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Old 02-19-2011, 06:27 AM   #1
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frying out pork fat

we recently got a whole pig, and the butcher called for the order and asked me if i wanted the lard, and i said yes, does anyone know how to fry this out, i suppose it would be at a low temp, and do you cut it in small pieces or what---how do you store it afterwards

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Old 02-19-2011, 06:31 AM   #2
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My grand mother used a black cast iron kettle over a wood fire, she cut the pig fat into small pieces and put them into the kettle to melt, then fry....we got the cracklings out of the skin, she then poured the melted fat into galvanized lard buckets to harden.

Last edited by piratewoman; 02-19-2011 at 06:49 AM..
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:47 AM   #3
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^^ that's about how my father said they used to do it too. He was born in the early 30's. He said they always liked the rendered pork fat on popcorn.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:34 AM   #4
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I've read that you can render lard on the stovetop, in the oven, or even in a crockpot.

The process is the same for all, I believe -
  1. cut or grind up your pieces of fat - pea-size is good
  2. put some water in the bottom of your pan - maybe 1/4 inch
  3. fill the pan with your little pieces of fat
  4. cook it low and slow for several hours, until the fat is rendered out

I don't know temperatures or amounts, but there's plenty of instruction out on the web - just google "render lard" or "rendering lard".

Or maybe someone here will have a full-on recipe/method to share.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:42 AM   #5
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One more thing I remember my grandmama doing was straining the fat through a cheese cloth lined strainer to get the left over *bits* out of it. I am sure you could used a stove top and a large heavy pot on low heat to start out the melting process then up the heat till the skin is frying, cook till it's crispy. I wouldn't put in any water...water and fat do not mix well.

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Old 02-19-2011, 08:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratewoman View Post
....I wouldn't put in any water...water and fat do not mix well.
The water keeps the fat from starting to brown in the beginning of the process - it cooks out along with the water in the pork. It gets the melting going at a low temperature without starting to fry the lard. It evaporates out pretty early in the process.

It seems counterintuitive to use water along with fat, but every recipe I've seen for rendering lard calls for it.

It kind of makes sense, though, in that rendering is just the process of using heat to remove water (and a little bit of meat) from the pig fat.

Last edited by leeloo; 02-19-2011 at 08:16 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeloo View Post
The water keeps the fat from starting to brown in the beginning of the process - it cooks out along with the water in the pork. It gets the melting going at a low temperature without starting to fry the lard. It evaporates out pretty early in the process.

It seems counterintuitive to use water along with fat, but every recipe I've seen for rendering lard calls for it.

It kind of makes sense, though, in that rendering is just the process of using heat to remove water (and a little bit of meat) from the pig fat.

Good point leeloo, I guess using a very hot fire and a iron kettle is alot different than using a stove and a heavy pot.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:29 AM   #8
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I have made beef tallow like this, covering the beef fat pieces with water and cooking it down in the pan blending it with a hand blender into smaller pieces, when the bits are brown and the water is evaporated strain through a paint strainer add the rendered fat back to the pan with some water stir it for a minute or two as water takes the impurities out. I chill it all in the freezer till solid you will be able to lift the tallow off the water or ice in a solid piece it will be pure white. I store it in the freezer and chop off a hunk when I want to use some.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:36 AM   #9
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This brings back memories. I remember my father and his brothers slaughtering a pig on the family farm. There was this big black kettle over the fire outside and the pork fat was placed in this for a long time.

Everybody stood around like a party later eating the skins. Oh the simple good times and i'm not even that old, just 50.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:41 AM   #10
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This brings back memories. I remember my father and his brothers slaughtering a pig on the family farm. There was this big black kettle over the fire outside and the pork fat was placed in this for a long time.

Everybody stood around like a party later eating the skins. Oh the simple good times and i'm not even that old, just 50.
I'm 55 and my grand parents had a farm in Kingstree SC, every winter all of us kids got to go to the *country* to help granddaddy kill hogs.... there were 10 kids so that was ALOT of help for him. The boys would help granddaddy do the butchering and the girls would help grandmama do the processing of the meat, that included making the sausage and rendering the lard. That night grandmama would cook some of the meat and make crackling cornbread. I really miss those times.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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The Chicken Lady also just discussed this in another thread:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/lo...l#post14391897
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