Monday, September 3, 2012

Cutting and Lard Making

I wasn't sure if "larding was a word :)
 I don't mind making lard at all. Yeah, there's the smell but by the time you start filling your jars--one now, one an hour or so later etc., it starts to smell really good to you. With this pig there was a LOT of fat! Yeah! I saved all I could too. Right now I have two of my larger crock pots going (I had to dig one out of the cupboard, haven't used it in years- since I got the newer one) and they were full of fat. Plus I have a whole gallon bag full of more fat to make into lard. Unfortunately I didn't think to take pictures of the fat before I started cooking but here the crock pots are now after I have gotten 3 quarts of lard out.

The older crock pot definitely cooks slower than the newer one. I had to turn the newer one down (just goes to show that people want slow cookers but apparently not quite as slow as they used to be). I, obviously, have a couple more quarts to go which is fine with me. I don't do a lot of baking in the summer so haven't used up much of my 4 pints from the last pig (we don't use it for every day frying stuff because I keep so much bacon grease) but I am pretty sure that what I get from these two pigs should last me the whole year and I shouldn't have to buy any kind of oil or shortening. This is one of the reasons I never want to do the cost per pound vs feed on an animal. If I could do it (which I can't), I would rather do a cost to feed vs the cost it would save me on the price of the same products- or products I will substitute what I have for- if that makes sense.


The other chore today was cutting up the meat and trying to find a place for it in the freezer. We didn't quite succeed at this. I have 8 packages of bacon (approx 5 lbs each) in the frig curing in bags. That was all the room we could find since there are two hams still sitting in the frig. as well. That was just one half of the bacon belly (the other half is..bigger). I got the roasts cut off, the shoulders and hocks cut and bagged, the heart, tenderloin, and loins cut (what a lot of loin! We normally cut it and use it as boneless pork chops but the taste is SO much better than store bought pork chops), there is the sausage meat and the bag of fat in there as well and all the ribs.

We would have gotten the other ham at least in the freezer (to cure later) but we ran out of freezer bags so will have to do it tomorrow after work. It is in the big cooler with the huge other slab of bacon (I cut up the ribs to the loin to get more bacon). I will keep adding ice to it but we will get the other ham done tomorrow and hopefully in the freezer, and the bacon will get cut into approx 5-6 lb chunks and put in the freezer to freeze for later or put in the frig to cure--whichever has more space.
Was sick all morning and it wasn't my sinuses but still got the job done and animals fed. Can't say that I missed having to feed the pig.

21 comments:

  1. I remember the days of full freezers, but it's been a long time for me. I don't even have a deep freeze now, after losing a bunch of stuff to a power-outage a few years ago.

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    1. Why has it been a long time for you Gorges? Next year our goal is to get a generator so that is not a possibility. Even if we did have a power outage that lasted more than 3 days (it will stay frozen, mostly, for 3 days if it isn't opened), I would hope that I would have the ability (I do keep jars and LOTS of lids stocked up) to cook or can whatever is left in the freezer so that it would last even longer.

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  2. Just found your site and enjoyed reading your lard making experience.....I just finished raising my first two pigs for our freezer and have been rendering the lard, too. So far, I have 13 pints done and I'm guessing there's about 8 more to go. I DON'T miss the smell of the pigs, but will definitely raise two more when the freezer starts getting low. It's the best pork I've ever eaten! Blessings, Darlene

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    1. Hey Darlene! These are our first two pigs too. I definitely won't miss the smell, lol, or the trying to keep the food dishes nailed on so they can't take them into the pen or having slop sprayed on me when one shakes when I come to feed them. I got just over 4 pints of lard from the first pig but this one was a lot larger and I have 5 quarts so far and will likely get another pint or so plus I have at least another crock pot full of fat to do later.
      As for raising some next year, well, Phil says if we do it next year we only raise one. I tend to agree. It was a lot of work for us. If we had had more help it might have been better.

