Personally, I think that tallow is one of those things capable of making your stomach spin like a washing machine. I really don’t have anything against the stuff – Hell, I myself have used that stuff more than a few times to cook or to make emergency candles, but the very sight of it…sometimes… I’m only human, after all.
Now, personal feeling aside, tallow or grease obtained by cooking suet, which is the fatty tissue surrounding the organs of various animals, is one of those survival items that shouldn’t be missing from your household emergency kit. Yes, I know that you live in the big city and there’s at least one corner store around from where you can buy cooking oil, but tallow can do more than that. I usually keep around one or two kilos of pork tallow around the house in case, you know, I need to make stuff.
In remembering just how nasty the kitchen smelled when my grandma was preparing tallow, I thought it might be a good idea to share with you a couple of useful hints on how to use this stuff. So, without further ado, here are 28 ways you can use tallow in a shit hits the fan situation.
Obviously, the first item on the list had to be a no-brainer. Yup, as disgusting as that stuff looks, it’s apparently better for deep frying than regular sunflower seed oil. I mostly use it to fry bacon or to prepare goulash in my cast-iron camping pot. It also goes well with other dishes like fish or pork chops. A friend of mine uses tallow to can pork meat. The process is more or less similar to brining. However, in this case, the salter water’s replaced by melted tallow. Give it a go and see how you like it.
2. Enhanced sharpening
In the olden days, blacksmiths used to dip the newly-forged blades into pork or even dog tallow in order to hasten the sharpening process. Moreover, knife blades coated in a very thin layer of pork tallow stay sharper longer compared to those that are, let’s say, dry-sharpened.
3. Gun maintenance
Long before gun grease became available, soldiers would oil their weapons with tallow. By the way, it’s tallow that led to the Indian revolt, which drove the East India Company out of the country. During the British dominion, Indian regulars were conscripted in order to serve Her Majesty’s interests in the Indies. Apparently, one of the many reasons that led to the Indians turning against the English was the new Lee Enfield rifle. The new version of the gun used a tallow-coated cartridge, which was designed to protect the barrel. Since Indians abhor pork, they refused to handle the new rifles, which ultimately led to the 1857 Rebellion.
4. Bacteria buster
Tallow has strong anti-bacterial properties. In fact, our ancestors used this stuff in order to treat candida and yeast infections.
5. Solder away, soldier!
All out of flux for your soldering project? Not a problem. Dip the hot end of your soldering iron in tallow, and carry on.
Yes, I know the idea of rubbing tallow on your skin seems out of a Hannibal Lecter movie or something, but it actually works. Sure, you won’t come off smelling like the proverbial rose garden, but at least your skin will be silky smooth.
7. Keeping away foul body odor
Now that summer’s around the bend; you will need something cheap and efficient at keeping that nasty armpit smell at bay. Sure, you can waste away that hard-earned cash on expensive beauty products, or you can try this simple recipe – melt some tallow and mix with one tablespoon of baking soda. Allow that stuff to harden and profit. I personally like to apply a fine layer after getting out of the shower. To prevent your armpits from smelling like a cooking lady’s kitchen, use a bit of scented oil.
8. Prevents diaper rash
If you ever run out of talcum powder after wiping your toddler’s behind, rub a little bit of tallow. It really works wonders on diaper rashes.
9. Putting some meat on your pets’ bones
Nowadays, pet food is as deficient in nutrients just like human food. If your pet needs to gain a little bit of weight, mixt its favorite wet food with tallow.
10. Great for a good night’s sleep
Have problems summoned the Sandman? Maybe it’s because your brain doesn’t have enough fats and amino acids to kickstart the so-called restorative sleep. How to fix this? Swallow a tablespoon of tallow each day. Yes, I know it sounds odd, but it really works (cured me of insomnia).
11. Neutralizes venom from insect bites
If you got stung by a wasp, hornet, or bee, rub a little bit of tallow on the sting site. The fat will draw out and neutralize the venom.
12. Hemorrhoids away!
Well, hemorrhoids are a pain in the ass, indeed. What’s worse is that no matter what cream you use, it will take a while for them to subside. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you can replace your regular antibiotic cream with tallow. Yes, I know that rubbing grease in the spot where the sun doesn’t shine might come off like the intro of a really bad adult flick, but, hey, at least you can now sit on your tushy without that excruciating pain.
