Grit Blogs > The Texas Pioneer Woman

How to Render Lard

I use lard to add taste and texture to baked goods such as pie crusts, biscuits, and tortillas. I also use lard to grease pie pans, cake molds, cookie sheets, and muffin tins. I can use lard basically in any recipe that calls for shortening.

It is easy to render lard also known as to make lard. I get the excess fat from the pig we butcher every year and set it aside. I cut this excess fat into about 1 inch cubes.  Once the pig is butchered and in the freezer I render lard from this excess fat.

Cubed Pork Fat 

I use a large lidded pot so I can do large batches of lard at a time. I render lard on top of my woodstove since I usually have it on during this time of the year and like it to do double duty when necessary. I also have done it on my stove top as well. I use a medium low temperature.

Rendering Pork Fat on top of Woodstove 

It will take a couple of hours to render the lard. The chunks of pork fat will get smaller as the liquid lard grows. After a few hours I will notice that the chunks of pork fat are not decreasing in size anymore. Once that happens I know that all of the lard has been rendered out of the pork fat.

Pork Fat Completely Rendered 

I let the lard cool a bit and then ladle the bigger chunks of pork fat to another container. I will use this pork fat to mix into the farm dogs’ dry dog food. The farm dogs love it!

I then pour the liquid lard through a paper coffee filter and cone. This clean lard is stored in glass or metal lidded containers in my freezer. When I am ready to use the lard I will place it in my refrigerator and use it in about a month’s time.

Lard Ready to be Used 

Learn more self-reliant skills at www.thetexaspioneerwoman.blogspot.com. 

larry tieszen
9/28/2012 2:16:36 PM

Enjoyed the article on "rendering lard." However, it would be interesting to describe the way it was usually done by early settlers in the midwest. That is, with a rendering barrel, cobs as the fire/heat source, special wooden paddle, pork ribs to be eaten later, etc. Remember cleaning and filling the intestines for good old home made sausage? Also, my family considered the "cracklings" to be a breakfast delicacy, usually reheated with a little water and eaten with bread, certainly home made. Larry