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  3. i can most everything because of power outages and my deep freezer is a small one..i do freeze some veggies during the summer and alot of fruit but i thaw it and can the fruit into butters, jams and jellies and pie fillings when the kitchen is not so hot to work in. you are right smart to make your own lard...i noticed last week how the price of real lard has gone up tremendously...so lard is one of the things that i have stocked up on.i have a question for you though...when you can your lard, do you have to process it any further other than putting a lid on the jar? and does the jarred lard last longer than it would in a store bought lard container? generally i dont can alot of meat, mostly soups and such with meat as an ingredient. but this year has been different and i have canned alot of meat and poultry. and you are right..if the freezer goes out..you have at least three to five days to get what is in the freezer thawed, cooked and canned-especially if you have other cooking methods other than electric...been there and done that.

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    1. I keep the lard in the jars in the frig. As far as I know it could last in there years without going bad. I have heard of people canning it and can't understand why they think there is a need to do that. I put it in jars because it is way too hot at first to pour into any plastic lard container, though I don't think the container you put it in matters in the least.
      We have a gas stove so can cook if the power goes out as long as we have gas anyway.

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  4. When I was alot younger it was my job to cook the cracklins or as you say do the larding. We built a small fire under a black was pot and it was my job to keep it going and watch to make sure they didn't burn.The only licking my granddad ever gave me was be cause I got off and got to playing around and the lard caught on fire. but to make matters worse I tried to put the fire out with the water hose. BELEIVE ME THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE. It blazed up even more. The rest is history that is embeded in my mind LOL.

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    1. Yeah, I'll take the crock pot, lol, and I have another batch to do but I won't even do it until I am home. I won't leave it going for Michelle to watch and she is 19 but "once upon a time" children were more responsible (well mostly, LOL).

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  5. Well done, Becky! I rendered lard from the fat off our Berkshire pig and it was fantastic. Still have some left but not much. I put the crock pots in the garage because the smell did bother me, but then again, I have a hard time with smelling any food cooking all day in a crock pot. By supper, I don't want to eat it, because I've smelled it all day LOL.

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    1. I can't say that the smell bothered me this time at all.

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  6. That all looks so good. I don't know if we would ever get into pig raising,but it is a thought.
    I read on a cockpot cooking site that the new crockpots do cook at a higher temp because of the fear of low temp not killing bacteria. I have two new crockpots since my old trusty one got a crack in it. I notice that I can't leave things to cook all day like I used to. I don't like to smell something cooking all day either. One time I put the turkey giblets in the crockpot over night to make gravy for Thanksgiving and by morning we were so sick of turkey cooking smell it's a wonder we ate the turkey. So then I learned to put the crockpot out on the back porch.

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    1. I love to smell something cooking all day. It just makes me HUNGRY!

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  7. Just an awesome job Becky! 5 quarts? wow!

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    1. It's looking like the end results will be almost 9 quarts in all.

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  8. i was wondering something becky...our grocers will literally give fat trimmings away...for free, as much as you want. is this what i would want to use to render lard?

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    1. I guess, if it is pork fat. They don't give it away here.

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    2. thanks, i am gonna find out...i believe it is pork fat as we have those "corporate" pig farms all around us. but i am also gonna research beef fat as well cause i believe that a person can render beef fat into tallow and that goes into soap making as well as pork fat. by the way, i do really like reading your blog...i just love it when folks do things in their own backyard and are self reliant.

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    3. Yes, you can use beef fat to make tallow and I have heard you can use it to make soap but I have always used lard. You can use tallow to make tallow candles though.

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  9. Wow, I never thought of using the crock pot. I used my canner pot. We can buy port trimmings from the butchers here. Rendering your own lard is a great way to have a pure product. Never know what they do with the the lard you buy in the store.

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    1. The crock pot is so easy because you don't have to worry about it burning or setting something on fire, of course. It does all the work for you. It also produces a very nice white lard. I believe this is because it doesn't get too hot. I have heard people talk about getting white lard and a more brown lard that they call "savory" I believe the brown lard is just getting cooked too long at too hot a temperature. All mine is a lovely white.

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