What Can I Use Instead of Beef Dripping? 8 Tasty Substitutes

Beef dripping is a type of rendered beef fat that is commonly used in British cuisine especially for roasting and frying. However, it can be difficult to find outside of the UK. If you don’t have access to beef dripping, don’t worry – there are several substitutes you can use instead.

In this article, I’ll explain what beef dripping is, why it’s used in cooking, and give you 8 alternative fats and oils that can be used to replace beef dripping. I’ll also compare how these substitutes differ in terms of flavor, smoke point, nutrition, and overall suitability.

What is Beef Dripping?

Beef dripping is pure beef fat that has been rendered – heated slowly to separate and clarify the fat from other meat tissues and impurities. It has a high smoke point and rich meaty flavor.

In Britain, beef dripping is traditionally used for roasting potatoes, frying fish, and making Yorkshire puddings. The beefy flavor infuses into the food, creating delicious depth of flavor. It’s also valued for its high smoke point and energy-dense nutritional profile.

However, beef dripping can be difficult to find in supermarkets in many countries. It’s uncommon in the United States, for example. If you want to cook traditionally British recipes that call for beef dripping, you’ll need a substitute.

Why Use a Substitute?

There are a few reasons you may need to use a substitute for beef dripping:

  • It’s unavailable where you live – beef dripping can be hard to find outside of Britain
  • You follow a vegetarian, vegan, or halal diet – beef drippings are animal-based
  • You want to reduce saturated fat intake – beef dripping is high in saturated fat
  • You don’t have time to render your own beef fat
  • Beef dripping is expensive or hard to obtain

Luckily, there are plenty of alternative fats and oils that can mimic both the flavor and high smoke point of beef dripping.

8 Beef Dripping Substitutes to Try

Here are 8 excellent alternatives you can use in place of beef dripping:

1. Ghee or Clarified Butter

Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is butter that has been melted and simmered to remove the milk solids and water. Like beef dripping, it has high smoke point and rich, nutty flavor. It works well for roasting and sautéing.

Clarified butter offers the closest match to beef dripping in terms of cooking properties. It provides a similar mouthfeel and richness. Make sure to use unsalted ghee to have full control over seasoning.

2. Lard

Lard is rendered and clarified pork fat. It has a high smoke point of 370-400°F, making it suitable for frying and roasting. Lard has a neutral flavor that allows ingredients to shine.

Use lard in place of beef dripping when frying fish, making pastry crusts, roasting vegetables, or baking savory pies. It provides flakiness to pastry and crisps up fried foods.

3. Bacon Drippings

If you cook bacon regularly, save that tasty rendered bacon fat! Bacon drippings have a smoky, salty, porky flavor similar to beef dripping.

Use bacon drippings for cooking any pork, poultry, or vegetable dishes. The bacon flavor infuses into ingredients. Potatoes roasted in bacon fat are delicious. Refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for longer storage.

4. Duck Fat

Duck fat is the rendered and strained fat from ducks. It has a high smoke point and rich, meaty flavor like beef dripping. Duck fat is prized by chefs for frying and roasting.

Use duck fat in place of beef dripping when roasting potatoes, cooking fried eggs, sautéing vegetables, or frying fish. It adds crispiness and savory depth. Duck fat can be expensive to buy – save your own drippings after cooking duck.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a plant-based oil with a mild coconut flavor. Refined coconut oil has a high smoke point of 450°F, making it suitable for roasting and frying. It adds a subtle coconut essence.

Coconut oil is one of the best substitutes for those avoiding animal fats. Use it in place of beef dripping to add richness while keeping the dish vegetarian/vegan.

6. Tallow

Tallow is rendered and clarified beef or mutton fat. It has the same rich meaty flavor as beef dripping and high smoke point. Tallow can be purchased or saved from cooking grass-fed beef.

Use tallow for the closest beef dripping substitute in flavor and performance. It works well for roasting vegetables, frying eggs, or sautéing mushrooms. Store tallow in the fridge for 2-3 months.

7. Schmaltz

Schmaltz is clarified chicken or goose fat, used often in Jewish cuisine. It has a creamy texture and rich flavor. Schmaltz works well for frying or roasting poultry.

Replace beef dripping with schmaltz when cooking chicken, turkey, or other poultry dishes. It adds moistness and flavor to the meat. Save your own schmaltz drippings after cooking poultry.

