Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Update on the Lard Project

Yesterday's attempt to render lard was a dud.

Apparently, I am using an inferior type of fat. The fat around the organs is much better for making lard than the fat under the skin. Secondly, our hog wasn't all that fat, as it wasn't fully grown when we butchered it.

I cooked the cubes of skin/fat in a cast iron pan for over an hour, to no effect. The pieces were even sticking to the pan, in spite of my using the lowest heat. I am certain that melting fat shouldn't stick to the pan!

I tried adding water, as suggested by some of the instructions I read, but when the water had boiled away we were not really any further along in the process.

When I stopped working on this - because I needed to turn my hand to cooking dinner - I had achieved slightly melted, slimy/greasy cubes of skin and fat. I stuck the mess in the fridge, and this morning I found that I had, in fact, rendered about a tablespoonful of lard.

Due to these disappointing results, I went ahead and started on Plan B today - the cubes of fat are now in the crockpot. During the sunny hours, using the crockpot is "free" power, so I feel okay about using this method, in spite of basically wasting propane on this project yesterday.

If nothing else, the dogs are sending me signals that they think the results of my experiment - however it turns out - would make highly acceptable dog food! LOL


Brenda Maas said...

Ok I grew up on a farm and have never seen lard rendered on top of the stove; but who knows.
My mom rendered lard all her life and always cooked it in the oven.
A long, slow process; but she had the whitest lard around. After what she called the "first rendering" she poured off the lard into containers, then the remaining "fat" went back into the oven for a second rendering. So on and so forth. Each subsequent batch was a little darker in colour.
I have to say that french fries done in real pork lard are the tastiest I have ever eaten; although I have read that duck fat produces the most flavourful ones of all.
Moms lard produced the flakiest pie crusts you have ever seen lol.

You might want to try the oven method.

Laurie Matherne said...

Oh Lord. Trouble with Lard! What's next?