Rendering Lard


Finished product~now to get solid

This past week my husband called me to a task I had been putting off for a bit…..rendering lard. It isn’t that I don’t like to render lard. I just really don’t like all the clean up needed after that very greasy job.

We had two bags of trimmings from a hog that was processed. My husband loves the cracklings for Balken Brie and I love to use the lard for pie crusts and frying things. Because of those two facts I asked the butcher to keep the fat for me.

The first part of the process involved grinding the fat so it would melt better. I always kind of wonder what would happen if we didn’t grind it? Would we just have fried blobs of fat? Or would it all melt? If anyone has the answer to that, please let me know!


Finishing up the process

After that process, we moved things to the garage. We set up our two fry pans and the cloth lined colander and began. The process never really takes that long to accomplish. It takes about as long to clean up.

As I was packing up the nicely fried up cracklings into freezer bags, putting the cooled lard into containers and washing dishes I had some time to reflect on the entire process.

The fat gets incredibly hot as it melts and you have to be very careful not to burn yourself. I wondered if sometimes our lives are like that. In order for us to be made into a “useful product” must we be put over the fire?

Must we be refined, just as the fat is? The only way to refine the fat and make useable lard and edible cracklings; is to put it on high heat for the necessary time. Without doing that, it is just a blob of fat with bits of meat in it.

I really don’t like being uncomfortable, but I guess if it take high heat to turn my life into more than a blob of fat; I will have to go through that! I am trying to remember that particular truth….Refining is hard, but necessary to be useful.

If you find yourself being “refined” lately; take heart… gets better and soon you will find a life of joy again.

Discipline is the refining fire
by which talent becomes ability.
Roy L. Smith

Read more at:

26 thoughts on “Rendering Lard

  1. peggyjoan42 says:

    Have rendered lard in my mother-in-law’s yard several times. Old iron pot over a campfire in the summertime was hot. It takes much work and a lot of clean up for sure. But when it is done – you are glad! Ha

    Liked by 2 people

  2. bcparkison says:

    Wonderful. Best thing in the world of cooking.That stuff in the grocerystore is just awful.I haven’t done this in avery long time butwhen your raise hogs ,as we once did, it is a chore that is usually done. Oh…I can smell the biscuits right now.

    Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I have asked a couple of deer hunters to save me the fat from the deer but have been told that there is not enough fat to bother with. Guess they either thought I was weird or they didn’t want to bother. Deer fat is called tallow – not sure how it differs from beef tallow.
        If you don’t have a soap recipe using deer tallow you can make one using this soap (lye) calculator.
        Deer tallow is one of the fats that they have listed. It looks somewhat complicated but really is not bad to use. Give me a shout if you have any questions.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. susieshy45 says:

    The things you do on the farm- amazes me. You are one hard working lady. Does that mean the weather is getting better ?
    I am being refined each day. As a child I was trusting and loyal and smiling and believing there were good things in life. 25 plus years away from my parent’s home and its comforts have made me bitter, whiny, non-trusting and so many other things. Now I am approaching the half century mark in age and I seem to have mellowed down a lot.
    I used to be a very high achieving student- people predicted that I would go very far in life. College life and the life of a wife and mother, changed my life’s direction. I have gone from up there to down there. I have eaten humble pie hundreds of times and gone through fire too. Through it all, what did I learn? I look for patterns to see where I went wrong and what I could have done better and I know one thing- I was arrogant and vain before- all the tests of fire have humbled me and knocked me to my knees. I am learning to not plan or think too much about things but to accept things as they are given to me. It is a battle but we get there and we get so many chances to do better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      It rained here today Susie and is supposed to rain tomorrow. Our road is a mud hole and the Fed Ex guy won’t even drive down it to deliver things! I am waiting for sunny dry weather so our road improves.
      One advantage to the rain we do things like render lard and other things that we need to catch up on. It is a small silver lining but I will take it!
      I think the older I get the less I know. Maybe it is because I realize just how much there is out there that cannot be known? I actually love how you say the refining has knocked you to your knees….me too. I love it because I read somewhere that when we are on are knees it is a great time to talk with God. I have found that to be true. I think the thing is to learn from all the hot fires and to get better instead of bitter. I am pretty sure you are getter better Susie! You are a great encourager and I love you for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Al says:

    Not something I would be too interested in doing, but it illustrates one fact. Farm folks have always been and will always be self-reliant and self-supporting. Not to mention the fact they feed the rest of the country as well.

    This is just one of the reasons I like to follow your blog. It is so reminiscent of the best of America before this county’s morals went into the toilet.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maureen Helen says:

    Not a job I could ever imagine doing, Faye, as a city born and bred woman. But I love your metaphor, and really understand that. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Timelesslady says:

    Wow! I wouldn’t know where to begin. I always wish I had more skills that would be of use if technology, electricity, and other conveniences as we know them, would go down for some reason. Thanks for passing it on.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Margy says:

    My father-in-law used to tell us how he ate lard sandwiches when he was a kid. I can only imagine how much effort went into making bread and lard!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s