How to Render Lard – in your crockpot!!!
Perhaps you heard the good news that lard (from pastured pigs) is a great source of vitamin D. Or maybe you read this post on Seven Reasons You SHOULD Eat Lard. Or maybe like me, you bought a local pastured pig from a nearby farmer and it came with 3 big bags of pig fat. For free. Whatever the case, lard is delicious to cook with and actually very good for you in moderation. And compared to some of my other favorite healthy, naturally saturated fats like butter and coconut oil, it is much less expensive, especially if you render it yourself. I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of intimidated to try this the first time, but it is really easy! Especially if you have a crock pot!
Step 1: Chop the pig fat into 1 inch chunks and put in crock-pot
Step 2: Turn crock-pot on low heat for the day. I cook mine for 10 to 12 hours.
Step 3: Throughout the day you can occasionally stir. After 10 to 12 hours, turn the crock-pot off and let the lard begin to cool. Once the crockpot is cool enough to handle, strain into your desired storage containers.
While liquid the lard will be this color, but when it hardens, it will change to a creamy white color.
Some people like to season the leftover “cracklin’s” and eat as a snack. A little salt and your favorite spice makes this a very nutrient dense snack that is easy to take to go or when traveling.
Lard is an extremely stable fat, which is part of the reason people are beginning to return to using it over hydrogenated fats like crisco (yuck). Although you can store it at room temperature temporarily, once you render the lard, its best kept in the freezer or refrigerator for long term storage. Lard is delicious to bake with, use for sautéing veggies and meats and great for greasing pans.
If you are looking for ways to save money, sometimes local farmers will sell their extra pig fat for pennies per pound, since not many people want to buy it. It is a very economical way to get more vitamin D and Vitamin DELICIOUS into your diet!
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