Rendering Pork Lard

Now that we've disproved theories that lard is less healthy than vegetable oil (which, as we've come to find out can be harmful) we're getting back to basics to create odorless, white cooking lard that's rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin d, e, and a. Lard is perfect for frying, baking, seasoning and roasting. 

Our favorite recipe comes from the blog called Today In Dietzville. 

First you'll start off with your Saddle Ridge Farm pork fat. 

Cut uniform cubes of pig fat and place them into a large cast iron skillet. The size of the cubes of fat doesn’t matter as much as trying to make them relatively close to the same size. I did one-inch cubes. This will help all the fat to render evenly; and you won’t have to deal with fishing smaller bits of fat out that would burn more quickly than larger pieces. Also make sure that all the bits of muscle have been cut off the fat. Bits of burned meat will compromise the flavor of your finished lard.

Cut uniform cubes of pig fat and place them into a large cast iron skillet. The size of the cubes of fat doesn’t matter as much as trying to make them relatively close to the same size. I did one-inch cubes.

This will help all the fat to render evenly; and you won’t have to deal with fishing smaller bits of fat out that would burn more quickly than larger pieces.

Also make sure that all the bits of muscle have been cut off the fat. Bits of burned meat will compromise the flavor of your finished lard.

Place the cast iron skillet on your stovetop on medium heat.  As the skillet heats, the cubes of fat will begin to release liquid oil — lard!

Place the cast iron skillet on your stovetop on medium heat. 

As the skillet heats, the cubes of fat will begin to release liquid oil — lard!

Stir occasionally with a wooden or metal spoon. Do NOT use plastic; it will melt! 10 to 15 minutes into cooking, your fat cubes will be swimming in lard. The longer the pig fat cooks, the more lard is rendered out. During the first 20 minutes or so, the fat only requires a bit of stirring. After this, however, the process moves along quickly, so don’t go too far! When the pieces of pig fat turn brown and slightly crisp, the rendering process is over. You may notice that some smoke begins to rise from the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat before or as soon as this happens.

Stir occasionally with a wooden or metal spoon. Do NOT use plastic; it will melt!

10 to 15 minutes into cooking, your fat cubes will be swimming in lard. The longer the pig fat cooks, the more lard is rendered out.

During the first 20 minutes or so, the fat only requires a bit of stirring. After this, however, the process moves along quickly, so don’t go too far!

When the pieces of pig fat turn brown and slightly crisp, the rendering process is over. You may notice that some smoke begins to rise from the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat before or as soon as this happens.

Using a fine mesh sieve, very carefully strain the rendered lard into a heat-proof glass container. Do not use plastic! It will melt!

Using a fine mesh sieve, very carefully strain the rendered lard into a heat-proof glass container. Do not use plastic! It will melt!

Try to keep the sediment out of the glass jars as you pour. This keeps your lard pure and creamy white. Allow the jars to sit and cool until the lard has solidified. If your house is very warm, the lard may not totally solidify. That’s ok. Just make sure it’s cool before storing.

Try to keep the sediment out of the glass jars as you pour. This keeps your lard pure and creamy white.

Allow the jars to sit and cool until the lard has solidified. If your house is very warm, the lard may not totally solidify. That’s ok. Just make sure it’s cool before storing.