Have you ever wondered if you can make pork lard at home? Well you can and it not that difficult. I will explain how to render the lard and then open kettle can the finished product.
- Purchase ground pork lard or grind it yourself. You can usually find lard from your local butcher or on Craigslist. Here are a few places in MN. The smaller the pieces of lard the faster it will render.
- Place chunks of ground or cut up lard in slow cooker set on high.
- Stir or break up chunks after 30 min. to 1 hr- to make sure fat is heated evenly.
- After 3-4 hours of heating the lard on high in the slow cooker there will clear liquid lard that can be separated from the firm lard. The clear liquid lard now can be removed from the slow cooker. Ladle clear liquid lard through a flour sack towel supported by a stainless steel mesh strainer. DO NOT use a plastic colander as this will melt very quickly with the hot lard. This process needs to be repeated 7-8 times to maximize the rendered lard yield. Total time to render 10 lbs. of lard is 8-10 hours.
- After you have completed many repetitions of the pour through strainer and squeeze through the strainer you will be left with what is called “crackles”. The crackles are the soft/firm like lard that will not render into a liquid. These can be fried in a pan and then eaten and the flavor is like bacon. Crackles can be frozen and used later in hash browns, fried potatoes, corned beef hash, combined with lean meats for cooking.
- Wash canning jars, then put empty canning jars in 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Take jars out using oven mitts and fill jars with hot lard. Wipe rims of jars with hot clean wash cloth , put lids and rims on, remember: “tight but not with all your might.”
- After you place in jars this is what it should look like. Jars are placed in a cake pan as a precaution just in case a jar were to break. How do I know this? Well I’ve had jars with the bottom crack. This is most likely with highsugar or high fat content canned items.
- After jars have had a chance to cool for 8 hours the lard should look white, like the photo.