How to Render Animal Fat in a Crock Pot

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I’m a busy mama. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen everyday preparing food for my family. This is one of the reasons I love my crock pot so much. I can throw a few ingredients in it in the morning and by the end of the day dinner is ready. I use it almost everyday!

This week I’m going to be sharing some of the ways I use my crock pot in my kitchen. Today I’m covering how I render animal fat in it.

why I like to use animal fats

1) Tallow and Lard are a TRADITIONAL FOOD. Animal fats like lard and tallow have been used by indigenous people for thousands of years.  These people lived free of the degenerative diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer that our culture is plagued with today.

2) Animal fats are a great source of nutrients. Some studies suggest that lard made from pasture raised pigs is a rich source of Vitamin D, a vitamin most of us are deficient in!

3) Animal fats like lard and tallow make food taste AWESOME! Try a tamale made with lard and you will never want to eat another tamale made with vegetable oil again! Potatoes fried in tallow are great too. And let us not forget how wonderful pastries taste when made with lard or tallow. The best pie crust I’ve ever had was made with a mix of lard and butter!

How to render tallow or lard in a crock pot

When you order your lard or tallow from your local farmer or butcher ask them if they would be willing to grind the fat for you! This will make it much more easier for you to prepare your fat.

If your fat is not ground then you will need to do it yourself. This step isn’t too hard, but it is a little time consuming. Place your suet or lard in the freezer for 20 minutes. You will need to slice the fat up into chunks and it is much easier to slice fat that is semi frozen. Once your suet or lard is cut you will want to puree it in a food processor.

Place your ground lard or suet in your crock pot and turn the heat on low. Leave it alone for an hour or two (depends on how much you are rendering). Once the fat turns to liquid and all you have left are cracklings, you are done! The cracklings usually settle at the bottom of the crock pot.

Gently pour rendered fat through a cheesecloth lined colander. Store rendered tallow or lard in the refrigerator or freezer. It’s that easy!

question of the day

Have you ever rendered lard or tallow?

This post is linked to Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways , Pennywise Platter Thursday, Freaky Friday

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About the author: Tiffany is a real food mama who lives in Oregon. She is a stay at home mom of three coconut babies. She is passionate about traditional and healing foods. As a true believer in the health benefits of coconut, she uses coconut products in almost all her cooking. Subscribe to The Coconut Mama’s Newsletter for more articles like this one.

18 comments… add one

  • Jenna November 5, 2012, 3:49 pm

    I love the the idea of doing this in a crockpot. I hope to try this soon. Thanks!

    Reply
  • ItCouldBeFrankie November 6, 2012, 5:07 am

    I haven’t really rendered it before, but I plan to – I bought a bunch of suet and lard yesterday!

    Reply
  • Dona Russell November 6, 2012, 10:06 am

    I thought that lard was the end product of rendered pork fat, what it is called after it is rendered. Lard purchased in the store is ready to use in pie crusts. Do I have to render the lard again? I am confused, can I purchase pork fat from the butcher and grind it and render it?
    Also, when I make home made beef broth from soup bones in the crock pot, I refrigerate the broth until the fat has hardened and then scoop the rendered fat off of that and store it in a jar to use it to fry with. I used this fat to make a pie crust with last weekend and the pie crust turned out.

    Reply
  • The Coconut Mama November 6, 2012, 10:32 am

    Dona, the first time I purchased Lard from my local farmer I thought it would be rendered because it was called Lard on their site. I brought it home to find it was pork fat that needed to be rendered! My local butcher also calls the pork fat lard. You do not need to render lard that is already rendered, but make sure when you order to ask if it is rendered or not. Ask the butcher for pork fat, preferably kidney fat (its the best!).

    The Lard you find at the grocery store is usually hydrogenated and made from unhealthy pigs. Purchase the highest quality fat you can find!

    Reply
    • Dona Russell November 6, 2012, 11:06 am

      Thank you for the clarification, I was confused, but now I understand. Have a good one! Oh, and I do enjoy your blog and have learned so much from you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

      Reply
  • Janice November 6, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Once you render the fat, how long can it be kept in frig, or can it be frozen?

    Reply
    • The Coconut Mama November 7, 2012, 8:15 am

      Janice » I’ve used rendered tallow that was a year old (from the freezer) and it tasted great! I’m not sure how long it lasts in the refrigerator though. Tallow is more saturated, so it should last quite a long time. Lard has more monounsaturated fats, so it is a little more sensitive. I would keep lard frozen until your ready to use it.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Leslie November 6, 2012, 12:55 pm

    This will be my first year to render fat. A farmer is raising us a grass fed cow and we get to help butcher it next month. We named him abundance. Thanks for this post. It makes things look easy.

    Reply
    • The Coconut Mama November 7, 2012, 8:14 am

      Leslie » Your welcome, Leslie!

      Reply
  • Margaret Hart (@midnightstar69) November 6, 2012, 12:56 pm

    I have rendered fat many times before. I dont grind or slice it, I just throw it in the crock pot whole, but its in smaller pieces as I cut it off the dog bones and my pig prefers the cooked fat as opposed to uncooked.

    Reply
  • Rebecca November 6, 2012, 1:16 pm

    I put my crock-pot on the back porch because it smells up the house a little too strong, but yes, crock-pot rendering is great!

    Reply
    • The Coconut Mama November 7, 2012, 8:13 am

      Rebecca » I’ve done that too! Usually in the summer when it’s too hot to have it in the house :)

      Reply
  • Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen November 7, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Your timing with this couldn’t have been more perfect! I’m wondering if you could do this to deer fat and if so, what you would use it for.

    Reply
  • Adria November 8, 2012, 9:19 am

    ok, so embarassingly dumb question…but what is the stuff in the pictures at the top of this post that look like colorful/confetti rectangular blocks? Is that what the fat looks like when you get it from the butcher?

    Reply
    • The Coconut Mama November 8, 2012, 10:04 am

      Adria » That is ground suet. :)

      Reply
  • Maureen November 8, 2012, 9:31 am

    We get ours from our local butcher but it’s huge pieces with the skin/hide still attatched. I usually spend an hour cutting away the fat and it seems like I’m losing a lot of fat. Would the butcher grind the whole thing, or does the fat need to be detatched from the hide first?

    Reply
    • The Coconut Mama November 8, 2012, 10:06 am

      Maureen » They may cut some of the skin off. I’ve had a few blocks of lard that had some skin on it and when I rendered it the skin crisped up into pork rinds! I don’t think the skin needs to be detached.

      Reply
  • Anne-Marie November 8, 2012, 12:18 pm

    Visiting from Pennywise Platter. :) This is a great post…I’d love for you to share it on my new blog hop, {Wheat-Free Wednesday}! Hope to see you there! :)

    http://www.annemariecain.com/wheat-free-wednesday-11-07-12/

    Anne-Marie

    Reply

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