Farm Adventures with LARD!!

ioujc

SILVER BULLET
Today and yesterday was time to experiment!! I had gotten what I THOUGHT
was a large bag of rabbit meat out of the freezer. After letting it thaw, I realized it was actually a huge bag of fat from the pigs that I had slaughtered a while back. So, I decided to try my hand at making lard>>>>or at least an attempt to make it!

Using only common sense and some inherent knowledge, I placed about 4 and one half gallons of fat strips into the very large electric cooker I have and cooked it overnight on about 350 degrees. I then discovered that it was too high of a heat to make good pie crust type lard, but that it could be used for my animals (dogs, cats, & chickens) as well as used in stews and other cooking wonders!

I took out the cooked chunks fat, placed them on a large cookie sheet, and squeezed out all of the fat with a fork by mashing the chunks flat. I ended up with a large amount of liquid fat, both still in the cooker and that I squeezed out on the cookie sheet. I then decanted this into quart jars and sealed them with lids, placing them into the freezer for use later. I was going to strain it, however after figuring that it could only be used for frying and cooking, but not pastries or pie crust, I did not go through this step.

In addition, I made two large feeding blocks for my chickens. I made one in a 29 ounce can that had fruit in it>>>Until I ate it that is! And one in a 39 ounce coffee can. I put into the chicken blocks, raisins, corn and some tomatoes I had in the refrigerator and stirred it all up before placing a straw in the partially congealed fat to make a hole all the way through the block. This is so it could be tied on a string for the chickens to peck at. I will freeze these also, until winter and then give them to the chickens for added energy and nutrients when they need it most.

No, I didn't get to make the high quality lard that makes such wonderful pie crusts and pastries, but I did get food that will sustain my animals when winter makes even the chubbiest of us feel cold to the bone!
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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If you want your lard to be shelf stable, make sure to bring it to 255 degrees before straining it. You can then pour it into clean (preferably sterilized, but at least dishwasher cleaned) jars and immediately put a lid on. They will seal as they cool and will keep for months (or years if in a very cool place)

And yes, lard is a wonderful addition to the animal's diets, especially in colder weather.

Summerthyme
 

Weft and Warp

Senior Member
I render lard using a different method and it seems to work really well. I run the fat through a hand grinder, place it in a large pot with about 1 quart of water and (about) 1/4 cup of salt. I Simmer this mixture for about 2 hours , and let it cool until the lard solidifies at the top --- I usually I do this on a cold fall/winter day and just set the pot outside in the cold or in the snow to cool, protected from animals, of course :) ). Or as an alternative, I place it in a fridge until it's solidified. Once solidified, I pry off the lard layer from the bottom saltwater layer and discard the saltwater layer. If the lard is not clean enough, I repeat the process (with salt and water again --- The salt and water help remove unwanted proteins, I believe, and removes a lot of the undesirable smells that lard can have).
 

modernbeat

Dallas, TX
While I buy lard (it's just too cheap to make) I do use tallow, the beef version of lard. It's hard to find on the commercial market unless you are mail-ordering it or have access to commercial food supplies.
 

ioujc

SILVER BULLET
Thank you everyone for the comments and ideas!

Thank you especially Summerthyme>>>for how to make it able to be stored without refrigeration>>>how wonderful!!
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
I did it for the first time this past winter. I used a heavy cast iron pot and chopped up the fat. Set it on low to start the process and then turned it up a bit once it started melting. I cooked it until there were no more bubbles, took the cracklins out and strained the remaining lard through muslin into an asparagus cooking pot. Store that in the fridge. It was pretty slick. Next time I am going to grind as opposed to chop to get the pieces finer. Made soap with it as well as cook with it. This year I am going to try canning it (thank you to ST for the above info). It has kept fine in the fridge.
 

Cardinal

Snark: a higher form of communication
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While I buy lard (it's just too cheap to make) I do use tallow, the beef version of lard. It's hard to find on the commercial market unless you are mail-ordering it or have access to commercial food supplies.
I have some beef fat from grass fed cows I have been meaning to render.
I have read that the corn fed versions of both beef and pigs will interfere with body chemistry.
 
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