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  • Writer's pictureHayley Parker

Rendering Lard

Updated: Mar 23

There is good reason having a glass jar of rendered fat in the fridge is making a come back. Tallow is inexpensive, vitamin rich, and a great high heat oil. It is easy to make whether you raise your own livestock or reach out to a local farmer. We personally love to interchange this cooking oil with a quality olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee in our home.

The recipe I offer is exactly how I render our lard here on the farm to make tallow that we use in many of our seasonal dishes. It is also the base for our whipped body moisturizer. That's right, good old fashioned animal fats are making a comeback in skincare. I could go on and on of the benefits and why you really should commit to having a jar in your fridge at all times but... I will spare you. Go try it out for yourself and thank me after.

You will need:

( or grass-fed lard/tallow of choice)

I used about five pounds

– Crockpot

– Knife

– Cheesecloth

– Mason jar

Step One: Freeze the fat for a few minutes so it's easier to cut through. Get the crockpot (or dutch oven) heating up on low.

Step Two: Cut the fat into 1/2″ chunks and throw them into the crockpot. If you'd like the tallow to be less “meaty” tasting at the end of this all (such as for cosmetic purposes), be sure to trim off any extra bits of meat that are left on the fat. Add three cups of water and two tablespoons of salt.

Step Three: Cover the tallow and allow it to heat up to a simmer. Stir occasionally to ensure the fat doesn't burn. The fat will melt over time. The process is quite simple as long as you keep the heat low and steady for about 6-8 hours. Do not rush the process.

Step Four: Once the meat/lard leftover becomes crispy and bacon-like, the tallow has finished rendering. Use a slotted spoon to remove the large chunks that are left.

Step Five: Whatever is left pour through a colander lined with cheese-cloth or a small mesh strainer. We want to make sure there are no chunks left in our tallow.

Step Five: Let the cooked down fat cool and place in the fridge. Once the tallow has solidified you can take it out of the refrigerator. Scoop the tallow into a mason jar making sure to not scoop any of the water/now jello-like substance at the bottom of the pot.

Repeat from step 3 a run through two more times if using tallow for cosmetic purposes or if looking to rid the “porky” flavor as much as possible. This will leave you with a very clean tallow. Store in glass jars. Store your tallow in the fridge to spoon out what you need as a cooking oil or to add for cosmetic purposes.

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