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Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

Author:           Updated - August 4, 2020
Categories: Fats & Oils    

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

Homemade lard and a small bowl of cracklins
Image by: Thora Toft
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

Lard will have different flavors depending on the type of pork fat that you start with and how high of heat you use.

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.

Go to a butcher and have him save you some pork fat from an organic pastured pig. Leaf lard / fat is the best for making lard for pastry making.

Pro tips for perfect Lard:
  • Leaf lard is made with the fat from the belly of a pig, in particular in the area surrounding the kidneys. This has the least flavor, and is often the best used for pastry. This lard will tend to be a bit lighter in color. This fat it harder to find. Ask a good butcher and he should be able to get it for you.
  • Other fat from a pig can be used, and is great for frying or if you don't mind lard with a bit of pork flavor. Other types of pork fat may have a bit more color. It is much easier to get other kinds of pork fat from your butcher.
  • Try out both types and try them for different uses.
  • When making lard, trim all of the skin and meat from the fat if you're trying to make lard with less flavor, and with a bit less color. It is fine to leave a bit on if you're not worried about a bit of pork flavor and you don't mind lard that's got a bit of color.
  • When making lard that you want to have the least flavor and color, the key is very low heat, and not allowing the fat to brown at all. It's also important to keep stirring it so the pieces don't clump together or stick to the pan at all.
  • It is also best to scoop out the fat before allowing the fat pieces to brown. Often what I'll do is scoop out about 80% to 90% of the fat, to make the nice white lard, then let the fat pieces continue cooking and turn them into cracklins by allowing them to brown and get crispy. This bit of fat will have more flavor and color and will be perfect for pan frying or any other use where a bit of flavor and color is perfectly fine.
  • Homemade lard is also great for soap making.
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Helpful Tips Above
To help you make it perfectly the first time!
Homemade Lard
Lard is a natural fat that's great for frying, baking and deep frying. When cooking saturated fats make the best choice since they're heat stable, and don't break down into unhealthy substances. It works great for making your own Homemade French Fries or Coconut Shrimp.
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
Ingredients:
Pork fat
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Leaf Lard: This is fat from the belly of a pig and is often the best type for white flavorless lard used in pastry making.
  • Other Pork Fat: Any pork fat can be used, and is great for frying and deep frying or if you don't mind lard with a bit of pork flavor and a bit of color.
Directions:
  • Cut the fat into small or very small pieces. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to a large pot. Add the fat pieces to the pot and place on the stove. Turn on very low and stir and let it slowly melt down. The water is simply to prevent the fat from browning, which will make a lighter lard and less pork flavor. This water will evaporate during the cooking process.
  • For your lard to have the least flavor and color, the key is very low heat, and not allowing the fat to brown at all. It's important to keep stirring it so the pieces don't clump together or stick to the pan at all.
  • Cook it until the fat pieces are just barely changing color. Scoop out the fat with a metal soup ladle before allowing the fat pieces to brown. You can scoop out about 80% to 90% of the fat, to make nice white lard. Strain the lard through a metal strainer and into a heat safe jar. Let cool then refrigerate or freeze.
  • Let the rest of the fat pieces continue cooking and turn them into "cracklins" by allowing them to brown and get crispy - they're delicious! The remaining fat will have more flavor and color and will be perfect for pan frying or any other use where a bit of flavor and color is perfectly fine.
  • Store in the fridge for a month or in the freezer in air tight containers for several months.

Use your lard for making pastries, for cooking and frying, or for deep frying. Try making your own Homemade French Fries that the whole family will love!

Enjoy!

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