13. Lice slayer!
Head lice, because I don’t even want to consider the other variety, are damned hard to get rid of. Well, according to this old-world remedy, a lice-laden scalp can be cured using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and tallow.
14. Health super boost
Research has shown that patients who consume tallows on a regular basis are less likely to experience a heart condition compared to those who would rather stay away from that stuff. Furthermore, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, tallow plays a key role in preventing vascular dementia such as Alzheimer’s and some forms of blood cancer.
15. Making screwing fun again
No, not that kind of screwing (I don’t even think that stuff can be used for bouncy-bouncy). If a screw is moving too slow or not at all, try using a little bit of grease on the tip. By the way, you can also use a 50-50 tallow and cider mixture to remove rust from screws, bolts, nails, and even tools.
16. Great for lubricating moving parts
All out of WD 40? No problem. Just use a little bit of grease to get those moving parts, well, moving again, I guess.
17. Rocking the gentleman look
Did you know that tallow was used to make mustache wax? Yup, if you have a great pair of whiskers, use a little bit of pork tallow to make them shine. That stuff can also replace hair gel, although I wouldn’t advise it on account of the smell.
18. Doubles as shaving cream
If the lumberjack style is not your kind of gig, you can always use a bit of tallow should you ever run out of shaving cream? That thing will moisten the hair strand, making shaving a lot easier. I know that the best fresh-out-of-the-shower shave is the best practice, but I personally prefer this method when I’m on the run and don’t have the time to step into the shower.
19. Boost the efficiency of breast milk
According to researchers, tallow increases the number of nutrients normally found inside the mother’s milk. Baby breastfed will tallow-infused milk is better protected against allergies and infantile diseases. Furthermore, since tallow has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring properties, it’s recommended for stretching marks aka the tell-tale signs of pregnancy.
20. Keep darkness at bay
Every problem in this world can be solved with a little illumination. In case you run out of emergency candles, lamp oil, or tac light batteries, you can make 6-hour candles using tallow. Check out my article on how to make emergency candles from bacon. The principle is the same.
You know the saying: cleanliness is next to godliness. However, that may be a bit difficult if you run out of soap. Not to worry – tallow has been used for centuries in home soapmaking. Melt, boil, add some essential oils place in molds, allow to harden, and wash.
22. Leather care
Nice leather shoes! It would be a shame if something would happen to them. Well, nothing bad is going to happen to your leather shoes, jacket or pants if you rub some tallow on them. Apart from the fact that fat rejuvenates tanning products, it also adds a weatherproof layer.
23. Say bye-bye to cooking oil
If you ever get tired of using olive, sunflower, or palm tree oil for cooking, you can always replace it with tallow. Moreover, this stuff’s so good, that it will give your favorite pastries an entirely different taste.
24. Eco-friendly cars FTW!
It’s possible to make your vehicle even more eco-friendly by replacing the regular motor oil with a special tallow mixture. Motor oils made from tallow are biodegradable and boast the same performances as the regular variety.
25. No more allergies
The only thing I hate about spring is that white tree fuzz which makes me sneeze like there’s no tomorrow. I can’t say if it’s an allergy or simply the fact that my body doesn’t like fuzz, but in any case, I found out that tallow really helps. I have the same problem, but a little tallow inside each nostril before leaving the house. The fact will act as a filter and barrier. You’re welcome!
26. No more balding or brittle nails
There comes a time in a man’s life when he needs to swap the comb for a wet towel. Well, eventually, all those gorgeous locks of yours are going to fade away, but not right now. Now, if you have a similar issue, you should definitely consider applying a thin layer of tallow. You should do this after stepping out of the shower. The nutrients inside the tallow will stimulate hair growth. It also works wonders on brittle nails.
27. Better than butter
Although butter’s better than margarine, the docs recommend using tallow instead of regular butter. Yeah, I wouldn’t try to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with that stuff, but it tastes great when combined with smoked foods or dairy products. Careful with that stuff because it packs more fat than butter and margarine combined.
28. No more poison ivy itching
If you went a couple of rounds with poison ivy, rub some tallow over the area to get rid of the itching.
Well, that’s about it on ingenious ways to use tallow around the house and in a shit hits the fan situation. What’s your take on tallow? Hit the comments section and let me know.
Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:
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The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
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