Rendering Lard

When we made sausage from venison right before Christmas, we went to the hog farmer up the road and purchased about 20 pounds of “trimmings” to blend with it. “Trimmings” really is mostly the fat leftover when hogs are processed. We used a good deal of it, and what was left was put into the freezer. This weekend, I decided to render it into lard.

There are a few ways to render lard, but I chose the crock pot for this batch for several reasons, the least of which is not the fact that using the crock pot requires the least of my time and attention.

I used a 6 quart crock pot and simply took the frozen trimmings out of the packages and put it right into the crock pot. We had finely ground our trimmings to use in the sausage making.

Rendering Lard

Then I turned the crock pot on low, put the lid on it, and went with Bernie visit with the plant lady up the road. Several hours later, the lard was slowly simmering.

Rendering Lard

I stirred it from time to time to break it up as it thawed and began melting. If you are using trimmings, just cut them into small cubes or chunks before rendering.

I left the fat in the crock pot on low overnight, and then put the lard in canning jars this morning.

Rendering Lard

Since not everything was fat, there was some meat at the bottom of the pot. I strained the lard through a metal mesh strainer, and that worked just fine for lard we will be using to cook with. I save the meat pieces I strain out from the lard. This makes great seasoning for beans or other dishes. I just put mine in a container in the refrigerator.

If I had planned to use the lard for soap making, I would have used cheese cloth so the lard was as clear as possible. For cooking, this creamy white lard will be just perfect.

rendered lard

There is no need to process the lard in a canner. Once the jars are filled with the hot lard and the lid applied, the lid will seal. The jars can be stored on a shelf at room temperature with little worry. But if you are at all concerned, just freeze or refrigerate them.


6 Responses to “Rendering Lard”

  1. Cat says:

    I saw rendering lard, and wondered if you were going to make soap. I’ve not rendered lard myself, but I know when my grandma made pie crust with lard, wow! YUM!


  2. CeeCee says:

    Is there anything you add to it to remove that ‘piggy’ smell? I had a neighbor that rendered lard and it made the whole house stink like pigs.

  3. frugalmom says:

    I think even if her whole house did smell like pigs, well, she just made that simply simple syrup with lemon and basil. That would have fixed it right up, right? 🙂

  4. Angie says:

    You did a beautiful job, Penny.

    I have never had the fat stink as suggested above. It just smells like pork cooking.

  5. Dana says:

    I’ve never seen lard rendered in a crock pot, I swear I learn something new every day!!

    I’ve never had lard smell either but we render out ours out side in a big pot and then make cracklin’s.

    Your lard looks good though!!
    Glad it turned out for you!!

  6. basicliving says:

    Cat – pie crust made with lard is the best! It’s the only thing I use when I make my pie crust.

    CeeCee – I’ve never had that piggy smell when rendering lard. Never. It may smell a little like pork cooking, but it’s not stinky at all. And rendering it in a crock pot really doesn’t produce much of a smell at all.

    Frugalmom – I agree. If there was an odor in the house, the simple syrup would certainly take care of it 🙂

    Angie – right? I actually like the smell when rendering lard!

    Dana – the crock pot method is certainly the easiest if you don’t have a huge amount to render. You won’t get crackin’ from it though. For cracklin’ you’ll need that higher heat.

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