Rendering your own lard is as simple as it gets. All you need is a bit of pork fat and some time. If the fat comes from a pig that lived in a pasture in the sunshine and ate a nutritious diet, that lard will be one of the healthiest fats you can eat.Not only is the lard good for you, it is practically unbeatable when it comes to cooking. It behaves at high temperatures. Is perfect for frying. Makes flaky wonderful pie crusts.
Heat the oven to 280 degrees. Next grab some pork fat. Most fat is removed from the hog in narrow slices. In order to shorten rendering time, most home cooks cube the fat into smaller pieces first. I roughly cut the pieces of fat into chunks about 1 inch cubed.
Place the pork fat into a giant roasting pan and stick it in the oven and bake uncovered. Be sure to turn the fan above your stove on high while rendering lard.
In 30 minutes you will begin to see the fat melting, like a giant, greasy iceberg. In order to speed things up you can take a potato masher and squash the fat as it melts.
After 2 hours the lard will be done. Use a slotted spoon to remove most of the cracklings. You can move these to a paper towel to drain if you want to eat them. Or you can feed them to your chickens.
Last, use a cheese cloth, a fine mesh strainer, tea towel or a milk filter to strain the lard into storage containers. I use glass canning jars.
Wipe the rims, place lids and rings on top of your jars. Leave on counter to cool overnight.
Tomorrow the lard will be snow white.
Lard can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 months, or in the freezer pretty much forever. 🙂