Lard How To Make It
Do you want to know how to make your own lard? If so then you have come to the right place. Read on and you will learn not only how to make lard but also other useful stuff like what the heck is it used for, which fat is best, etc.
As most people know, lard comes from animal fat. And everyone knows it is horrible for you, right! I mean nobody eats this stuff anymore since everyone is health conscious. Right! Yet people are fatter in the USA than ever before in history... hmmm??? Maybe everything you have been told about healthy eating is wrong! But I digress!
OK, lets get started. The first thing you will need to do if you want to make your own lard is to kill an animal. Lard can be made from most animals but not all animals produce the same quality of lard. Heck it is probably more accurate to say that the various fats on any animal are not all equal. Some people will say stuff like, suet comes from cows and lard comes from pigs. This is a gross over generalization that is at best a half truth. Lard and suet can be made from both pigs and from cows. And it can be made from many other animals as well.
The truth is that not all fat is equal and not all species of animal are equal and not all animals of a given species are equal.
The quality of the lard is can also be affect by the diet of the animal. Corn and berries will produce an animal that has better lard making abilities than the same species of animal that is living off of sage in some semi-arid region. But I guess in a survival situation beggars can't be choosers. Just keep in mind these things and you might be able to alter your source from say deer to fowl and increase the palatability of your lard.
Deer Lard Fat! Deer have a lot of fat in the body cavity where the intestines and internal organs are. The harder fat here is not suitable for lard. It does have uses for other things such as pemmican, soap, or candles. But for lard stay away from this. Instead look for the muscle fats.
The faster you remove and render deer fat the better. Since deer fat is high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids it will go bad quicker than other less healthy fats. Cut off and collect the fat from the deer muscle.
Pig Lard Fat. Pigs are a better source of fat than deer for a couple of reason. Pigs tend to have more fat than lean deer and pig fat tends to melt at a lower temperature on average than deer fat. So cut away the pig fat just like with deer and stay away from the hardest fat around the Kidney area.
Waterfowl Lard Fat. Waterfowl aren't the first animal that comes to mind when talking about lard but ducks and guess have fats that are great for making lard. As always cut the fat away quickly and start the lard making process as quickly as possible.
Cow Lard Fat. Cows contain both suet and lard making fat. Stay away from the hard kidney fat and collect the fat from elsewhere. OK, you can leave some on for taste when cooking up those steaks. But the rest should be rendered as quickly as possible.
Other sources: Bear, small games, pronghorn, bison, horses etc. Just keep in mind the hints above on what is good lard and what is good suet and you should be OK. Lard will melt easier than fat used for suet.
How To Make Lard
Making lard can be done indoors but I would advise against it. The smell is strong and not pleasant.
Collect the fat and chop it up into little pieces. The smaller the better.
For every pound of fat add a half a cup of water. Place in a large pot and add low heat slowly.
Stirring occasionally. This is a long process.
The fat should only start melting after an hour or so. If it starts melting sooner then you probably have the heat to high.
You will start to hear pops. Once you hear the pops you will need to be more vigilant with your stirring. Not continuous be once ever 10 minutes is not enough.
You should now see cracklings floating on the surface. Keep stirring frequently, but be mindful and wear protection from popping of fat that could burn you.
When the cracklings sink to the bottom the lard is done. It has been rendered.
Let it cool some and the pour it through a fine strainer. Strain it through cheese cloth type material is preferred.
The stuff caught by the strainer is what is known as cracklings. Some people absolutely love eating cracklings and cracklings can be bought at stores in bags. They are sold just like potato chips.
The lard will be a yellowish liquid. Refrigerate it overnight and when it solidifies it will turn white. If you have means to keep it cool either by refrigeration or because it is winter time then you have a means to make it last. If refrigerated it will last for a few months. If frozen it will last a year.
Cooking Oil, as a shortening in pastry dough and pie crusts, used to seasoning cast iron pots, used to make soap, rust retardant on tools, fuel for lamps, applied as a poultice to burns and inflamed areas, as moisturizer to prevent chapping and cracking and as can be used to help refurbish leather.