I previously asked a question on whether chicken contains suet and the answers was no. however if you look at his picure the tissue highlighted in red looks like suet. If not suet, what is this and how is it different from suet?

Also what parts of a chicken contain these the most?enter image description here


"Suet" is beef fat, especially from around the cow's kidneys. By definition, a chicken cannot contain suet, unless it's recently eaten some beef.

The bits you've circled are fat deposits, though, like suet. In a butchered chicken, it's easiest to find similar fatty deposits on the thighs, back, and tail. The breast and wings have comparatively little.

  • Note to pedants: I'm aware that "tail" is not the technical anatomical term. – Sneftel Aug 29 '19 at 11:23
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    In addition, if you buy chicken with the skin on, you may get more fat as it won't be partially removed with the skin. – Cindy Aug 29 '19 at 11:30
  • @Sneftel so it is correct to say that we are looking at fat deposits and they are the same in beef and chicken however with beef, it is called suet? – James Wilson Aug 29 '19 at 11:31
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    @JamesWilson Yep. Beef fat is very different from chicken fat (e.g. in melting temperature) and has historically been used for various things that chicken fat wouldn't be as practical for, like soap and candles. The consistency of suet is somewhat different to the consistency of chicken fat. In particular, chicken fat has a significantly lower melting point. – Sneftel Aug 29 '19 at 11:33
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    Not all beef fat is suet and not all suet comes from bovines, so your first sentence is very confusing. Suet, as you say, from around the kidneys, is hard, dry and almost crumbly in texture, very different from the soft fat you get elsewhere. The chicken fat isn’t suet because it is nowhere near the chickens organs. You do get lumps of hard fat on a chicken just above the parsons nose, which would correspond to the location of its kidneys. – Spagirl Aug 29 '19 at 16:40

I don't think there is a specific name for it other than "chicken fat", but I am not a butcher. Depending on where it comes from on the animal, it is either intramuscular (between the muscles) or subcutaneous (between the skin and flesh).

The fat used in suet is more dense with a smoke point of 400F (204C) and contains around 45% saturated fat. Chicken fat is softer and more malleable, contains 33% saturated fat and has a lower smoke point of 325F (162C).

In chicken, the thighs and the parsons nose are good sources, as well between the breast, back and the skin.


  • Is what you are referring to as subcutaneous aka intermuscular fat? I notice fat depending on the location is referred to as inter on intra muscular. – James Wilson Aug 29 '19 at 12:25
  • No, AFAIK they are different types. Intermuscular = between the muscles, Intramuscular = within the muscle, Subcutaneous = under the skin. These terms can be misused/confused depending on the fat location e.g. fat between skin and muscle could be seen as Subcutaneous or Intermuscular. – Greybeard Aug 29 '19 at 13:08

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