Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

Categories: Fats & Oils    

Lard is a natural fat that is terrific for baking and cooking. When you make it yourself, it becomes a real food, which commercially made lard is not.

Homemade lard in glass topped mason jars, with bows
Image by: Arnold Gatilao

Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 2 to 8 hours Makes: 1 pint lard per pound of fat Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Dairy free Egg free Grain free Soy free

Go to a butcher and have him save you some pork fat from an organic pastured pig.

This process will take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours depending on the level of heat that you use and the amount you choose to make. Every pound of unrendered pork fat should make about one pint of rendered lard.

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Pork fat
  • Cut the fat into small pieces. Put in a large pot and place the pot on the burner. Turn on low and stir and let it slowly melt down. After it has melted there will be lots of bits that did not melt. Pour the melted fat and bits through a strainer into another pot or large bowl. These are the “cracklins”, and you can eat them - they're delicious.
  • The fat will still be dark looking and have bits of grit floating around in it and is not yet ready to use yet.
  • The next step is to add an equal amount of water to the fat. This does not have to be an exact measurement, you can just "eye it" and add what looks to be about an equal amount. Bring this fat / water mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Put the pot somewhere to cool over night. In the morning the fat will have risen to the top and be firm and the water will be underneath, along with a lot of the unappealing gritty fat bits.
  • Spoon out all the fat in the pot, put it in a clean pot. Again, add an equal amount of water, and bring it to a boil. Turn it down and simmer for 20 minutes and let it cool down just like you did before.
  • At this point the lard should be nice and white looking. Take it out of the pan and discard the water. You can now use your lard or store it. It will store for a little while in the fridge but for long term storage you can put it in a container and freeze it. Try and use it up within a couple months.
  • You can now use this fresh, homemade, additive free lard for all your hot cooking. This is a stable fat, that won't break down into trans fats at high temperatures.
  • It can also be used for deep frying. Be sure to not let it get too hot. I've read that 350 to 375 is the best for lard. With some practice, you'll know just the right temperature. Follow the instructions on your deep fryer.
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