How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Monthly Archives: November 2012

How To Render Lard

How To Render Lard

Well, after butchering a couple of pigs a few months ago, we ended up with a ridiculous amount of pork fat.

Time for rendering lard!

We had never actually done this, so lots of reading was done, and a few conversations with folks that had.

This didn’t seem all that complicated, so we dove in, so to speak

So far, the results are pretty good after one batch.  We’ve got several more batches to go.

The steps we followed were pretty straight forward.  Here’s what we did:

  • First, my gorgeous and very talented wife took a couple bags of the fat and cut them into thin strips.
  • Next she fed them into the meat grinder with a coarse screen to get things ground up nice and small for faster rendering.  Or so the theory went.
  • Then we dumped it into the crockpot on low, took it out to the mud room because it kinda smells … different.
  • Fast forward about eight hours and we ended up with nice dark cracklings (the leftover from the fat rendering) and a good liquid.
  • Before deciding it was done, I made sure that the lard had hit about 230 degrees.  Not sure how necessary that is, but I wanted to make sure all of the water was boiled off. Technically that means that if it was 213 degrees the water was gone, but what’s wrong with a little buffer?
  • Then I set up a strainer with cheesecloth in it over a nice pot and poured the rendered lard through it.
  • Our last step today was to cool this off.

Tomorrow we’ll put it in containers.  The plan of record is:

  • Heat up canning jars to prevent them from cracking.
  • Heat up the cooled lard back up to 250 degrees
  • Ladle it into the hot jars
  • Put lids on, and can in the pressure canner for 120 minutes at 15 lbs

Unfortunately I didn’t think to take pictures, so I’ll try to take some pictures of one of our next batches and update this post with them!

There’s quite a bit of debate about the safety of canning lard.  The USDA provides no guidance one way or another on it which doesn’t help much.  They’re pretty good about saying ‘Dont’ if it’s bad, so who knows.

Botulism spores die out at 250 degrees, which is one reason to reheat the lard that hot before canning.  Further, they require water to grow, which isn’t present in the lard.  Finally, processing in the pressure canner brings it BACK up to 250 degrees just for fun.  Not much chance of Botulism living through all of that.

What I do know is that it’s JUST fat, and if it goes rancid, we’ll know.  Further, folks keep uncanned lard for a very long time, and from what I understand canning lard used to be a normal thing.  In any case, you should use your judgement on whether you can it or not.

If you don’t can it, then it should store fine in a dark cool place for three to six months, or you can freeze it for a longer shelf life.

So Just How Will This Unravel?

So Just How Will This Unravel?

A number of folks have asked me how I think that things might unravel when we hit the economic wall. Honestly, the question about how things will go down is the million dollar question. The short answer is that nobody knows, but we do know it won’t be good. And if anyone tells you they… Continue Reading

Will The Debt Bomb Be The Big Trigger?

Will The Debt Bomb Be The Big Trigger?

Yesterday we talked about the players and the reason why the math dictates massive economic impact. I alluded to a potential major triggering event … the debt bomb. Let’s discuss it today. Background We all understand debt.  First, we spend more money than we have. In order for people to loan us that money, we… Continue Reading

A Harbinger of Things To Come?

A Harbinger of Things To Come?

One of the things I keep a close eye on is events around the world that involve people behaving … poorly.  Riots, unrest, that sort of thing. I look for this because I consider it to be a sign of what we might expect to see here in times of upheaval or worse.  It gives… Continue Reading

New and Noteworthy for Today, November 26, 2012

Here’s a bunch of links I saw today that I thought you might like. Schools’ Tracking Devices Causes Controversy « CBS Houston HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF . . . CREEPY Peter Schiff About Gold, Fiscal Cliff And Real Economic Growth | Gold Silver Worlds The Four Debt Ceiling Possibilities For 2013 | ZeroHedge Palestinian President Abbas… Continue Reading

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