How to Render Lard


chopped fatSince reading Nina Planck’s Real Food, I’ve been a 100% convert to “real” fats. No more so-called “healthy” canola oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil or safflower oil. Planck documents that these oils are relatively new industrial creations, and are the real cause of obesity, heart disease and all the other modern diseases we Americans have been plagued with since switching to an industrial diet in the 20th century. These oils are present in just about every processed food on grocery store shelves.  

liquid lardAs it turns out, there are all sorts of things our bodies need in traditional fats like lard, beef tallow, and butter, and Planck gives us the research, the science, and the dissenting views in her book. Most disturbing is how margarine is made and what’s in it—metal particles, rancid vegetable oil, soaplike emulsifiers, and bleach. I’ll stick to sweet cream and salt, thanks, which are the only ingredients in real butter. I’ll never touch margarine again (more cleverly disguised as “buttery spread” and similar), and living in the Midwest, that’s not an easy thing to do if one dines out ... ever.

So, I’ve begun to render lard from the kidney fat from our own Mulefoot hogs, which comes back from our processor all chopped up in a big bag and ready to go, so I don’t have to mess around with a food processor. Here’s the simplest way to do it:


1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.

2. Fill a large roasting pan with the chopped fat.

frozen lard3. Roast slowly for 30 minutes to 1 hour until the fat has melted and you have protein particles floating on top.

Cygnia Rapp
3/27/2012 9:51:25 PM

Does this work for suet from game meat (elk, deer)?

Trudy Prynne
3/27/2012 9:51:20 PM

I always save goose fat from our Christmas goose like this, perfect for best roast potatos

Donald Mokelke
3/26/2012 2:58:55 PM

I was happy to have just read the comments written with such friendly civility and will try to follow your good example by being a helpful newcomer. Thank you for the very enlightening comments about this topic that has interested me for some time.

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