Rendering lard question

cheryl_okFebruary 21, 2014

I want to render my own lard, at least once.
Any advise what be appreciated! I have about 20 pounds of pork fat and a very large cast iron skillet I plan on using. I think it will really smell up the house. Wondering if any one here has done it before.

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I have done it, I let mine go to crispy...and it stunk and smelled piggy so I couldn't use it baking as I wanted to.

This looks like a much more successful way.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rendering Lard

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:33PM
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Terri GREAT link! Looks like the stuff my uncles used to make, when they butchered.

Cheryl, hope yours turns out similar.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:47PM
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A suggestion is to remove the liquid lard as it comes out of the fat. This reduces the piggy smell that occurs when the goodies are crispy. You allow the liquid to cool, a solid mass will be formed, then place mass in a pan of water. .There may be some liquid left in the container wipe out. Heat the water and mass until liquid. Allow to cool. The objectionable parts and taste will fall to be bottom of the pan leaving a cleaner lard. This can be repeated until the cake of lard is as pure as you wish. However each time you heat and cool you will loose some of the mass.

This is how my grandmother "cleaned" the fat when she wanted to make soap or remove too much scent from the lard. For her lye face soap she would purify at least 6 times before using the lard for soap or food use.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:59PM
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besides what the above op stated,I always did mine in the oven as well....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:34PM
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Thanks for all the advice. Not sure when I will do this but will let you know how it turned out.
I do know it will be on a day when all windows and doors will be open.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:46AM
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We always rendered lard until we could no longer find it. In my opinion it can't be beat for bread products and pie crusts,all of which I make many.
We ground it and put it in the oven in a big roaster until it became crisp. I never thought it had a bad smell. Then i strained it through our milk strainer with the milk filters that are made for the purpose of straining milk. . Jarred it and canned it. Wonderful. Wish I could find it but the pigs are now bred to be leans so no lard.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:40AM
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I remember my Grandma stirring the pork fat in a big black kettle outside over a wood fire. Then she put the pieces of cooked fat in the lard press and pressed out all the liquid fat that would come out. I loved those cracklings.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:55PM
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I get a couple of big bags of ground (leaf, I think they call it) fat with our pig every year. I toss it all in a stock pot on warm for three or four hours. Put through a strainer and put the (very clean, white, lard in small jelly (canning) jars and freeze. The leftover "bits" get frozen in zip lock baggies and tossed into soups, fried taters, Au Gratin potatoes ... anywhere I might toss in some bacon crumbles for seasoning/flavor.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:04PM
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My oh my! This brings back memories. It has been a lifetime since i have seen the fat rendering process. Back on the farm in the 1940s, my mother rendered lard on butchering day. It was done in a large iron kettle outside over an open wood fire. The mix had to be hot enough to drive the fat out of the meat, but not hot enough to 'burn' the fat. After the fat was liquified, it was merely ladled or poured off into suitable containers. The remains, cracklings or seared and dried meat, was saved for snacks.

Doing large bactches outside kept the fumes and grease vapors out of the house. The vapors from a large batch can soil the walls (and everything else).

When you fry bacon, you are rendering on a small scale. We always saved the bacon fat for later uses. Two good uses are for frying potatoes and popping corn. The bacon grease imparts a wonderful flavor to these two foods.

Popping corn in bacon grease may not be healthy so I am told. The grease gets very hot and can form harmful compounds on oxidizing.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:17AM
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We seldom eat bacon but when we do I strain the fat through a coffee filter and keep a little jar in the frig. A tbsp of fat always goes into my white bread, along with a tbsp butter.

I save it for the bread, as I don't have much, to use for fried potatoes, cabbage etc. I'd love to find some fat and do this!!! Bread, rolls, pie crust, and frying. Oh my. And use in the Better than Pam recipe.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:12AM
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I decided I'm going to render outside on a wood fire. I took them out of the freezer this morning and will gather wood today. Looks like weather will be nice enough tomorrow to do this. I will let ya know how it turns out!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:18AM
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How cool Cheryl, that you are going to do it the old fashioned way!

I store chicken fat too...taters in chicken fat are better than in bacon grease.. IMO But I usually fry them in expeller pressed coconut oil.

Jas, I'll have to try a little bacon grease in my bread..making English Muffins today..1T butter, 1T bacon grease... :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:06PM
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