8. Vegetable Oil

Plain vegetable oil is flavorless, but has a high smoke point. Corn, canola, sunflower, soybean, and grapeseed oil all work well as substitutes here. The neutral flavor won’t interfere with other ingredients.

Use vegetable oil when you want the high heat performance without added flavor. It lets the main ingredients shine. Vegetable oil is budget-friendly and widely accessible too.

How Do Beef Dripping Substitutes Compare?

When choosing a substitute, consider these differences:

Flavor – Animal fats like lard, bacon drippings and schmaltz have the richest, meatiest flavor. Coconut oil has a light coconut essence. Vegetable oils are neutral.

Smoke point – Lard, ghee, tallow, and refined coconut oil have smoke points about 400°F, close to beef dripping. Duck fat is 375°F. Bacon drippings vary but average 350°F.

Nutrition – Beef dripping and animal fats are high in saturated fat. Coconut oil and vegetable oils have no cholesterol, but coconut oil is high in saturated fat.

Accessibility – Vegetable oils, coconut oil, and butter/ghee are widely available. Lard and schmaltz can be found at some grocers. Tallow and duck fat are harder to source.

Budget – Vegetable oils are the most budget-friendly option. Beef tallow and duck fat are on the pricier side.

Sustainability – Animal fats are less eco-friendly than plant-based oils. Look for sustainably-produced palm oil in coconut oil.

Tips for Using Beef Dripping Substitutes

  • For ideal flavor and performance, use substitutes like ghee, lard, or schmaltz in recipes calling for beef dripping.

  • Store fats like duck fat, bacon grease, and lard in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.

  • When frying with oils, heat them slowly and fry in small batches to maintain oil temperature.

  • If substituting butter or coconut oil in baking, you may need to slightly adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe.

  • Render your own beef, chicken or bacon fat after cooking for free homemade dripping substitutes. Let cool completely before storing.

  • Combining a small amount of bacon drippings or butter with vegetable oil mimics beef dripping nicely.

  • For the best results, use substitutes recommended for the cooking method like roasting, frying, or baking.

  • Look for sustainably and ethically produced animal fats and plant oils when possible.

Make Delicious Dishes with Beef Dripping Substitutes

Don’t let a lack of beef dripping prevent you from enjoying classic British dishes! With tasty alternatives like duck fat, ghee, and coconut oil, you can still achieve delicious results.

Next time a recipe calls for beef dripping, try using one of these substitutes. Baste roasted potatoes in hot bacon fat, fry fish in schmaltz, or make Yorkshire puddings with sizzling coconut oil. With the right fat or oil, you can cook up incredible flavors.

How To Make Beef Dripping, The guilty pleasure that’s actually good for you.


What is a good substitute for beef drippings?

You can use ingredients like olive oil, bacon fat, or butter to add moisture and flavor.

Can I use butter instead of beef dripping?

Generally, butter can be easily substituted with tallow in most recipes. However, it will have a significant impact on the taste and texture of the dish.

What can I use instead of beef dripping for yorkshire pudding?

What is best oil or fat for Yorkshire puddings? Gordon Ramsay’s recipe calls for vegetable oil or beef dripping, but you can also use sunflower oil, lard or solid vegetable shortening. Avoid olive oil or butter as they burn easily and have low ‘smoke’ points.

What is a good substitute for beef dripping?

Goose fat is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium. Lard is a great substitute for beef dripping in cooking and baking. It has a similar consistency to beef dripping and can be used in most recipes that call for it.

What is the healthier substitute of brisket?

Brisket is high in fat. Instead of brisket, lean meat like chicken, turkey and fish will be a good option for healthy lifestyle. Chicken is good source of protein and has very less fat. Omega-3-fatty acids are good for healthy heart, which we used to get from fish.

What can you eat with beef dripping?

Popular dishes made with beef dripping include Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, beef Wellington, and traditional meat pies. What are the potential health concerns of consuming beef dripping?

Can beef dripping be used as a substitute for butter?

Yes, beef dripping can be used as a substitute for butter, lard, or vegetable oil in many recipes. It adds a unique flavor and richness to dishes that other fats cannot replicate. Can I make beef dripping at home? Yes, beef dripping can be made at home by collecting the fat and juices from a joint of beef as it cooks.

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