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How To Render Lard In A Crock Pot

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Did you know that lard is about 45% oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil?  Stop by my kitchen today and I'll tell you all about why I love lard, plus I'll show you a simple technique for rendering it at home.

After being wrongly accused . . .

For generations, lard is finally making a comeback as a healthy, traditional fat. If you’ve put off rendering your own because you worried it would take oodles of time, I have good news. It’s actually very easy, and today as part of our real food basics series I’m going to show you how.

Why I ♥ Lard

It’s Rich In The “Happiness Vitamin”

Next to cod liver oil, lard is the second richest source of Vitamin D. (source 1, source 2) According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, one tablespoon of lard obtained from pastured pigs has been found to contain up to 1,100 IU of Vitamin D.

Why is this important? Because a growing number of studies are confirming the positive (though not exclusive) role of Vitamin D in preventing conditions like heart disease, hypertension and even common illnesses like the flu.  (source 1source 2,  source 3source 4)

It has also been found helpful for reducing symptoms associated with asthma, respiratory infections, and inflammatory bowel disease. (source 1, source 2source 3)  Preliminary research has also determined that certain cancers, such as breast and colon cancer, are associated with low Vitamin D levels. (source 1source 2)

It’s Heart Healthy

Yes, I’m serious. Lard is about 45% oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fats “are responsible for lowering LDL levels while leaving HDL (‘good’) cholesterol levels alone.” (source)  It also contains saturated fat, which even TIME Magazine now admits is beneficial. Want to learn more about the health benefits of this under-appreciated fat? Check out these articles: Why We Try Hard To Eat Lard and 10 Reasons To Bring Lard Back.

It’s Affordable & Sustainable

Lard is much more affordable than coconut oil, olive oil and other healthy fats, and it can be sustainably accessed in most areas.

“Pigs are easily adaptable animals that can thrive nearly everywhere. Raising pastured hogs is a practice that produces a sustainable source of meat while improving the health of the environment. By rooting and foraging, hogs help to turn over topsoil and naturally fertilize the ground.” (source)

It’s Versatile

Lard has a high smoke point (370F) that makes it great for frying, and it’s unique composition also makes it a dream to bake with. Lard is often the “secret” ingredient behind State Fair blue ribbon pies – if you’ve never experienced the light, flaky texture it imparts you need to put it on your bucket list. But maybe you’re wondering . . .

What Kind Of Lard Should I Use?

Great question! Toxins such as antibiotics that are fed to factory-farmed pigs accumulate in their fat stores, so it’s very important to source your pork fat from healthy, pastured animals. Plus, pastured animals have higher Vitamin D stores.

Wow! I didn't know that lard is about 45% oleic acid, the "heart healthy" monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil. This post shares a simple technique for making it at home.

How To Render Lard In A Crock Pot

Note: For instructions on how to make lard in the oven instead of the crock pot, follow the instructions in this tutorial on rendering tallow. Just use pork fat instead.


  • Pork fat, preferably from pastured pigs. If you can’t find it locally, you can find it online here.
  • 1/4 cup water


Slow cooker

Step 1: Cut or grind the fat into small pieces

How To Render Lard In A Crock Pot

Trim away any pieces of meat or blood as you go. When I first started making lard I was very fastidious about cutting away every tiny bit that had color. There’s not really any need to do that – just get the big stuff.

Step 2: Place fat in slow cooker



Add 1/4 cup of water to the slow cooker to prevent the fat from burning – it will evaporate during the rendering process. Place the lid on top of the slow cooker and set it on low.

After about an hour or so you’ll start to see some liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker. Progress! Give the pot a stir every once in awhile until the fat is completely melted.


Step 3: Strain Lard


When the lard is ready you’ll see brown bits of “cracklings” resting on the bottom of the pot with a layer of fat over them.

Pour the contents of your slow cooker over a cheesecloth lined colander to separate the lard from the cracklings.


Pour the lard into jars and set aside to cool on a countertop or in the fridge.


Don’t throw the browned bits away! You can use them to make cracklings. (See below for instructions)


Bonus Step: How To Make Cracklings


To make cracklings, simply sprinkle the leftover brown bits with a little salt and put them in a pan set over medium heat. As they cook some of the excess fat will melt away and they’ll become crispy. They’re called cracklings because they often pop and sizzle as they cook. Once they’re crispy remove them from the pan and serve. They’re delicious with a little hot sauce and a spritz of lime.

