Frequently asked questions

Despite being a longstanding ingredient in British food, very little is known about suet and its usage. We hope that answering a few common questions about suet will inspire you to add this versatile product to your food cupboard! If you have any more suet related questions, please get in touch.


How is suet sold?

Suet is coarsely grated and rolled in wheat flour or rice flour to increase versatility and shelf life.


Is suet suitable for vegetarians?

There is vegetable suet available, which is made of palm oil and wheat flour or rice flour. It is suitable for vegetarians, and acts as a good alternative for many sweet recipes.


How does suet differ from other cooking fats?

Suet has a high melting point, which is what creates such lightness when baking. This causes it to soften later on in the cooking process than other fat – such as butter – creating and trapping air bubbles as it does so. This makes for a fluffiness like no other.


Does suet contain wheat?

Packaged suet is grated oil/fat, coated in flour to promote longevity. This flour is usually wheat flour, however there are gluten-free suet products which are made to accommodate the needs of coeliacs. The flour covering in this case is gluten-free.


How long has suet been used for cooking?

Suet was first recorded as being used in a British recipe book in the early 17th century. It was a popular alternative to butter due to its versatility and long shelf life.


Does suet have to be kept in the fridge?

Shredded suet does not have to be kept in the fridge. It has a much longer shelf life than many fat alternatives, especially when kept in a cool, dry place.


Is suet only used in British recipes?

Although widely considered a traditional English ingredient, suet is multifunctional in its uses. It can now be found in recipes worldwide and of varying cultures, including Indian and Japanese to name but a few. Have a look at our recipes page to explore the diversity of suet.


How should dumplings be cooked?

Usually served with stew, casserole or soup, dumplings should be added 20 minutes before the completed cooking time (e.g. if a casserole cooks in 2 hours, add the dumplings after 1 hour 40 minutes). They should be pushed down slightly, so that they are half submerged in the liquid. Add them only to simmering dishes (not boiling), or risk them disintegrating. Keep the lid on during the cooking time to ensure the dumplings are kept as light as possible.


I used suet for the first time and it made my recipe greasy, why?

It is likely that the dough was overworked. The way suet works to create a fluffy texture is by trapping air as it melts – something it cannot do if it has melted as a result of contact with warm hands. Instead of looking to entirely blend suet into your dough, look instead for a speckled finish. This is best achieved by adding the suet as a final ingredient to your recipe.


Is vegetarian suet approved by the RSPO?

Yes, all vegetarian suet recommended on this website is approved by the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This means that all palm oil used in its manufacturing was generated in a sustainable manner. For more information, please have a read on their website.


Is suet bad for me?

It is a common misconception that all fats are bad for you. We need to consume fats in order to be function properly – although these should be mostly unsaturated fats (as found in fish oil) where possible. Rape oil, as often used to make vegetable suet, is among the healthiest of unsaturated fats, meaning it has many health benefits over using saturated fats in cooking (such as butter).


Can I use suet to make roast potatoes?

Yes you can! Just melt the suet in a roasting dish and coat the boiled potatoes with it once melted. The flour in shredded suet helps to make your roasties even crispier.

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I love old-fashioned suet puddings

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