Can You Use Beef Dripping in a Deep Fat Fryer? Here’s the Full Scoop

If you love the rich, beefy flavor of homemade chips, you may have wondered if you can use beef dripping in a deep fat fryer After all, nothing beats a plate of chips fried up in pure, rendered beef fat. But is it safe to use dripping in a fryer?

In this comprehensive guide we’ll cover everything you need to know about using beef dripping in a deep fat fryer. We’ll look at

  • What is beef dripping?
  • The benefits and risks of using it in a fryer
  • Tips for success when frying with dripping
  • How to make your own beef dripping
  • Alternatives to beef dripping

So whether you’re a dripping devotee or just curious, read on for the full scoop on frying with this classic British fat!

What is Beef Dripping?

First, let’s look at what exactly beef dripping is. Beef dripping is rendered or clarified beef fat collected from roasting meat. When beef cooks, the fat melts off and can be collected in the roasting pan. This is then strained to remove any meat bits, cooled until solid, and used for cooking

Traditionally, dripping was saved from roasting beef or made by simmering raw beef fat scraps gently in water to separate the pure fat from other tissue. The highest quality dripping comes from beef suet – the hard fat around the kidneys and loins. This produces a clean, white solid fat perfect for frying.

Dripping has a high smoke point of around 210°C, making it suitable for deep frying. It has been used for generations to make delicious, crispy chips as well as Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, and other British classics. The beefy flavor it imparts is unbeatable.

However, not all beef dripping is created equal. Homemade dripping may contain meat debris and other solids unless it’s been carefully filtered through a cheesecloth. Commercial dripping has been rendered into a pure liquid fat, ideal for deep frying.

Is Beef Dripping Safe to Use in a Deep Fryer?

So can you use beef dripping in a deep fat fryer? The answer is yes, you can safely use high quality, clean commercial beef dripping in a deep fryer.

However, there are a few precautions to take:

  • Choose commercially made, filtered beef dripping.
  • Use a fryer with an adjustable thermostat and timer. This allows you to maintain the ideal temperature for frying.
  • Don’t overfill the fryer – fill only halfway with dripping to prevent spills.
  • Heat dripping slowly to the desired temp before adding food.
  • Don’t let it smoke – this indicates it’s too hot.
  • Filter between uses to remove food debris.

The most important factor is having a fryer with reliable temperature control. The dripping should be heated to 120°C for the first fry and 180°C for the final fry. This prevents it from overheating and smoking, which can impart unpleasant flavors.

As long as you fry at the proper temperature, commercial beef dripping is a tasty choice for your deep fryer.

The Benefits of Using Beef Dripping for Frying

Besides imparting that delicious beefy flavor, beef dripping offers several advantages when used in a deep fryer:

Long frying life – Dripping can withstand several frying sessions without going rancid, thanks to its high oxidative stability. This gives it a longer lifespan than vegetable and seed oils.

High smoke point – With a smoke point around 210°C, dripping can handle the high heat of deep frying without smoking and breaking down.

All-natural – Unlike synthetic frying oils, dripping contains no additives or unhealthy compounds. It’s 100% natural beef fat.

Adds flavor – The rich, fatty flavors dripping imparts are unachievable with any other frying medium.

Crispy results – Foods fried in beef dripping develop a delightfully crispy exterior without being greasy. The natural fats add flavor within the food, not just surface grease.

Traditional method – Dripping has been used for generations to make such British classics as fish and chips. Using it is a tasty nod to tradition.

So if you love crispy fish, chips, fried chicken or other foods with a crisp exterior and moist interior, dripping will give you superior results.

Potential Drawbacks to Using Dripping in a Fryer

While dripping has many benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to keep in mind:

Safety risks – Water and hot fat can be dangerous. Be extremely careful when using any hot oil or fat. Overheating fat can cause explosive spatter.

Saturated fat – Like any animal fat, dripping is high in saturated fat which should be eaten in moderation.

Gummy residue – Dripping can leave behind sticky, gummy residues that require scrubbing to remove.

