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A bowl filled with solid lard sitting on a wooden counter top.

Rendering Lard

Learn how to easily render your own lard to use in cooking or baking as a healthy homestead fat.
4.2 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Calories: 116kcal
Author: Carolyn Thomas


  • Glass canning jars
  • Heavy-bottomed pot (a cast iron Dutch oven is perfect)
  • Jar funnel
  • Small metal strainer
  • Clean cotton cloth or coffee filter
  • Ladle
  • Slotted spoon
  • Wooden or metal stirring spoon


  • Lard ground or finely chopped


  • Use a clean, dry, heavy-bottomed pot and LOW heat through the entire process. Repeat to yourself 3 times… LOW AND SLOW.
  • Put a small amount of fat into the bottom of your cool pot and turn the pot on low, stirring constantly until the pot has a thin layer of melted fat across the entire bottom. Add more fat if necessary.
  • Add the rest of your fat and stir to coat with the already melted fat.
  • Repeat again… LOW and SLOW.
  • Stir occasionally to avoid scorching.
  • Continue cooking and stirring until there are no longer any bubbles and the cracklings (leftover chunks) are a nice light golden brown.
  • Scoop out the cracklings with a slotted spoon onto a plate covered with a clean cotton cloth or a paper towel to drain. Salt to taste and enjoy warm as a snack. Store cracklings, once completely cooled, loosely packed in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
  • Wash and dry glass jars and keep warm. Set the canning funnel in the still warm jar, the metal strainer in the canning funnel, and line with a clean cotton cloth, muslin, or a coffee filter.
  • Turn off the heat source.
  • Carefully (it is HOT!!) ladle the melted fat into the jar through the cloth and strainer to remove any remaining bits of cracklings.
  • Fill the jar and immediately cap each jar.
  • Set jars aside to cool.
  • Store lard in a cool, dark pantry or in the refrigerator or freezer.



  • Fat renders down best when either ground or finely chopped.
  • Grinding or cutting fat is easiest when fat is slightly frozen.
  • Remember to cook LOW and SLOW for the best results. You don't want to rush the process and end up scorching your lard, this will give you a very off-flavored end result.
  • NEVER add water to your pan when rendering lard.
  • Stir lard frequently to avoid scorching or burning.
  • Once opened, it is best to use lard within 1 week if left at room temperature, but it will remain good for up to a year, open, in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1tbs | Calories: 116kcal | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 12mg
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