How to Render Lard the Right Way (Snow White, Odorless) – My Humble Kitchen

How to Render Lard the Right Way (Snow White, Odorless)

By Diana Bauman On February 18, 2011 · 192 Comments

Rendering lard is pretty much just heating up the pork fat slowly so that it melts and separates itself from anything else within the fat.  If the fat is left too long the cracklings will start to burn causing your lard to turn a deep yellow and ends up having a piggie, chicharon type of smell and taste to it instead of being odorless.  If you’re using the lard to fry, this isn’t a big deal.  However if you’re using it for pastries you don’t want a piggie, chicharon flavor to your pie or cookie.  Get the picture?

In the picture above the first spoon you can tell is snow white leaf lard and odorless.  The second spoon is off color and yes has a bit of a piggie smell.  It’s still great for frying and sauteing.  However, I do reserve my snow white leaf lard for pastries.

How to Render Lard the Right Way (Snow White, Odorless)

Step 1. Cut your leaf lard or back fat into small pieces. *Tip – Ask your family farmer to have the fat ground. The process is much quicker and in my opinion, leads to better results.

Step 2. Add 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of acrock pot and add the cut up pork fat. (The water will prevent the fat from burning before the pork fat starts to melt. It will end up evaporating itself out) Set the crockpot on low and let it go for about an hour.

Step 3. In about an hour check the crock. It’s important to keep an eye on the crock to make sure the fat doesn’t start to burn. When the fat starts to melt, it will separate itself from the “cracklings,” (crisp residue left after lard has been rendered). At this point after about 1.5 – 2 hours once the cracklings start to settle on the bottom of the crock, it’s done!

Step 4. Ladle the melted fat into a cheese clothlined colander separating the melted fat from the cracklings.

The cracklings should not be crispy, they should be soft and ground like.

From here, ladle the melted pork fat into pint sized mason jars. The fat should look a pale yellow in the mason jar. Let them cool on the counter. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

You can now return the cracklings to the crock pot and let them go until they have turned brown and crispy. You can use these for different foods or sprinkled on top of salads. They are delicious!

One thing to remember on this entire process is that once the pork fat starts to melt, go ahead and start separating it right away, mix the remaining fat allowing more to fat to render out. There’s no magic number to how many hours it needs to render but really it’s going to take practice. Have fun with it and don’t worry if it smells a little piggie, it still tastes great and the health benefits make this process entirely worth it.

Let’s get back to tradition, let’s render lard


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