How to Render Lard

"This makes such a superior product. Easy to do but takes awhile. This recipe calls for pork fat but I have rendered lard from bear and it came out excellent."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
3hrs 30mins
20 lbs.


  • pork fat, from the belly,leaf fat and back fat (Do not use ruffle fat "or" fat from internal organs as it is dark and soft, thus inferior)
  • cheesecloth


  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
  • Wash and chill fat.
  • Cut into small pieces (1 inch).
  • Place 1 cup of fat in roasting pan.
  • Place in oven.
  • When fat starts to melt, add more pieces until roaster is about half full.
  • Render until all is melted and all moisture is cooked off and evaporated.
  • Let cool slightly.
  • Dip liquid from roaster and strain through triple layer of cheesecloth.
  • (Note:After you have dipped out most of the lard and you have bits of crackling left, continue to cook these down on top of stove but watch it closely and don't let it get too hot.) Pour into 5 to 10 pound containers.
  • Cover tightly.
  • Store immediately in a freezer if possible.
  • Quick cooling produces a fine grained lard.
  • Store in freezer.
  • You can increase storage time for this lard by adding a 3 pound can of vegetable shortening to every 50 pounds of lard.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This is an easy way to render fat. I actually used chicken fat to make shmaltz, since we don't use lard. I used about 5 pounds of fat I had saved up over the last few months (stored in the freezer just for this purpose). You don't have to watch the pot all the time like you would on the stovetop. The only reason that I give this 4 stars instead of 5 is because it spattered over my oven walls and I had a good workout cleaning up afterwards.
  2. Barbara: This is and excellent way to do this. I've been getting my fat from a butcher and doing this for years. I use pork for the good stuff to fry with, and once or twice a year I get beef fat and do this to make suet cakes to put out for the birds in the winter. It's nice to see this recipe here at Zaar. Thanks a bunch.
  3. I would NOT add vegetable shortening to stretch lard. Lard is actually better than butter and has no trans fats in it and if you add shortening then you are adding the no good trans fats to it. Keep it in the fridge for weeks or the freezer for up to a year for good storage.
  4. Schmaltz can be made from any animal. The Germans use goose and chicken as well as hog fat. My grandma used chicken and bacon drippings, often to season other meats being fried. (BTW, she was about 5'%' and skinny skinny, even with the lard!)Chicken schmaltz is particularly delicious for frying onions. This is a good use of leftover bits and therefore is economical.
  5. Well... I didn't need so much lard so I used the stovetop instead of the oven. I cut the fat into smaller cubes and put it into a sturdy saucepan. 280gms of pork fat got me about 8 - 9 tbs of lard. Took me about 45 minutes in all from putting them into the saucepan to straining them with a wire strainer. The aroma is wonderful and the crackling absolutely delicious. The lard did sputter a bit towards the end so be prepared for that.


Zaar...Wow, what a place! I'm one of the old timers of Zaar. I can't count the number of wonderful dishes I cooked in the past few years since joining. Along the way I have had the pleasure of meeting several Zaar chefs. Talk about your fruits and nuts! lol. I have enjoyed meeting them all. Family: What's to say...I have had the same sweet husband forever (Good thing....I'd hate to have to break a new one in...=) and live close to a couple of grown children. (Maybe you've met Smoke Alarm Jr. ..her brown rolls are sooo good!) Therefore, my family gets together often to enjoy each other's company and cooking. My greatest joy is six "little to tallerthanme" kids running around calling me Grammy. They wear me out! lol For the past thirty years I have been a Special Education teacher for grades 9-12 and love it. Took some time off last year to recovery from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer. (Loved the radiation....I keep imagining that we are absolutely napalming the nasty cancer cells tohellandback to keep the little suckers from returning. =) My prognosis is good and now "I'm back in the saddle again". lol. Being a north country "gurl", I am happiest outside...walking, fishing, sitting in front of an outdoor fire or being on water (although in February it's a bit stiff....=0) When indoors I like to read, garden, knit, quilt and paint. During cold Maine weather I like to warm my feet on a very large ( 100 pounds of long legs and huge feet), sweet and furry golden retriever named Kerry (aka KTBRD: Kerry the big red . In the summer, the dawg and I round up the grandkids, hit the local dairy bar for a Mounds Sundae that is to die for!!!=0) . Then spend a lot of long and lazy summer days at camp . All in all...Boy, Life is good! =)
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