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  • Lard questions??

    So I'm buying a deep fryer and will be frying in leaf lard. Can I use it again to fry if I strain it? How would I store it? How many times can I use it? Does it taste like pork? I assume it doesn't because if I remember correctly McDonalds used to fry french fries in lard, and old ladies bake with it.

    Almond flour coated chicken fingers....yummy.
    "Live Free or Die"

  • #2
    It shouldn't taste LIKE pork but it isn't neutral - just makes things delicious.

    In the North East of England where I grew up, after frying chips the lard was strained to get rid of any little bits which might burn, the pan wiped clean or washed and the fat poured back into the pan to set solid again then stored in a cool place until the next use (often the next day!!!) It was used quite a few times before chucking out. It smells great for quite a number of uses, then starts to smell tired.

    As it was a free or very cheap medium for cooking, throwing it wasn't a big hassle but several uses were the norm. Households which kept it going too long had a distinctive aroma!!! And no doubt the health of users could be compromised. But it is pretty stable stuff - use your nose to be the judge.

    I want to start doing the same thing here - but I don't eat chips (fries) enough to warrant a dedicated frier I don't think. That might change once I get the flavour of real fat fried chips again though!!!

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    • #3
      I don't know exactly how many times you can reuse lard, but I have read that, each time you heat it (assuming you get the temperature relatively hot), you are breaking down the chemical bonds and making it less stable. I've rendered lard once before, and used each batch twice when frying. I just didn't feel comfortable using it a third time -- was worried that the bonds had been destroyed and it had oxidized or something, particularly since my frying was just done in a pot and wasn't temperature controlled.

      As for storage, a glass jar with a tightly-fitted lid in the fridge will do the trick.
      Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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      • #4
        McDonald's actually used beef tallow for their fries, but yes lard is a venerable baking fat. It's what they invented Crisco to replace. Lard is definitely a very savory fat, great with most anything really.

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        • #5
          Beef tallow huh. Maybe I should try that instead. I made great chicken fingers with almond flour but I baked them. I could help but wonder how much better they would have been fried.
          "Live Free or Die"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bostonbully View Post
            Beef tallow huh. Maybe I should try that instead. I made great chicken fingers with almond flour but I baked them. I could help but wonder how much better they would have been fried.
            resurrected this thread! I, too, wanted to know how many times I could re-use our homemade lard! :-)

            Bostonbully - I hope you tried making your own lard and then fried those nuggets! my kids (and their friends) LOVE chicken nuggets fried in lard!

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            • #7
              Any oils can be reused for frying almost indefinitely. Make sure it's strained, sealed well and stored in the dark. Oh, and don't let it hit it's smoke point when cooking. Toss it if it gets very dark, thickens a lot, or starts to smell sour.

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              • #8
                Proper animal fat has a high smoke point and a great resistance to oxidisation as far as I can tell from reading up. Lard, tallow or dripping is fantastic for frying - I live in the north of England and our "Fish & Chip" shops often use dripping, which you can taste the difference.

                To practicalities - it will solidify when cool. You need to pour out the liquified fat into another container to store in the fridge between use. Scrape out and re-warm in the fryer when you want to use it. You're best with a fryer that doesn't have an element - apparently, the element can over heat if the fryer is on and the fat not warmed through. Smaller fryers that have an elementless crucible seem to be best for use with proper fat.
                Paul
                http://www.pjgh.co.uk
                http://www.livingintheiceage.co.uk

                "... needs more fish!"

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                • #9
                  Thanks for this additional information. I've started to keep tally marks on each quart of lard we use and will see how long it "lasts".

                  I've got stuff I did not use last night that was made in March. It IS dark and does have an 'off' smell. We probably fry 3-4 times/month; kids love potato chips! And we'll fry up chicken nuggets, too!

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                  • #10
                    Where do you buy your "Good" lard?
                    We used Farmer John Manteca but I've since heard it's hydrogenated and thus a no-no.

                    Anyone know?
                    Thanks
                    *

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                    • #11
                      I can't find it locally, tho we have a large Hispanic population.

                      So I make my own. Seems to me a link was shared previously on how to do it.

                      I bought more pork fat today and it's rendering now on the stove...

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                      • #12
                        I buy mine from the supermarket - I can get pure lard and pure dripping. That might be a UK thing, though.
                        Paul
                        http://www.pjgh.co.uk
                        http://www.livingintheiceage.co.uk

                        "... needs more fish!"

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                        • #13
                          I bought my lard from Berkshire Pork, Leaf Lard and free range chicken from Prairie Pride Farm. They grow their own non-GMO corn for their animals and render the lard. Seems to be good though a little pricey. I got the 4lb. and they charge $7.95 for the cooler as well + shipping. You might ask if they will forgo the cooler in the winter if it is cold in your area. I bought from them because the organic lard that was closer was sold out and I couldn't find any other.

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                          • #14
                            I'll try this again. Their website is Berkshire Pork, Leaf Lard and free range chicken from Prairie Pride Farm

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