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57 Responses to How To Render Lard In A Crock Pot

  1. Risotto alla Milanese RecipeMommypotamus | says:

    […] 2 TB tallow, lard, or olive oil  – You won’t be bringing the olive oil to 410 degrees so it won’t start to deteriorate if you decide to use it in this dish (here’s how to render lard) […]

    • Elizabeth says:

      Question …. When rendering lard in crockpot how many pounds for the 1/4 cup of water. I have 4 lbs of leaf lard and would like to render it ASAP. Thx.

  2. How To Season Cast Iron Cookware (Plus Care Instructions)Mommypotamus | says:

    […] soy are best, while others prefer to stick to the traditional fats our grandmothers likely used: lard and tallow. Personally, I prefer the second approach, but I’ve also added an additional […]

  3. How To Make Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce | The MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] tablespoon pastured lard, tallow, coconut oil or butter (where to buy pastured lard, how to make your own pastured lard, where to buy coconut […]

  4. How To Cook A Frozen Roast Without Thawing | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] coconut oil, ghee, tallow or lard for browning, optional (here to buy pastured lard, how to render your own lard) […]

  5. Bayou Dirty Rice Recipe | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] 3 Tbsp coconut oil, lard or tallow (here to buy pastured lard, how to render lard) […]

  6. Shrimp Chowder (Dairy-Free) | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] 2 Tbs. fat of choice: lard, coconut oil, or butter if dairy is okay (how to render lard at home) […]

  7. Why You Shouldn't Worry About Mercury In Fish (And A Recipe For Pecan Crusted Grouper) | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] for frying – tallow, lard, or palm shortening (how to render lard, where to buy pastured […]

  8. The "Naughty" Skin Care Ingredient You Absolutely Must Try! | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] Awhile back I wrote about coconut oil for radiant skin, a supercharged metabolism and preventing stretch marks. It’s what I’ve been using for years and I’ve been very happy with it. Thanks to a botched interstate road trip, though, my precious coconut oil ended up in a 10×20′ storage unit, so I cooked up a short-term solution: lard. […]

  9. Real Food on a Budget: 25 Tips to Make Eating Healthy AffordableMommypotamus | says:

    […] what’s most important to buy organic, I prioritize animal products such as meat, dairy and lard the highest, and produce as second tier. From there I try to avoid the Environmental Working […]

  10. Antioxidants Vs. Sunscreen: Which Works Better? | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] now that most Americans consume vegetable oils instead of traditional fats such as tallow, lard, coconut oil and butter the ration is between 17:1 and 30:1(source). That’s important, […]

  11. Grain-Free Homestyle Gravy (Thick & Creamy) | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] 3 tablespoons butter or lard (where to buy pastured lard, how to render lard) […]

  12. 7 Natural Remedies For Depression | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] are much higher when our bodies produce Vitamin D via time in the sun, but supplementation with lard from pastured pork, cod liver oil and eggs also play a vital role in keeping levels where they should […]

  13. Mexican 8 Layer Dip | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] 1 tbsp coconut oil, ghee, lard or tallow (where to buy coconut oil, where to buy grass-fed ghee, where to buy pastured lard, how to render lard) […]

  14. Are You A Caveman, GAPster or WAPFer ??? | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] organ meats such as liver), Wild-Caught Seafood, Animal Based Fats (butter, ghee, tallow, lard – all from animals raised on pasture), Eggs, Raw Milk Products, Lacto-Fermented Foods, […]

  15. Erin C says:

    People think I’m a freak, but lard-based “lotion” (more like body butter) is my favorite to use and make! My farmers give me pounds and pounds of undrendered fat and my fridge runs out of storage space pretty quickly. Infusing any animal-based fat, like lard or tallow, with a vanilla bean makes it smell like toasted marshmallows. No joke. Adding some coffee beans and/or herbs to the infusion only makes it better. Once some cocoa butter and carrier oils (olive, coconut, jojoba) are added it turns in to the most luscious lotion. It’s time consuming (mostly hands off though) but turns out so, so, so good!

