Rendering Your Own Lard – Crockpot Style!

I love my fats – Butter, coconut oil, tallow, lard…

 

These words may strike fear in the hearts of dieters, but the inclusion of them in my diet has proven beneficial.  Fat in your diet (the good fats) are essential to cellular development – Your body needs these!

 

But the lard or tallow that you render at home is NOT the same as what many consider lard from the grocery store.  Most of those bought in the store contain partial hydrogenated oils – NOT a good thing.

 

Tallow (from beef fat) and lard (from pork fat) from grass-fed animals are far superior to these grocery products.  By rendering it yourself, you have the added bonus of know exactly what you are getting – pure lard.  No additives.  No cottonseed oil (Crisco).

 

Here at the Faulk Farmstead, I use lard in my baking, as well as in my cooking – Homemade french fries fried in lard!  Oh yes!

 

When my husband processed his elk this year, we used pork fat to mix with the elk to make burger.  Elk is a very lean meat, so we usually add some sort of fat into the grinder with the elk.  Pork is our favorite to use.  Even though we ended up with a whopping 130 pounds of elk burger, we still had some pork fat left – I knew just what I was going to do with that…

 

This was my first time rendering lard, so I knew I had to chronicle it for all of you!  Rendering your own lard!

 

rendering lard

Rendering lard – Crockpot method

 

You will need:

 

First things first, cut the lard up into small pieces – I did about 1/2 inch cubes.  Just make sure they are somewhat uniform so they will cook evenly.

 

5 lbs of lard from the local butcher

5 lbs of lard from the local butcher

 

Place all of it into the crockpot, along with 1/2 cup of water.  Don’t worry – the water will evaporate during cooking; this just helps prevent it from scorching and sticking at the beginning.    Then, pop your lid on and turn the temp to “high” (keep an eye on it, though.  If the lard starts to stick, just turn it down to “low”).

 

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Ahhh, lard...

Ahhh, lard…

 

After a couple hours, the lard pieces have started to sweat – We’re getting there!

 

Sweaty lard  ;)

Sweaty lard ;)

 

A few more hours after that, you will see the lard bits starting to crisp up and separate.  Now we’re getting somewhere!

 

About 5-6 hours in...

About 5-6 hours in…

 

At this point, you can start to scoop out your lard bits – I waited about an hour longer (a total of 6-7 hours).  Line your funnel with cheesecloth and place in your jar.   Using the measuring cup, skim off the melted lard and pour into the jar.  You can also use the slotted spoon to remove the fat bits from the crockpot to make the skimming easier.

 

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After your jars are filled, allow them to cool to room temperature before capping – You don’t want to trap any excess condensation in there.    My 5 pounds of lard yielded about 3 1/2 pints.  Not too shabby!

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It’s lard!!!

Pretty easy, huh?  Ready to try your hand at rendering?

This post can also be seen at the Homestead Barn Hop!

Looking for more things to do with lard?  Look no further…

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Rendering Your Own Lard - Crockpot Style on Punk Domestics

Also seen at From The Farm Blog Hop and From The Farm Blog Hop



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Comments

  1. Great recipe and so easy! How do you store your lard?

    • Right now, I keep it in canning jars in the pantry. I had debated on storing it in the fridge, but figured since it was such a small batch, I should be going through it pretty quick. How do you store yours, Ashley?

  2. When you are rendering the lard, do you keep the lid off the crockpot? I’m so excited to give this a try!

    • Jessica,
      I kept the lid on, but I did open it often to release some steam and give it a good stir to make sure it wasn’t sticking.
      Best of luck to you! (BTW, I checked out your blog – yummy recipes!)
      Mel

  3. How did you approach the local butcher for the lard? Did you go to a chain grocery store or a real time butcher? I’ve been wanting to do this but haven’t taken the leap yet. Thanks!

    • Hi Caroline! Yes, my husband went to a local butcher for the pork fat – He just asked for pork fat (It was readily available). If I remember correctly, it was fairly inexpensive! We got two uses out of it – fat to grind with his elk for burger, and lard for me! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I’m wondering if anyone has gone to a chain grocery store and asked. We don’t have any local good old fashion butchers around here anymore! I’d love to try this and use to make soap. Have you tried using it to make any soap??

    • I haven’t tried regular stores, but certainly worth a try! I would love to make soap with it but didn’t end up with much extra!

  5. Deanna Furrey says:

    I rendered beef fat recently because there wasn’t any pork available. Does the pork smell terrible like the beef does? It is totally worth it anyway. Someday we hope to have our own animals, but one step at a time!
    Deanna

    • Hi there! I have done beef fat and DID notice that it had a stronger odor. However, the lard really DOES smell like fat cooking. ;) I have found, though, that after rendering my own, I don’t want to cook with anything else! Best of luck to you!

      • Does it really smell? I was able to check at a Stop and Shop with the butcher and they will hold the fat for me once I’m ready. But I was really hoping to use it for making soap! If it has a strong smell I don’t think that would be the best idea!!?

        • I think it smells while it is rendering, but after it sets up, it appears fine to me! I would love to make soap with it as well!

  6. Ok ladies, I AM going to try this out with the intention of using the tallow/lard rendered for soap making. The question I have is how do you store it for long term? Say, if I render a bunch and want to save some for next time so I don’t have to do it every time I make soap so it doesn’t take literally ALL DAY. Can it be jar canned and sealed for later? Would I have to boil it to get the cans to seal properly? Can it go bad??

    Thanks.

  7. I’m unclear. The recipe calls for *starting* with lard to render lard, but obviously, if you have lard, there is no need to render. Do you mean start with pork fat? (Or beef fat in the case of tallow.)

    • Yes Jackie, that’s true – pork fat. However, as I understand it, lard is pork fat in both it’s rendered and unrendered forms. I apologize for the confusion!

  8. starlighthill says:

    This looks easier than my stove method. I know this probably isn’t good for you, but if you take the crispy fat you strained out and shake it in a paper bag with salt & hot sauce…YUM!

    • Oh my goodness – that sounds fabulous! Consider it your reward for all of your hard work rendering lard! :) I say go for it!

Trackbacks

  1. […] me due to the corn allergy. So, I kid you not, I’m considering rendering my own. Check it out here. And maybe I can made some sort of margarine substitution with it. […]

  2. […] me due to the corn allergy. So, I kid you not, I’m considering rendering my own. Check it out here. And maybe I can make some sort of margarine substitution with it. […]

  3. […] to the January 31st edition of the From the Farm Blog Hop. My favorite article from last week is “Rendering Your Own Lard – Crock Pot Style!” from The Faulk Homestead. A great tutorial on how and why you should render your own […]

  4. […] Rendering Your Own Lard, Crockpot Style! @ Faulk Farmstead […]