This past weekend I purchased some pig fat from a local butcher so I could experiment with rendering pig fat. I want to try to make my own soap and start using more natural lard that I have preserved in my own kitchen so this was the perfect chance to give it a try. Here are a few things I learned from the experience.
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My Experience Rendering Pig Fat
We purchased some pork from a local butcher and of course, I asked for the pig fat when we picked up our meat. They didn’t even blink when I asked so this must be a pretty common request. We picked it up in a big trashbag ready to get started.
I cut it up in small pieces and simmered it down low for several hours on the stove watching it turn to a liquid form. I read a tip to add a small cup of water to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Last fall I tried to render beef fat and create tallow but didn’t have as much success. The beef fat had a strong meaty smell but this pig fat had no smell in the kitchen at all!
After simmering on low for most of the day, I had a pot full of liquid with some chunks remaining. I strained out the liquid several times until it was free of all remaining fat or bits of meat.
I washed out canning jars and poured in the clear liquid so it could harden and turn white. The liquid fat was the color and consistency of chicken broth at this point.
After sealing the jars and letting them sit on the counter for several hours, the liquid fat had turned a solid white consistency.
I plan to refrigerate a couple of the jars so they will keep and be ready for baking, frying and all round cooking over the next few months. I’m going to test a few out in the dark, cool cabinets in my basement to see how they store for up to a year.
My next challenge is to use up some of the excess fat that I didn’t boil down to make soap!
Do you have any experience rendering, storing and using pork fat in the kitchen? I’d love to hear from you!