Monday, May 25, 2009

How to make lard

Lard - sounds like a daunting task, doesn't it? Well, don't let it fool you. It's much easier than it sounds! Are you ready? Let's go!

You will need:
  • Polyface Pork fat (these come in 10 lb bags)
  • A Crock pot (a 4-qt holds 5 lbs of fat)
  • Strainer or cheese cloth or slotted spoon
  • Clean container to store your lard in (I use wide-mouth quart jars)
  1. Thaw the lard. I usually set mine in the sink overnight. Put about half of it into your crockpot. Leave the other half of the lard in the bag and place it into your fridge. Turn your crockpot to LOW and let it sit all day until all of the fat is melted and appears clear.
  2. Pour it through your strainer or cheese cloth, or pull out the chunks of fat that are left. If you want to, you can fry these for cracklin's. I disposed of mine.
  3. Pour the lard into your containers, let them cool just a bit, then refrigerate it. It will keep almost indefinitely in the fridge.
Viola! You have made lard! It will harden in the fridge turning a beautful white.

Start over at step one with the other half of your pork fat. At this point, I ran the crockpot over night and then strained it in the morning. Worked perfectly. 10 pounds of fat makes about 3 quarts of lard.

For those of you who don't have a crock pot - don't despair! You can still make it. Just put the fat into a nice large pot and turn your burner onto low - as low as it will go. You will want to watch it a little more carefully and stir it on occasion to make sure that it doesn't burn. Follow steps 2 & 3 like normal.

Uses for lard:
Use it for frying or sauteing anything - anytime you need an oil, just use the lard - try my fried chicken recipe. It will "wow" your family and guests.
Use it in place of shortening in recipes. It's much healthier for you. Pie crusts are excellent made with lard.

3 comments:

Kim said...

For those unfamiliar with lard, here's an article I just read in Slate about lard making a comeback: http://www.slate.com/id/2219314/?wpisrc=eDialog.

And speaking of Slate articles, this looks like a pretty good series they're brewing up that celebrates food: http://www.slate.com/id/2219381/?wpisrc=eDialog.

KathyinMD said...

Wow, the crock pot would be so much easier than tending the cast iron pot all day. Great idea, thank you!

My Wild Crazy Life said...

Can you reuse your lard. For example, if I want to fry potatoes, and there is lard left, can I reuse it?

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