Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rendering Lard

We took one of our pigs to the butcher a couple of weeks ago, and picked up the meat earlier this week.  We ended up with a lot of nice fresh pork plus plenty of ham and bacon.  We also got 24 lb. of fat to render into lard. 

Here is part of the fat; I had already put some in the pan.

Ready to start heating it.  Rendering isn't hard; it just takes a while.  Some people do this in a crockpot, but I prefer to use the stovetop. 

I set the burner on medium-low to medium and took out the liquid with a ladle as it accumulated.  Here you can see a bit of the liquid around the edges.

This liquid went into glass jars.  It looks a bit yellowish here, but will end up white after it hardens.

 This white lard is perfect for making pie crusts.  I use a recipe that was handed down from my great-great-great Aunt Lena.  I've been using her recipe for about 40 years; it makes the most wonderful pie crusts.

The next step is to cook what's left a little longer to get crispy cracklings.  I put these into a bag and into the freezer.  They taste a little like crisp bacon and will be great to sprinkle on salads.

The lard that comes from this part of the process is darker and can be used for frying. 

This is the first lard I've rendered since we previously had pigs in the mid-1970's. 
It's nice to have pigs again and therefore fresh lard and good meat. 


  1. It looks lovely and white. I recently rendered our beef tallow for the first time. I used the slow cooker/ crock pot as it was easy to just leave it on the low heat for several hours. I used it to make soap, but I will keep some for cooking next time :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I've always wanted to try soap-making, but just haven't done it yet. I imagine the soap is much better than the store-bought variety.