open the door of purposes for these. 

Lard vs Tallow

When the process of extracting the fat from a piece of pig meat is done, that extracted amount of fat is known as Lard. If the internal body of a pig is looked at, this fat cannot be seen easily. It does not happen to be in the visible form then. In order to bring it into existence, the piece of meat of a pig is melted down gradually.  

While on the other side, when the process of extracting the fat from a piece of beef and mutton is done, that extracted amount of fat is known as Tallow. This fat is derived from the fatty body parts of animals like- Cow, Buffalo, Sheep, and Goat, etc. Not only in the food industry but this fat is also used in the FMCG industries in things like- soap, candles, etc.  

Comparison Table Between Lard and Tallow 

Parameters of Comparison Lard Tallow 
Origin  It is the pure form of fat extracted from pig or pork meat.  It is the pure form of fat extracted from Beef or Mutton or the meat of other related animals.  
Appearance  Soft at room temperature and liquid while melted. Hard at room temperature.  
Nutrition value A vast source of Vitamin D Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Omega 3 fatty acids along with Vitamin E 
Uses  baking cookies, pastries, pies, and cakes, also work as a substitute for vegetable oil. Deep frying food is usually eaten along with beef.  
Taste  The taste of this fat happens to be very subtle that it does not change the taste of things with which it is added. It can be added with things of any taste. This fat lags a little behind when it comes to the taste factor. It somewhere tastes like beef and can be added with things which are accompanied with beef.  
Beauty benefits No such benefit is associated. It can also be used in skincare routines and delays aging. 

What is Lard? 

Lard is the name given to the processed fat extracted from a piece of meat of a pig. The process of extracting it involves melting the particular meat gradually in order to separate the fat from the skin in its purest form. Pigs are raised in a particular manner which makes them a powerhouse of fat.  

The area present under their skin produces the maximum amount of fat, and this is the exact part that is used for rendering. It has a very soft texture and encompasses almost no taste or very little taste of its own. This feature makes it quite easy to be used in food items as it does not bring variations in the taste of those items. This subtle taste of Lard makes it a universally adopted fat.  

Pigs usually roam freely under the sun, which makes them a huge source of Vitamin D. Hence, Lard also contains a vast quantity of Vitamin D. It is most suitable for baking cookies, cakes, and other such food items. 

What is Tallow? 

When mutton of beef is rendered, and the amount of fat contained in them is released, that fat is known by the name Tallow. It is mostly obtained from cows or buffaloes. The area near their kidneys is an ideal choice to look for this fat. However, this substance does not appear in tangible form with the meat.  

To extract the fat from the body portion, a rendering procedure is carried out. The meat is slowly melted at a temperature below its boiling point, causing the fat to escape the skin tissue.  

However, one significant disadvantage is that it retains the odor of beef even after being separated from it. As a result of this phenomenon, it is extremely difficult for this fat to be used in edible foods. It is, however, a significant source of Vitamin E, Omega 3, and other nutrients.  

Main Differences Between Lard and Tallow 

  1. The major distinction between Lard and Tallow is that the former originates from the meat piece of pork or pig while the latter originates from beef or mutton.  
  2. Lard feels like a soft mixture when kept at room temperature and liquifies when heated. While Tallow looks like butter in its cold form and liquefies when melted.  
  3. The taste of Lard happens to be very subtle that it does not change the taste of things with which it is added. It can be added with things of any taste. Tallow, on the other hand, has a beefy taste and can be used with other beef-related ingredients. 
  4. Lard happens to be rich in Vitamin D and fatty acids because pigs are naturally exposed to the sun. While Tallow is more nutritional in terms of Omega 3 and Vitamin E.  
  5. Lard is primarily used for cooking and baking purposes, while Tallow is majorly used as vegetable oil for deep frying or ingredient in beauty products.  


 Processed food, as well as its nutritional content, is required all over the world to deal with the lack of nutrition in general food. This raises the demand for processed foods, especially protein and lipids from animal and plant sources. 

Lard and tallow fats are two of the most prevalent fats, both of which are obtained from animal carcasses or artificially processed. While both of these foods are nearly identical in terms of nutritional value, the difference between them is in their origin.  


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096399690200159X
  2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ie980162s
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