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This Stuff Is Better Than Butter...No Really It Is!

Hi Everyone and Welcome!

I don't know about you, but whenever I see any food stored in a mason jar these days colour me impressed!

With food and health trends starting to revert to homesteading and ancestral ways I am going to add a traditional practice you MUST try. Today I am going to walk you through the how to (and why you should be) rendering lard.

And guess what, it can be stored in mason jars!!!

Benefits of Lard

I know I know, everyone has been taught to stay FAR FAR away from fats, but good fat has many health benefits and is essential for you to produce and process essential vitamins.

  • Lard has NO trans-fats, zero...zilch...nada
  • Lard is healthier than butter!!! - I said it, and I didn't make it up!! Lard has 60% mono-saturated fats vs 45% in butter. Again, I know I said fats and that is scary, but Monounsaturated fats decrease your risk of heart disease by lowering your LDLs, or bad cholesterol. 
  • High smoking point - The smoking point for lard is around 190 C/ 375 F making it ideal for frying at higher heat and decreasing the risk of carcinogenic burning
  • Odorless and tasteless - Can be used as a substitute for coconut oil, shortening, vegetable oil, and butter
  • High in Vitamin D and Omega 3 - 1 tbsp of lard = 1000 IU of Vit D!!!!!!
  • It can be stored anywhere under 100 F for at least 6 months
  • It is SO SO SO SO easy to make...seriously you literally just stir a spoon
  • Want that oh so flaky pie crust like grandma made...use lard
  • You will feel like Martha Stewart!!!

How To Do It

  1. I started with just over 2 lbs of Premium Berryman Brothers Leaf Lard
  2. Now cut the lard into small pieces, the smaller the better! Mores surface area decreases the cooking time. I aim for 1/4 inch size. I use leaf lard as this is the cleanest form of lard and can be used in baking pies and such as it is odorless and tasteless. Other forms of lard can be rendered but provide a piggy taste, still usable for frying, but not suitable for baking. 
  3. Put into a pot with about 1/2 C water (this will burn off quickly and prevent the lard from burning)
  4. Put over med-low heat without the lid for about 45 mins, this will get rid of the water. I tend to go for a lower heat than med, as you do not want any of the lard to brown. 
  5. Reduce heat to low and leave for 3-4 hours, stir occasionally. Just think LOW AND SLOW. You may see some bits float to the top and eventually sink down to the bottom, this is normal and we will get to the "bits" at the end.
  6. Let Cool and strain through mesh strainer or cheesecloth. I actually used the thinnest tea towel I had and have dedicated it as my lard cloth.
  7. You are going to be left with small bits. These bits are DELICIOUS!!! Return your bits to the pot and fry on med heat with a bit of salt. The bits, or crackling, can be used in place of bread crumbs in recipes, or my top salads. 
  8. That's it! You did it! Sit back, relax and start casually boasting about all your lard rendering expertise! I yielded just over 1 lb of beautiful luscious snow white rendered lard from this batch. 

I've added a few links to recipes for you to try out your lard in. Let us know how it worked out too, we love hearing from you. Happy Rendering!!!

***Please note the quality of lard and the amount of Vit D is directly related to the quality of the animal it was attained from. Animals must have a non GMO diet and have access to sunlight....luckily Berryman Farms pigs do!!!

***Leaf lard is a special order product, so please order in advance

***Berryman Farms Leaf Lard is $3/lb

Vikki January 23, 2019

This is such a awesome article, thank you for sharing. I think I have to try this in the near future.

Johanna Berryman January 23, 2019

Thank you so much Vikki! Please let us know how it turns out :)

Louise May 29, 2020

Hi, I picked up some leaf lard on Friday and am currently rendering it to use in pie crusts. My question is should it smell “bacon-y” as it cooks down? I thought leaf lard had no flavour? Or is it that the rendered product will have no flavour? Don’t get me wrong, I love the small of bacon, just not sure it will work with the pie! We did request leaf lard when we ordered it. The product we were given had no label though.

Monaklassen May 29, 2020

I carefully clarified several jars of beef fat from stock bones I received from you. Are they just as valuable for baking?

Sheila May 29, 2020

Thank you so much for this article. I have used leaf lard in my baking for awhile now, as I have had to change to dairy free (and I love butter) . Leaf lard to superior especially in nutritional value.
I have not tried rendering it until yesterday after purchasing your great leaf lard
The instructions were easy to follow and I was successful.
It does smell a little more porky than I thought it would but not a problem there.
Do you think I did something wrong to make it that way?
Thank you again.

Johanna Berryman May 29, 2020

Hello Louise – It can have a bit of that “bacon” smell you described – that has happened with all of my batches as well. Ensure you are cooking low and slow so the small meat bits are not fried up. So happy you found an alternative to your much loved butter :)

Monaklassen – YES! Beef fat or Tallow has several health benefits and uses. There are several recipes online you can experiment with. Tallow has a distinct flavor and may be better suited to frying / use in savory dishes. Tallow can also be used as a body salve – but using it to fry french fries is my favorite!

Sheila – So happy you found the article useful! The “porky” smell is normal. Just simmer on a very low temp to ensure no meat bits are getting fried in the process. Sounds like you did a wonderful job :)

Kathren Fehr January 09, 2021

Haven’t tried the leaf lard from you but my in laws kept pigs and we helped butcher. My hubby and I would render down the lard on fire outside in a big cast iron cauldron. Brings back great memories!! And the kids loved the cracklings! If COVID ever ends and youngest daughter comes out will get some leaf lard to render down. She loved the cracklings.

debbie wong August 04, 2023

i think this is a great idea for about a year now everything in my cuboard spices and flour sugar etc all in mason jars in my house we try to make everything from scratch ive taught my kids how to cook and the fact everything you can get in the store you can make at home and make it 100% better so this is awesome we should def be doing more of these things i am going to give this a go as well .

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