    • Krystal Wight Armstrong says:

      Erin, do you have any recipes for your lotions? I’ve never made any, but it sounds great!^…

      • Krystal Wight Armstrong says:

        /\ That’s really weird, I have no idea why the “read more” mommypotamus link showed up in the bottom of my comment there, after I posted it…I’d edit or delete and try over, but you can’t delete comments. Oh well : )

      • Erin C says:

        Every time I make it, I remind myself to write down some of my measurements, but never do :( If I had to guess based on my “pours” and “handfuls” and the amount I get at the end, this is roughly what I do:
        4 c rendered fat (lard is my favorite for the texture, but tallow is amazing as well)
        8-12 oz cocoa butter (or other hard “butter” – shea would work just fine)
        8 oz coconut oil
        8 oz other carrier oil (I usually use a combination of olive, almond, jojoba, argan, vitamin e, tamanu or whatever I find on my “make stuff” shelf
        Beeswax – an ounce or two
        Smell good add-ins – vanilla beans (for me this is a must-have), coffee beans, dried calendula, dried lavender, dried chamomile, etc (my last batch smelled like s’mores with vanilla beans, calendula flowers and cocoa butter)
        Place rendered fat and a couple handfuls of whatever smell good add ins you’re using into an oven safe pan
        Leave in a 110 degree oven for 12-24 hours. I sometimes go as long as 4 days because I get too lazy to finish it for a while
        Strain. For this step, I first strain through cheesecloth to remove the large bits, then through a coffee filter to eliminate small particles like vanilla seeds. You shouldn’t be able to smell any “animal smell” at this point. If you do, add more smell goods and infuse for longer.
        Add cocoa butter, coconut oil and beeswax.
        Place back in the 110 degree oven for at least 4 hours. The low, slow melt eliminates the hardened bits of beeswax that sometimes happen.
        Stir in other carrier oils.
        Let come to room temperature before massaging luxuriously into your skin.
        It should be the texture of very thick frosting.

        • Krystal Wight Armstrong says:

          Well thanks so much for sharing that, Erin! ‘So interesting, and sounds fun. So the lotion is a lot thicker than the more ‘liquidy’ lotion, one would typically find on shelves (since you said it’s like thick frosting)?
          I’ll look forward to trying your recipe.

          And thanks, Heather, for this tutorial!
          (Thanks for correcting that glitch in my former comment, too; feel free to also delete the latter one pointing it out).

          • Erin C says:

            Yep! It’s more of a thick body butter than a lotion. Like I said, it’s kind of a pain to make, but I make a big batch and a little bit goes a loooong way. You’ll know you’ve used too much when you feel like a grease slick and can’t open the bathroom door :)

    • DianaVP says:

      Hey thanks for this tip Erin! :)

  16. Amy says:

    Is lard only made from pork fat? I’m curious because I don’t eat pork, but like the idea of cooking with lard. Thanks.

    • Heather says:

      Yes, lard is only made from pork fat, but you can also render many other kinds of fats: beef, lamb, deer, etc. They’re called different things, but it’s the same principle.

      • L Graham says:

        Can’t find a field for a direct post, so will post as a reply. I use cracklings in cornbread; stir about 1/4-1/2 cup into cornbread batter (Never use sugar in crackling cornbread) and cook as usual. Great taste and texture.

  17. Cait says:

    When I clicked the link to ‘order pork fat online,’ I had to smile because some lovely friends at our church own Tendergrass! So glad you support them :)

  18. Helen says:

    Both my kids (11 and 2) LOVE warm cracklings!

  19. Maia says:

    Would it work in a pressure cooker? Our crock pot is out of commission right now.

    • Erin C says:

      I’m not Heather, but I’ve been doing this rendering thing for years….
      No, a pressure cooker won’t work in this case. You need the low and slow melting qualities of a slow cooker. You can replicate the results on the stove on your smallest burner on very low heat, but will have to watch more carefully that you don’t “over-render” the fat, which although edible, ends up having a slightly burnt, almost rancid flavor.

    • Catherine says:

      I do mine in the oven because I do not have a crock pot at this time. A suggestion by Heather in her book explaining how to render tallow.

  20. Naomi says:

    HI Heather,
    Is this process exactly the same for beef tallow?

    • Erin C says:

      Yep! It’ll work the exact same way for suet (beef) to turn it in to tallow, chicken fat to turn it in to schmaltz and duck fat to turn it in to liquid gold :) Duck fat cracklings are just silly good!!!

