If you make it a habit to trim the fat from your meats before cooking, don’t throw away the fat–you can render it to use in cooking. This process will give you homemade lard. Cheap & easy to do!
For large amounts of lard making, check with meat and butcher shops where you can buy fresh fat by the pound.
- Clean fat pieces thoroughly then wipe with a damp cloth.
- Cut into small cubes (about 1/2″ to 1″). If the pieces are too large, you won’t get as much fat out.
- Place fat in a double boiler. For every pound of fat, add 1/2 cup of water.
- Cook until all the water evaporates and the fat is clear.
- Remove from heat, stir frequently until it’s cool enough not to burn you if it splashes, then strain through 3 layers of cheesecloth. Allow to set and cool overnight. The lard will be on top and solid.
- If the lard isn’t as white or clear as you prefer, repeat the process with the just made batch of strained, rendered fat.
- Refrigerate and use when frying dishes or needing fat for cooking and baking. Can also be frozen.
Make sure to always be near when heating the fat, it can start on fire if the heat is too high.
Rendering fat like this to make lard that we can use in our cooking may not seem a healthy choice to some (cholesterol anyone?), but there are others who believe traditional fats from natural sources, not man-made processed fat, to be healthier than what we’re consuming today.