Strong flavor – The beefy flavor may overwhelm more delicate ingredients. It works better with bolder foods that can handle the fat flavor.

Reheating alters fats – Frying oils break down when reheated repeatedly. For the healthiest results, use fresh dripping each time.

While a small amount of saturated fat is fine, it’s smart to balance any deep fried foods with lots of vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins as part of a healthy diet. Moderation is key.

Tips for Deep Frying with Beef Dripping

To get the best results from your beef dripping, follow these top tips:

  • Use fresh, filtered commercial dripping for each fry session – don’t reuse.

  • Choose a fryer with adjustable heat and a timer. Maintain oil between 120°C and 180°C.

  • Fry foods in small batches to prevent temperature drops.

  • Blot foods dry before frying – moisture causes spattering.

  • Don’t overfill the fryer – fat expands when heated.

  • Filter out any food debris between frying sessions.

  • Store dripping in an airtight container between uses. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

  • Dispose of used dripping carefully. Never pour down drains.

Follow these steps and your deep fried goods will turn out perfectly crispy on the outside and moist inside with delicious beefy flavor throughout.

How to Make Your Own Beef Dripping

Want to DIY your beef dripping at home? Here’s a simple method:


  • 1 lb beef suet or fatty trimmings from beef like chuck or brisket
  • Cheesecloth
  • Container for storing


  1. Dice the beef fat into 1-inch chunks.

  2. Place the chunks into a heavy pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a bare simmer over low heat.

  3. Allow the fat to gently render for 2-3 hours, replacing evaporated water as needed. Don’t let it boil.

  4. Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth into a heatproof bowl or jar.

  5. Chill until the fat solidifies on top. Discard the meaty bits and water underneath.

  6. Scrape off any impurities from the surface.

  7. Store the clean dripping in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Be sure to render the fat over very low heat to avoid burning or smoking. The result will be pure, beefy dripping perfect for your next fish and chips feast!

Healthy Alternatives to Dripping for Frying

If you’re looking for more heart-healthy oil options, consider these alternatives to use in your deep fat fryer:

  • Refined avocado oil – With its very high smoke point and mild flavor, refined avocado oil is an excellent choice for deep frying. Make sure it’s refined, not virgin, for the highest heat tolerance.

  • Peanut oil – This has a high smoke point and adds a lightly nutty flavor to fried foods. Avoid if cooking for those with peanut allergies.

  • Grapeseed oil – Another neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point. It also contains vitamin E and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Coconut oil – Imparts a subtle coconut flavor and contains healthy medium-chain triglycerides. Choose unrefined for the best quality.

  • Sunflower oil – An affordable choice high in vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. Has a light taste.

For best results, opt for oils higher in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats rather than just saturated. Limit deep frying in general for the healthiest diet.

Frying Perfection with Beef Dripping

When you want to indulge in the full beefy flavor of homemade chips, beef dripping is hard to beat for frying. With its high smoke point and long fry life, dripping makes an excellent choice for your deep fat fryer. Just exercise caution, use proper temperature regulation, and eat fried foods in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


What are the benefits of frying in beef dripping? – Fish & Chips Training Video


Can you use beef dripping instead of oil?

The cooking benefits A retro revolution has come over our kitchens in recent years and while some of you may have been roasting your ultimate potatoes in beef dripping, others are just catching up. The flavour benefits (for non-vegetarians) are unsurprisingly greater than if you stick to oil.

Can I use beef tallow in a deep fryer?

As we’ve already said, beef tallow makes delicious foods when used for deep frying. But it also has temperature advantages. We have found that beef tallow has a higher heat capacity than peanut oil, meaning it can do more heat-work per degree than peanut oil.

What not to do with a deep fat fryer?

Safe use fo fryers Lower the basket gently into oil. Keep water away from fryers containing hot oil e.g. wet food or pots on stoves. Never heat above 200°C as the oil is likely to burn and eventually ignite. Drain cooked food over oil or use drip tray to avoid spills on floor.

Can you use beef dripping in an air fryer?

Just remember less is more with air frying. You could also grate over some butter, lard or beef dripping in place of oil.

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