Suet is the raw, hard fat of beef or mutton found around the loins and kidneys.

Suet has a melting point of between 45 °C and 50 °C (113 °F and 122 °F) and congelation between 37 °C and 40 °C (98.6 °F and 104 °F). Its high smoke point makes it ideal for deep frying and pastry production.

Tallow-beef suet after rendering

The primary use of suet is to make tallow, although it is also used as an ingredient in cooking, especially in traditional puddings, such as British Christmas pudding. Suet is made into tallow in a process called rendering, which involves melting and extended simmering, followed by straining, cooling and usually by repeating the entire process. Unlike tallow, suet that is not pre-packed requires refrigeration in order to be stored for extended periods.


The word suet /ˈs(j)ɪt/ is derived from Anglo-Norman siuet, suet, from Old French sieu, seu, from Latin sēbum ("tallow", "grease", "hard animal fat").[1] Sebum is from the Proto-Indo-European root *seyb- ("pour out, trickle"), so it shares a root with sap and soap.[2][3]


In the 17th century economy of the Viceroyalty of Peru, Chile's husbandry and agriculture based economy had a peripheral role exporting mainly suet, ch'arki and leather to the other provinces of the viceroyalty. The importance of this trade led Chilean historian Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna to label the 17th century the century of suet (Spanish: siglo del sebo).[4]



bird feeders are favoured by woodpeckers, goldfinches, juncos, cardinals, thrushes, jays, kinglets, bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, and starlings.[22]

Bird feed is commonly used in the form of cakes of suet, which can be made with other solid fats, such as lard. Rolled oats, bird seed, cornmeal, raisins, and unsalted nuts are often incorporated into the suet cakes.[23]

Suet-based recipes