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Rendering Your Own Lard

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  • Rendering Your Own Lard



    It was so difficult to get non-hydrogenated lard that I decided to render my own, so I bought 1.5 pounds of pig fat (they actually sell it)


    This is how I read it should be done:


    - Cut the fat in small pieces

    - Boil the fat pieces in water for about an hour at low fire, stirring every 10 secs

    - After an hour you should hear some crackling

    - stir more often now

    - Once the little pieces of remaining meat start to sink, the lard is rendered

    - Separate the fat from the water underneath and store it in the fridge.


    This is how I ended up doing it:


    - The pieces of fat took forever to "melt", and didn't hear any crackling.

    - I figured I'd increase the surface area to accelerate the process, so I blended the whole thing.

    - Left it to boil for like 30 mins

    - After a bit of boiling, I had a big layer of fat floating on the pot.

    - I separated the lard.


    Now, this is what I learned:


    - If you blend the fat, it's more difficult to separate it from the liquid below and blended non-fat after the rendering. I lost a bit of lard because of that.

    - Boiling pig fat makes your kitchen smell like evil. EVIL. Be warned.


    Anyway, I poured the yellowish fat on a plastic pot and stored it in the fridge


    Today I found that the lard was snow white and had no smell whatsoever. It was solid, but soft enough to very easily scoop off a bit off the pot. I got almost a pint of lard out of 1.5lbs of pork fat ($2).


    I cooked with it today and it was incredible. Way tastier than butter, way healthier, and way way cheaper.


    I'm never cooking with butter again.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  • #2
    1



    Way to go, SS! You are da grokkiest!

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    • #3
      1



      Was it by chance (hopefully) grass fed? Otherwise I hate to say you're getting a bunch of toxins in the fat if it wasn't.


      I soooo want some lard. I'd either make it or buy it, but to buy it around here- it's kinda too late. The pigs are typically slaughtered in the fall. I'll have to wait! Drat.


      Enjoy your lard!

      Comment


      • #4
        1



        I doubt the lard comes from grass-fed pigs. I am not sure if a grass-fed pig would give ideal meat and fat though, because they are omnivores. But I'm pretty sure they feed them with crap anyway.


        And here is where my eternal inner-conflict comes to life: organic butter or potentially inorganic lard? Which is the lesser evil? I'm hoping that, in this case, the potentially inorganic pig lard is...


        Here are some pics showing it's colour and texture:

        http://tinyurl.com/r7qdro

        http://tinyurl.com/r53h26

        http://tinyurl.com/q32avk

        “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
        "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
        "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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        • #5
          1



          Gorgeous lard!

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          • #6
            1



            Hmmm.. didn't even consider the omnivore angle. Yah, you're right.

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            • #7
              1



              Don't give up the butter altogether; pastured butter has CLA and Vitamin K2.

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              • #8
                1



                And A

                Comment


                • #9
                  1



                  i bought some lard yesterday at the farmer's market. they have a piece of paper that they gave with it that says they can't ship rendered lard over state lines due to FDA regulations.


                  I imagine people were doing bad things with lard at one point in time to cause the regulation, but it's kind of annoying now.


                  I did some research on raw milk and it's regulations this morning - apparently in the 1800's, every city had their dairys and since the people running them wanted to make their product as cheap as possible, they'd feed the cows trash. Which would cause people to get sick from the milk. I imagine similar things happened with lard.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1



                    Thanks SerialSinner, I was actually dreaming about rendering Lard last night! I’m going to my butcher and ask for some pig fat, the pork products they sell are from down south here and even though are grain feed are also free-range and it’s a small supplier so hopefully the pigs are happy pigs (which equals better meat!).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents about rendering fat. I did some beef fat a week or so back, and it was really simple.


                      I put the fat in my pan (cast iron) and set the heat on low, and left it for an hour or so. There was a nice pool of fat in the pan, so I just poured it through a strainer into my crock. Return the pan to low heat until there's another pool of fat. Strain into crock. Return to heat, strain into crock.


                      I turned it off for the night, and started it up again the next day after work. Heat, strain, heat, strian. Now I have a lovely crock full of beautiful white beef fat. I just bought another small crock so that I can work with pork.

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                      • #12
                        1



                        Has anyone tried this in a crockpot? I've wrangled a promise from my farmer that he'll get me some pork fat (he sells it to a local restaurant) and I don't think I've got a pot big enough for the job but my crock might work.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1



                          That would probably work. The only reason I opted not to was simply because of pouring. It would have been more difficult to pour out of a crockpot than a frying pan. You could try it and see how it works. I'm sure as long as you use low heat it'll be ok.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            1



                            Check this out:

                            http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/17/FDI7124Q6V.DTL


                            I recently lived in SF for some months (in The Mission). I loved every minute of it, and was blown away by the food.


                            I perceived a huge hype for vegetarian and vegan food during my stay, so I'm glad to see such a praise for Lard coming from the area.

                            “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                            "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1



                              We cut our fat into roughly 1/2' cubes (trimmed of any meat) and put them into a big steel pot on a flame tamer on low heat. It takes us between 8 and 16 hours, depending upon what we are doing. It needs regular stirring to stop any fat from burning on the bottom and we start siphoning lard off about 2/3 of the way through (strained prior to cooling and storing).


                              Higher heat = shorter cooking time and cracklings (the fat gets solid on the outside and crackles up). However the lard turns brown quicker and will smell stronger. Dark brown crackling are burnt and taste bad. You want them to be medium brown and fluffy. That way they ooze out liquid fat when you chomp them


                              Lower heat = longer time and no cracklings. The fat will release all of the lard and sort of dissolve into a squidgy brown mess, giving you more lard at the end. This also allows you to get more lard before it goes brown.


                              We go for the slow option and our lard is light amber when liquid and pure white when cold. I think this is the best result. We do up to maybe 15lb? of fat at once and we want to get the highest quantity and quality. This means we miss out on the cracklings, but we can't eat a few lb at once and we would rather have the extra pint or two of lard.


                              You can probably make cracklings by just deep frying some cubes of fat in lard? We might try this sometime when we are deep frying some meat...

                              The "Seven Deadly Sins"

                              • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
                              • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
                              • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

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