JUST SUET: Chewing the Fat About Your New Kitchen Essential

Steamed Suet Pudding in a Pudding Basin

When it comes to pastries and deep-frying – butter, oil or lard are the most common ingredients. With growing health concerns and the organic movement, why choose a product that is more processed? Suet is the natural fat produced in cow or mutton, specifically around organs like the kidneys. A cornerstone of traditional British cuisine, suet can be used to add moistness to baked goods and to achieve that perfect, golden brown finish on a deep-fried treat.


As stated above, suet is the hard fat of cow or mutton – refrigerated for longevity. It is available in its natural form or sometimes preserved in blocks. Once rendered and processed, suet becomes tallow that can be stored at room temperature. Raw suet’s low melt- and smoke-points make it particularly effective for pastries and deep-frying.


Suet can be grated while cold and added easily to pastries in place of butter or lard. Unlike flaky, pie-type crust, suet pastry is soft and fluffy. For deep-frying, a block of suet is melted and can cook safely up to temperatures near 200 degrees Celsius. Another effective use for suet is to add fat content to a lean ground meat mixture in any recipe.


The following is only a sample of the many recipes to which you can add suet (many are from traditional British cuisine):

  • Steak and kidney pie;
  • Christmas pudding;
  • Spotted dick;
  • Jam roly-poly;
  • Dumplings;
  • Haggis;
  • Mincemeat tarts and pies;
  • Sausages;
  • Jamaican patty;
  • Hamburgers.

We are creatures of habit: we often buy the same butter and oil that we always have without ever considering why. As they say, variety is the spice of life – so why not try suet in your next kitchen experiment? Suet removes steps between the farm and your table, making it a more natural choice as well. Visit or contact D’Arcy’s and ask your butcher about suet and its uses today!

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