How to Render Lard in a Crock Pot

How to Render Lard in a Crock Pot
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Pigs are just some of the animals we proudly raise here at Clucky Dickens Farm. When people find out we butcher our hogs at home, many of them ask, “So are you gonna make lard?”

But, of course!

There are many ways to render lard but our family opted for the most convenient method possible: we grabbed one of our slow cookers.

Render lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it in your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

Here is how things worked out for us our first time rendering lard in a slow cooker at Clucky Dickens Farm.

Step 1: Cut up your pig fat.

Cut the fat into small chunks. We discovered that approximately five pounds of hog fat will fit in our 6 quart slow cooker. When the slow cooker is pleasantly full, cover it and set the slow cooker on low.

Step 2: Cook overnight.

Let the pig fat cook on low for about 8 hours, or overnight. After 8 hours—or in the morning—your fat will start to look like…well, really fatty bacon.

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it using your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

Step 3: Strain off the liquid fat.

Set up whatever straining system works best for you. This was our use-what-you-have set up:

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it using your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

It’s a 2 quart glass bowl with a colander set inside. The first colander is lined with cheesecloth—in our case, an old but clean flour sack dish towel—and then has another colander set inside of that.

Now take a look at your hog fat. It should be starting to liquefy. Ladle that good stuff off.

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it using your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

Pour that into your strainer set up.

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it using your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

Catch all that wonderful strained liquid fat.

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it using your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

Step 4: Pour into containers for storage.

Measure and pour into whatever containers you want. The first time we made lard with a slow cooker, we used 1 pint plastic storage containers.

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it using your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

Let it cool off.

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it using your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

It starts to turn white as it solidifies. (Our kitchen light makes it seem more yellow than it actually was.)

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it using your slow cooker! - How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

Lard will keep in the fridge for a couple months, or the freezer for a year. But you’ll be using this lard in so many things, you will be lucky if it lasts you that long!

Looking for recipes that use lard? Check out Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking With Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient

Step 5: Repeat the process.

Now you know that awesome process I just explained? Repeat that until there isn’t any liquid left in the slow cooker. We checked our slow cooker every 15 minutes, for another 2-3 hours, continuing to strain off liquid.

Think rendering lard is a complicated process? It's not when you use your slow cooker. Find out how here -- How to Render Lard in a Crock Pot - A Farmish Kind of Life

(Optional) Step 6: Make Cracklins.

So what do you do with all those chunks left in the strainer and at the bottom of the slow cooker? Those could be future cracklins! In a slow cooker they don’t get crispy, so you need to dump the bits that are left into a cast iron fry pan and fry them up to get what most of my relatives think of as cracklins. Then again, we are northerners. Southerners might have a totally different reference point for what cracklins are. Feel free to educate me in the comments.

Rendering lard doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you how to do it in your slow cooker! -- How to Render Lard in a Slow Cooker - A Farmish Kind of Life

Do you homeschool? So do we! Check out my book — The Homeschool Highway: How to Navigate Your Way Without Getting Carsick.

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