How to Render Down Pork Fat

Written by michelle hogan
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How to Render Down Pork Fat
Lard was once the fat of choice by many. (Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images)

Pork fat rendered down is lard. Rendering fat is the art of melting it down. In fact, lard contains less saturated fat than butter, is a good source of vitamin D, and has no trans fats unless it's been hydrogenated commercially. The pastry crusts, biscuits and fried chicken made with lard are often deemed superior to those made even with butter.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Heavy bottomed pot
  • Water
  • Pork fat

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  1. 1

    Purchase your pig fat from a local farmer or butcher, if you don't have your own pigs.

  2. 2

    Chop the fat into small chunks.

  3. 3

    Place a large Dutch oven or other heavy, large pot on your stove.

  4. 4

    Add 1 cup of water to the pot and then add 0.907kg. of the cubed fat.

  5. 5

    Heat the pot over medium low heat.

  6. 6

    Stir the pork fat every few minutes as the fat starts to melt. Small pieces of fried pork will start to pop in the pot as the fat melts. These are cracklings and they will float to the top and can be strained off and eaten.

  7. 7

    Leave some of the cracklings into the pot. Once the cracklings sink to the bottom, the rendering process is complete and the fat is now lard.

  8. 8

    Let the lard cool for several hours and then strain it through a colander or piece of cheesecloth into a clean heat-proof bowl or pot. The lard will look yellow.

  9. 9

    Store it in a large container or put it in several small jars in the refrigerator. It will turn white in the refrigerator and will keep for about three months. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to year.

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