Eat Well, For Less!

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    • Sarah says

      Any meat packing plant/butcher will probably have fat they sell or possibly even give away! One note-if rendering tallow, I took my butcher’s advice and took my crockpot outside on the deck. And boy, am I glad I did!! The smell can be quite strong.

      • Tiffany says


        You make an EXCELLENT point. I didn’t realize how strong the smell was since I was in the midst of it (and was cooking some bacon for soup too), but Mr. Crumbs asked if I was cooking bacon several feet from outside the front door! I’m updating the post to let others be aware too. Thanks for reminding me! ~Tiffany

    • Tiffany says


      Do you mean where to you find smaller amounts of fat? Like only one or two pounds? If you only have access to larger quantities, use a larger pot (like one for boiling pasta, or a stock pot) or render the fat in batches. You can also collect the large fat trimmings from the meat you buy and render when you reach 1-2 pounds. Does that help? ~Tiffany

  1. Mary says

    We got a 1/4 steer and so far, has been fairly well trimmed, but i do have a butcher I can contact :-)

    • Tiffany says


      I’m jealous of your steer and butcher! Having a good meat source really is a great asset to eating well – well done! ~Tiffany

  2. Mary Katherine says

    This definitely peaks my curiosity, but I don’t know if it’s something I’d ever do:) I love how you’re really willing to go “in depth” with your topics and really explore all the nutritional possibilities !

    • Tiffany says

      Mary Katherine,

      Lard really does have a bad name. People cringe at the thought of eating fat, despite it being so much better for you than the wannabe, fake counterparts. If you’re ever interested in making it yourself, it really is easy. Just learn from my mistake and open a window. 😉 ~Tiffany

  3. RJ says

    I render both, it is the only fat I use since my nursling is allergic to dairy and I to coconut. I use my crockpot though so I can keep the temperature low, helps avoid that porky taste. People do think it is bad though, I mentioned to a friend that I mainly use lard since I can’t use butter, she commented how horrible it was for me.

  4. Heather says

    I can’t wait to try this when it warms up here ( husband said only if I do it outside). I started using lard as a fat when my friend said that she used it for her biscuits. Now my kids can tell when I run out and use “the other stuff.” The funny thing is that people who tell you it is bad for you are just saying what they have always heard. We are making bacon right now so can I use the fat we trim from that?

    • Tiffany says


      Absolutely can! Save it in your freezer and hopefully by the time it gets warm, you’ll have cooked up enough bacon to have a nice stash set aside! Remember to start slow and low to help remove some of the “porky” flavor. My husband may put the same restriction on me after this first batch, lol. ~Tiffany

  5. says

    thanks for sharing the post on cleverchicks. I have been saving up my wood ash from the winter to render my own lye and was also looking to render my own fats for purely, truly homemade herbal soap from scratch. Now I know to ask the butcher to save me the trimmings from my 1/4 cow before the packaging. I am pinning this! – danielle from

    • Tiffany says


      I’m glad you found the tutorial helpful! I haven’t made soap before, but I don’t think that would be out of the question if I’m rendering fat anyway! ~Tiffany

  6. says

    Great tutorial! I have rendered lard in the past, but it has been a while. Thanks for the reminder that I should be doing this more frequently.

  7. Marita says

    Love your blog and thanks for the great tutorial! Our family will be butchering a pig in a few weeks that was raised by a local Amish man…we are so excited and this reminds me of all the lard we’ll be getting! Keep up the the good work!

    • Tiffany says


      Thank you! I wish you luck in rendering your lard. I give you two thumbs up for an excellent source! ~Tiffany

  8. Tracy says

    I’m currently driving back home to Colorado after a weekend in Iowa spent butchering pigs on my friend’s dad’s farm. I have a huge bag full of fat ready to be rendered tomorrow! We would have had more, but coming home with so much fresh farm meat, we were running quite low on freezer space and had to leave a bag behind. Thank you for posting this as I have never rendered fat before! I wish more people realized that good, natural fats are not the enemy!

  9. Cathy says

    I’ve been rendering for a while and it’s so easy. I only use a metal strainer and a lidded steel soup pot. Cast iron does probably add some extra nutrition to it but my pans are so heavy and I’m deathly afraid of hot lard burns! – but I’m writing here to suggest you can also infuse the lard – it stores for at least 6 months in the refrigerator. I will do one render with three glass jars and while lard is still liquid and hot – I will add fresh minced garlic to one jar and fresh rosemary to another – I leave one plain for baking. Just an idea for you. :-)

    • Tiffany says

      Ooh – garlic flavored fat! LOVE the idea! And wouldn’t that just be divine when you’re cooking up some fried chicken? Oh geez. Now I need some pig fat – I’m hungry! Thanks for sharing your genius idea Cathy!

  10. Heather Collins says

    Hi Tiffany, This is a bit off topic but you did mention it above, so hopefully this question is o.k. for this post. I also have a cast iron skillet to season. Did you use your rendered lard to season yours? If I don’t have a good source for fat, do you think I could season mine with coconut oil?

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Heather! I season my skillet with whatever good fat I have on hand :) I’ve used lard, but since that’s gone, I now use coconut oil – so yes, you’re safe!

  11. Sarah Little says

    Ok, put the fat in a crock pot on high, plug it in outside and pour off the fat as it liquifies?
    Really? Is it that simple?
    I have an email out to a Sinclair Family Farm in Penryn CA to see if they sell leaf fat…….I so excited!
    My husband will not believe his ears when I tell him he can eat cracklin……

    • Shauna says

      If you render the fat in the crockpot, how do you make the crackling? Does it get brown in the crockpot, or do you have to finish it in the oven?

  12. Shannon Hrutfiord says

    I am the meat farmer in the family. This year a friend suggested I ask the butcher for the pig suet when having my pigs butchered. Thrre is a very large bag of fat in my freezer and I was wondering what to do with it. After reading your article I am wondering if I can pressure can the pig fat once rendered? My freezer is full of meat and berries. I have a pantry ready for full jars. Any suggestions?

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Shannon! I know you need acid to can, and I’m not too familiar with canning fat. Although fat will last quite a while in the fridge… maybe that’s an option?

    • Marita says

      Shannon, from my experience lard keeps very well in refrigerator. Or even a nice cool area in your house, like the basement or canning cellar, if you have one. Canning jars make great storage containers for lard and if you put the lids on while it’s still hot to warmish it will even seal and it will keep for a long time. No need to pressure can it.

  13. says

    Hello, I want to know how to keep the tallow at room temperature without melting…

    Is there something I can add to it? I am making fire starters, adding sawdust to the tallow… It burns very well… but no good if left out of the fridge:-(

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Kevin! I would consider adding another fat that is solid at room temperature to help with the solidification. Palm oil and coconut oil immediately come to mind, but I don’t know if either are suitable for the needs you outlined. Sorry! Hopefully someone else can chime in with an idea!

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