Dont be scared of rendering fat! The great news is no matter the fat youre rendering, the method is the same. No fancy tools needed, although a meat grinder will make the job quicker. Years ago I did a post on rendering it in your crockpot, but I’ve found stovetop is quicker with a cleaner end result.
Pork leaf lard/kidney fat is my favourite for baking- biscuits, crackers, pie crusts.
Pork back fat we use for deep frying and oven roasting.
Beef leaf lard/kidney fat I use for tallow balm
Beef back fat we use for deep frying and oven roasting
Bear fat is new to us. So far I made candles with the back fat and love the results! The cat also liked it and ate one…bear kidney fat/leaf lard I plan to use for a pot pie crust. I’ll update this when I try!
How to Render Lard and Tallow from Pork, Bear or Beef Fat
- Pork, Beef or Bear Fat
- Working with the fat at as frozen as possible (Its easier to handle this way) chop it into a 1 inch dice or smaller OR slice into strips that will fit in your meat grinder and run it through the meat grinder.
- Dump your fat into a pot that fits it all, and add 1/2 cup water to the pot. Turn onto medium low heat
- Gently warm your fat, giving it a stir. As soon as the "cracklings" start to turn a greyish brown and all the fat is melted, strain it through a fine mesh strainer
- You DO NOT want the cracklings to start sizzling or they will flavour the fat. This is not bad, its just not ideal
- Dump the strained fat into a clean pot and warm on medium low heat until no steam comes out. This way you've evaporated the water and it will last longer
- Pour fat into containers or jars of choice. I find getting fat out of jars and cleaning them REALLY ANNOYING so I use freezer containers.
- Let the fat cool until firm/solid, then put the lids on
- Label it and put either in a cool dark place, fridge or if no other place, the freezer.
- I've kept it in a cupboard at 15C/60F for a couple years without it going bad, but your climate may be different. I currently store it in my root cellar which is 5C/40F in winter and 12C/55F in summer
Want ideas on how to use it?
- Oven Fries (or vegetables!)
- Anything Goes Pot Pie
- Freezer Meal Fried Rice
- DIY Deer Fat Candles (Use this method for bear fat too. Deer fat isnt good for cooking)
- Old Fashioned Donuts