Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rendering Lard

I remember mom and dad rendering lard or more accurately, I remember the piggy smell and the green, plastic colander that melted.  I remember the super flakey pie crust that my mom would make with that lard, yum!
When we bought a pig this spring we decided to get the fat to render down for ourselves.  Now, being the perfectionist that I am, I left that bag of fat in my freezer for quite a while.  Well, I finally decided to do something about it.
I had asked my folks how they did their lard, but they couldn't remember, so I found a post at and set off on my adventure.
 I took the pig fat and cut it up into little cubes about 1 inch big.  This wasn't too difficult to do because the fat was still partially frozen.  Made it much easier to cut.  And man! were my hands soft after I did this :)
I placed the lard into my slow cooker and put it on slow.  I would check it every now and again, giving it a stir.  It took a couple of hours to cook down.  
 This is the fat after it had cooked down quite a bit.  I would ladle off the lard as it liquefied.  I poured it through a sieve lined with cheese cloth to get all the little pieces out as I filled the containers.  

I put my lard into freezer containers.  All the other blogs I found put theirs into jars, but mom always used the plastic containers so I did too.  Will do some more research on this to see if there are potential health risks with using the plastic.
Here it is all nice and cold and snowy white.  
 And here is my husband's favorite part, the crackings!  This is the leftover meat portion that was attached to the fat.  Our first meal with them was scrambled eggs!  Yummy, tasted just like bacon pieces.
So that's it.  It wasn't as hard and messy as I thought it would it would be and it sure is nice to have one more thing crossed off my to do list!
What are you procrastinating about on your homestead?  Take a deep breath and tackle one thing!  Let me know how it goes!

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