Lard is making more of a comeback in stores, and butcher shops. Are you wondering how to use lard?
I still remember butchering pigs as a little girl. A bunch of my aunts and uncles would get together, and we would butcher a couple pigs in one day.
Rendering the lard was done in a large cast-iron pot and there would be fried pork ribs for a snack. It was a highlight for the kids.
We still enjoy doing this to this day.
Now as an adult, pork butchering day is more work than fun, but it still gives us an opportunity to visit while putting meat in the freezer.
We have always had lard in our home.
When money was tight, we would not have any other oil besides lard, so using lard is something I am completely familiar with.
Lard is the soft, white fat that comes from a pig. Rendered properly, it can last for months and has no pork flavor.
It used to be a staple in every household in North America, but in the early 20th Century started falling out of favor due to a bad reputation.
In the Low Fat, No Fat age, lard was considered to be highly unhealthy.
After all, it was pure fat. However, recently it has started to gain traction again, due to the fact it has no trans fats.It has become a sort of novelty food, harder to find but very valuable.
In moderate amounts, lard is a healthier choice than hydrogenated oils. It is dairy-free, and has lower amounts of saturated fats than butter and coconut oil.
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Lard can be used in baking, frying, as a carrier oil, and to season your cast iron pot. It takes the place of butter and other oils easily in recipes.
It is usually not used as a sandwich spread because of its lack of flavor, but in poor times, it was even then used as a spread with some sugar.
How To Use Lard Everywhere, and Everyday
Disclaimer: This is my experience. You might not have the same.
Lard has a high smoke point, making it ideal for deep frying as well as pan-frying. It is much better at not turning black when frying meat in a cast iron pan.
I have used lard in my electric deep fryer without problems, as long as I make sure to drain the oil back into jars.
When using lard to deep fry, you can reuse the lard. Store it in the refrigerator and reuse it in a couple of weeks.
Lard for a deep fryer usually requires quite a bit. For a standard deep fryer, you will need close to 14 cups of lard. This can get expensive, but if when I have a lot, I love using lard to deep fry.
I have this one, and I Love It!
Lard is the go-to for pies, all the time. It produces flakier crusts and has the reputation of being the ‘thing” to use for pies.
However, certain recipes, especially older ones, call for shortening as well. I recently made a batch of Chocolate chip Cookies using lard and they turned out splendidly. Our children had eaten them all within a matter of days.
In Place of Butter or other Oils
When rendering lard, you will remain with sediment at the bottom of your pot. This is saved for cinnamon rolls, and to be put on toast. It has brown pieces of fried pork in it, and it’s delicious.
It has an unique flavor that lends itself well to cinnamon rolls. Try using this instead of butter.
Lard can be used in any place instead of butter or other oils. Butter has a much richer flavor, and my go to for a lot of things, but lard is there if you need it.
To Season Your Cast Iron
Lard is my favorite thing to use to season my cast iron pan. If you have a cast-iron Barbecuer, it works really well there too.
Seasoning your cast irons is really simple when you have some lard in your house. Follow your manufacturer guide for all the details.
Cast Iron is so cool! It gives an awesome flavor to your food. I have this one. It comes pre-seasoned.
As a Carrier Oil
As a carrier oil, lard can only be used when you will be using your mixed oils in a couple of days. When the Lard gets set at room temperature, it turns rancid very easily.
If you make a Garlic Salve or a Peppermint Cough Rub, just make sure you store it in the refrigerator.
Lard is often used as a barrier oil in mustard packs, or when using essential oils. It does an amazing job, although everything does get really oily.
These are the five main ways we use lard in our home. It’s a staple at our house, and we don’t want to be without it.
We are blessed in the fact we have the skill and the equipment to butcher and render lard yearly.
We often take it for granted, but when the pig is in the freezer, and the lard is in the cellar, it’s with a thankful heart that we put our tired bones to bed.
Have you used lard before? Let me know in the comments below.