A few years ago, I purchased some pig fat from a local butcher so I could experiment with making lard. Many of us cook regularly with Crisco but want a more natural product that is closer to our roots. The process of rendering pig fat and turning it into lard is not complicated and doesn’t require special tools. If you are interested in trying this, I’ve got some tips based on my own experience.
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How to make Lard with Pig Fat
Where can you find pig fat?
Do a quick search for a meat processor near you and you will find your local butcher who can sell you pig fat. Most of the time the fat is really cheap. Just ask for the pig fat and order a bag.
Cut the fat into small pieces and simmer it down low for several hours on the stove watching it turn to a liquid form. Add a cup of water to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
In my experience, the pig fat doesn’t have a smell or fill the kitchen with any odor. Remember that you want to simmer it very slowly. If it starts to boil, then you have the temperature to high.
After simmering on low for most of the day, you will probably have a pot full of liquid with some chunks remaining. Strain the liquid several times until it is free of all remaining fat or bits of meat. You want to remove all pieces of meat completely and only have the pure liquid.
Wash the canning jars and make sure they are completely dry. Then pour in the clear liquid so it can harden and turn white. The liquid fat is 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 will turn a solid white consistency.
In my experience, if the liquid has been thoroughly strained and all pieces of meat removed, then the lard will last for approximately a year when stored in a cool, dark place.
Do you have any experience rendering, storing and using lard in the kitchen? I’d love to hear from you!