This recipe shows you step-by-step how to make pork lard, which is rendered pork fat -- a versatile fat used in many dishes ranging from steamed buns to pie crust.
What is pork lard?
Pork lard is a natural fat rendered from the fatty tissue of pigs.
At room temperature (and below), it has a semi-solid, creamy texture and is white in color, with no odor.
At a certain temperature (between 95-113 degrees F), the fat will turn into a clear liquid.
Pork lard is used as a replacement for many types of fat such as butter, shortening, or vegetable oil.
Pork lard resembles beef tallow, with the key distinction being that the former is derived from pigs, while the latter is sourced from cattle.
What is rendering?
Rendering is a cooking process of extracting the fat from the meat tissue into a liquid state.
Typically, rendering is a slow cooking process.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for homemade pork lard is:
Easy to make: the basic process involves cooking the fat in water and evaporating the moisture.
Worth the effort: it takes a little time to make the lard, but the overall process is simple.
Contains no preservatives: unlike store-bought shortening that contains preservatives and hydrogenated oils.
Only 2 ingredients: pork fat and water.
Versatile: pork lard is a highly versatile fat that can find application in various cooking and baking scenarios.
Ingredients you'll need
- pork fat: diced into smaller chunks to help it render more easily; not pork skin
- water: just enough to cover the fat
You can find pork fat at your local butcher, or use trimmed off fat from pork belly, pork butt, or pork shoulder, etc.
How to make pork lard
Add diced pork fat into a saucepan or pot.
Cover the fat with enough water.
Bring the pot to high heat, until it begins to bubble and boil.
Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the water evaporates and no more steam appears. This process will take a bit of time.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it continue to render, until it turns a light golden color. Be sure to keep stirring to avoid any fat from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Remove from heat.
Pour the fat through a metal sieve or strainer into a clean heat-proof glass jar.
Cover with a lid and let cool completely.
Store the pork lard in the fridge for up to 6 months.
How to store
Store pork lard in a clean, airtight glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Alternatively, you can freeze the lard in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 year.
This prevents the lard from becoming rancid too quickly.
How to use pork lard
It has a high-smoke point which is suitable for frying fried chicken or donuts.
What to do with the crispy pork bits?
A by-product from making pork lard is the crispy bits of pork fat, which are similar to pork lardons.
Season the crispy pork bits with a little salt, pepper and whatever spices you like and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Expert tips & FAQs
Can I make a larger batch?
You can scale up or scale down the recipe, depending on how much pork fat you have.
How can I ensure a white-colored lard?
Once the liquid pork fat reaches a light golden color, you can remove it from heat.
Taking the pork fat too far can produce a more yellow-colored lard.
Don't use too high a temperature to cook the pork fat.
Why is my lard not white?
The rendered pork fat will start off as a translucent clear/yellow liquid once it is poured into the jar.
Once the lard is completely cooled and solidified, it will turn white/opaque.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
How to Make Pork Lard
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 3 lbs pork fat diced
- water to cover
- Add diced pork fat into a saucepan or pot.
- Cover the fat with enough water.
- Bring the pot to high heat, until it begins to bubble and boil.
- Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the water evaporates and no more steam appears. This process will take a bit of time.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it continue to render, until it turns a light golden color. Be sure to keep stirring to avoid any fat from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from heat.
- Pour the fat through a metal sieve or strainer into a clean heat-proof glass jar.
- Cover with a lid and let cool completely.
- Store the pork lard in the fridge for up to 6 months.
- With the remaining crispy pork bits, lightly season (with salt and pepper, or your choice of seasonings) and transfer into an airtight container. Enjoy as a snack or sprinkle on top of noodles, rice, or daikon cake.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.