  21. Spring Vegetable Stew From The Nourished Kitchen Cookbook | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] 1 tablespoon lard (where to buy lard) (here’s how to render lard) […]

  22. Christmas In July Book Giveaway!!!Mommypotamus | says:

    […] If “Bacon Makes Everything Better” is one of your life motto’s, this new book from Matt & Stacy of Paleo Parents may induce bliss. Every recipe  incorporates lard, bacon or some kind of pork in ways that are sure to make your mouth water. For example, those decadent brownies in the middle are made with lard and topped with ice cream/salted caramel bacon sauce! (Click on the image to enlarge the photo if you aren’t drooling enough already) (Click here to learn how to render lard) […]

  23. Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent (Borax-Free) | MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] Bar Soap (ALWAYS) – Coconut oil-based soaps are best, but tallow and lard can also be used. (here’s how to make it, here’s where to buy it, and here’s another brand that also works well). Click here to learn how to render tallow. […]

  24. How to Render Lard in a Crock Pot | All Natural Home and Beauty says:

    […] I love lard. You heard me. I love lard. And what’s sad is that lard has been given a very bad wrap for many years. Luckily after some time lard is finally making a comeback as a healthy and traditional fat. Of course we all know that not all fats are created equal and you want to make sure you have a quality fat. In fact you can actually render your own fat in a crock pot. Take a look and learn just how easy it is to render lard in a crock pot. […]

  25. danike says:

    How long is lard good for? :)

  26. Natural Remedies For Growing Pains - MommypotamusMommypotamus | says:

    […] cod liver oil is probably the highest source of vitamin D in my family’s diet, followed by lard, which has up to 1,100 IU per […]

  27. Laura says:

    Do you cover the crockpot during this process? All your photos are with the cover off and the water needs to evaporate. Thx.

  28. Sydne Schloer says:

    How long does this keep?

  29. Rachel says:

    How long can finished lard last? Thanks.

  30. Marlene says:

    I just tried my first attempt at rendering the fat from a 1/2 pig we bought. The resulting liquid was brown, while your photos show it beautifully clear. Did I overcook it? (The farmer gave me a very large bag – I think all the fat from all the pigs because no one else wanted it. So I had a large crockpot full of fat and it took overnight and still had fat pieces in it.) Any suggestions for next time would be appreciated.

  31. Karen--Over the Hillside says:

    Hi– I scored a local pig so I’ve been working with getting the fat rendered. I was a little worried because the last bit wasn’t melting. Thanks for the photos showing this was normal. I’ll be turning that into crackling.
    One other concern of mine–the lard is not solid at room temperature and has remained quite soft even when refrigerated. Does this mean my local piggy raised on fall apples, veggies and other local yummies did not make much saturated fat?
    I also, make creams and had decided to try the lard. Happy to see I’m not reinventing the wheel.

  32. Tamara Lang says:

    Thanks for the wonderful information. I have been raising pasture Berkshire pork (known as the lard pig) for the last 4 years. I have reluctant to try making lard until I read your post. I have a batch in the crock pot now. I can’t wait to see how it works. Do you have any other suggestions for the extra parts of hogs?

  33. Alexis says:

    Hi! I have rendered tallow and lard before and I just got a large quantity of pig fat! So excited! My question is about storage – Do I keep it in the fridge? How long will it store for? Thanks!

  34. Michelle says:

    I have friends following a clean eating plan that says you shouldn’t eat pork. Their reasoning is that pigs cannot sweat so they are full of toxic gunk that would normally be sweated out by other animals. I value your opinions and would like to know, What are you thoughts on this?

  35. Erika says:

    I wanted to make it, and order the lard from the web page from here. It does not work. It gives me a error code. Can you update it please.
    Thank you

  36. Tina says:

    I saw someone else ask about whether or not you are supposed to put the lid on the crock pot at all during this process, but it was never answered. So, I wanted to ask again before I try this.
    I want to try making beef tallow in the crock pot, but I want to put it outside so that it doesn’t smell up the house, and keeping the lid on would keep bugs and such out of it. :)

  37. Sally says:

    also – how much fat = how much lard?

  38. Anita says:

    I did the crockpot method, but after I put it into jars, there is about 1/3 of it that didn’t turn hard. It’s just sitting on the top still in the liquid state. What did I do wrong and can I fix it?

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