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Discussion Starter #1
Let's assume we have some substantial chunks of kidney fat, etc., from a freshly-killed pig. We want to make rendered lard for soapmaking and/or cooking. I have seen at least three techniques:
1) Melt lard in large pot, skimming away all membranes, tissue, etc. and strain through several layers of cheesecloth.
2) boil fat in an equal amount of water until melted, then add another equal amount of water into the kettle, allow the entire mix to cool, and skim the fat off.
3)melt lard in a slow oven, then ladle into a bucket filled with cool water, then skim off fat as it coagulates on the surface of the water

What is your technique? Are any of these sufficient? I want the cleanest, purest lard I can make, and all of the techniques involving water scare me because I fear the excess water left after skimming might affect my soap recipes. Any suggestions?
 

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You can also melt the fat in the microwave and then strain it. Easier and lots faster.
Heather
 

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Any of those will work but we use the first option. Large kettle, melt lard, skim. This is where you cook the cracklings. If you leave a bit of meat on the pieces of fat, then squeeze the pieces, you get the lard and the cracklings. It's a bit tricky to get the cracklings at just the right "doneness." Also, we like our cracklings with no skin but done to crisp. Not as hard and good. A lard press is wonderful here.
 

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i've used the first method a few times, a few years back. no big deal. as i recall u might want to open a few windows as there's a bit of a smell to it. also don't run it too hot. i don't think u want it to smoke. but there's really nothing to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can imagine it smells quite a bit-which might be the factor that finally convinces me to buy a turkey fryer-the perfect vessel for rendering OUTDOORS! I'm glad it's not as hard as it might seem.
 

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I melt the lard slowly with a little water added to keep it from burning. I also add vitamin E oil to the lard afterwards if I am going to use it for soap.
The vitamin E gets rid of any smell.
(I just break open E caplets and squeeze them into the lard)
Good luck to you!
 

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That was one of my Jobs was Rendering out the Lard,I had a Big Cast Iron Kettle,put a little water in it start adding the Fat and cooking the Lard out of it.

Problem is I can no longer use Lard :waa:

big rockpile
 

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Before you invest in the fryer or anything else, you might want to be certain you like the finished lard soap. No matter what a soapmaker says they did to the animal fat before using it, I can smell it and frankly, we don't care for it. Try making a small batch with store bought lard even to be certain you enjoy it when completed. Better to find out you like it or not now before you have invested time/energy into a large batch.
 

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I render in the crock pot. On the "high" setting. It lets me go on and do other things and never fret about whether the lard is scorching. I don't use any water.

I strain the lard through a Bounty paper towell, into wide mouth canning jars and put on the ring and flat. They will all seal. When cooled, - so pretty and snow white.

In jars like that, it doesn't get strong with age. When you pop the ring, it smells just as nice as the day it was rendered.

homestead2
 

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I've been told salting it helps improve the smell, in beef tallow, does it make a difference in lard?
 
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