This question is for our lard rendering experts. Our pig butchering went very well last weekend, and I ended up with plenty of fat for lard. I started using the "crock pot method" I've seen so many places online to render the lard, but it's taking much longer than I expected. After 8 hours on the low setting (the lard was bubbling gently) I finally ended up turning off the crock pot because I had to go to bed and was worried it would go too far by the time I woke up this morning.
As it stands, plenty of lard has been rendered, and I can tell there's more to come but some of the solids are beginning to brown. I have to go to work, so there's no chance finishing it now.
- Can I reheat the pot and continue rendering tonight (and must it be refrigerated in the interval?) If yes, then:
- Should I strain out what lard has already rendered, and return only the solids for more rendering? If yes, then:
- Before I return the solids, should I remove the brownest ones first to avoid that overly porky/roasty taste? I don't mind the flavor, but I feel it does somewhat limit the kinds of foods in which I use it. This will be a pain because the browning bits are distributed, so I'll really have to pick through it....
- To those who have tried multiple rendering methods, which did you like best, or find most efficient/convenient? Maybe the crock pot, while easy, wasn't optimal. Or maybe I don't have a good crock pot.
Thanks for any feedback!
asked byChristopher_Gagnon (6117)
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on April 18, 2012
at 02:18 PM
In general, you do not need to refrigerate your rendered animal fats. The tend to have enough saturated fats to keep. In fact, think about foods that are prepared in fat cures like confit -- they stay out at cellar/room temperatures for a long time.
Having said that, you can keep the lard in the fridge -- it won't hurt. If you aren't steadily using the lard, you may want to keep it in the fridge, to better avoid environmental dirt and fungi (which can be scraped off, regardless).
on April 18, 2012
at 01:45 PM
Definitely take out any lard that has already been rendered. You want the rendered lard to be under heat for as short a time as possible. You can try starting up rending again with the rest of the solids. The results might be good, might not be. It's really up to you whether you think the browned solids will give the lard too much of a smokey flavor.
I've never rendered in a crockpot, but I've done it on the stove top by cutting up the fat, putting it in a saucepan over the lowest heat and adding a bit of water, which eventually evaporates. This is very easy and I've gotten good results which only took about an hour and a half.