Preventing Burnt Lard

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 05, 2011 at 11:26 PM

I attempted to render lard this afternoon. It was taking longer than I expected, very little had melted. The cracklins had started to float so I figured another minute or two and they would sink and I could remove from heat. I go back and everything is dark brown! My apartment filled with smoke as well.

Are dark burnt cracklings or lard edible? Can someone suggest a technique so this doesn't happen again?



on February 06, 2011
at 01:34 AM

I would throw it out and try again. Use the lowest heat possible, give yourself plenty of time so that you don't have to rush the process, and put a little bit of water in the bottom of your rendering vessel. Good luck :)

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2 Answers


on February 06, 2011
at 12:40 AM

Sounds like you got it too hot. Try lowering the heat. Gas or electric range? The latter might be tougher to keep at a gentle enough heat.

Also, watch the water vapor, or lack of. Once it stops steaming, I myself give it a few more minutes then call it good. I think the day-long outdoor simmering affairs are for doing massive quantities. A pound or less of fat in a small pot shouldn't take that long and doesn't need a lot of fussing over.

Good luck. Or if you prefer, live and learn -- there's always next time. :-)

One other suggestion, make sure the fat has as much surface area as possible. Grinding works best. If you can't grind try 1/2 inch cubes. Use just just enough water to completely cover the bottom of the pot. You want the water to stop hot-spots from cooking the cubes until the fat has melted. The goal is a gentle, even temperature. You are trying to evaporate off the water and separate the solids without denaturing the fat.


on February 06, 2011
at 12:44 AM

You might find this blog entry amusing (Patty is a friend, full disclosure): http://followingmynose.blogspot.com/2011/01/tallow-tragedy.html

So, back to the question... You have to be super-patient, and keep a low temperature. Also, I understand it works extremely well in a slow cooker. Check out this previous question: http://paleohacks.com/questions/5219/can-i-render-fat-in-a-slow-cooker-crockpot

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