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How To Store Lard

I traditionally use Crisco in my pie crust, but wanted to avoid hydrogenated oil this Thanksgiving, and so experimented with lard. I was somewhat nervous about it, but was pleasantly surprised by its innocuous color and taste--AND by how very EASY it was to work with the resulting crust, which turned out very well.

I am now wondering whether or not I can freeze the remainder of the lard (in its original container)and subsequently defrost it for use in another pie crust. Or, will freezing somehow alter the texture of the lard, or the texture of future pie crusts made with it? Also, how long will lard keep in the fridge?

I have zero experience with it, exclusive of making the one crust. Can anyone help?

Bon Ap

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  1. Lard freezes beautifully. I break all my leaf lard down into the plastic Crisco stick containers and freeze. It will last almost indefinately like that, with no change to quality.

    1. It will last a long long time in the fridge, 2 years is fine. No need to freeze.Also not having to defrost to spoon out as needed.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        Thanks to both Becca and Candy for your prompt replies.

        My lard is in a tub (so I guess it isn't leaf lard). It sounds as though I can just keep it in the refrigerator, though.

        Are there any other interesting uses for it?

        Bon Ap

        1. re: Bon Ap

          Let me dig up my recipe for "Lardsnaps," (aka "Gingersnaps With a Difference") and I'll post it for you; these cookies, quite simply, are awesome.

      2. Carnitas are wonderful. Get country pork ribs with a bit of bone attached. Bring enough lard to cover to a simmer. Add some orange peel and then cook on low until the pork is meltingly tender. Serve up with warm corn tortillas, guacamole, lime, salsa etc. The left over lard can be reused. Just cool it and refrigerate.

        1. If your lard is not hydrogenated (which is bad), than I wouldn't store it more than 3 months in the fridge. Several sources have said to freeze it for long-term storage.

          Plus, for pie crusts and biscuits you want it frozen anyway. In my stick form, it is easy to slice it off frozen. No need to defrost.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Becca Porter

            i render my own leaf lard and have kept it for over a year in the fridge with no problems. after rendering, just be sure to strain it through a double layer of paper towels. Any little porky bits left in it might cause it to go bad, but pure lard should do just fine. and keeping it in the fridge makes it easer to spoon out and measure for use.

          2. Okay, I found the recipe, which I hasten to add comes courtesy of claire797, an online friend from my egullet days. Bring a batch of these to a cookie exchange and watch them disappear. The texture is amazing thanks to the "secret" ingredient!

            Ginger Molasses Snaps (aka Lardsnaps)

            1/2 c. plus 2 tablespoons lard
            1 c. sugar
            1 large egg
            1/4 c. molasses
            2 c. flour
            2 tsp. baking soda
            1/4 tsp. salt
            1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
            1 T. ground cinnamon
            1 T. ground ginger
            1/2 T. cloves
            1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg -- fresh if possible

            In large bowl, cream the lard with the sugar; add the eggs and molasses and blend well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Beat them into the molasses mixture. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 375. Roll dough into one-inch balls. Roll dough in crystal sugar or granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the outsides of the cookies are crackly looking. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

            1. Lard apparently has less Cholesterol and saturated fat than butter--at least according to Rick Bayless. That was nice to know, since the hydrogenated fats in vegetable shorting are terrible for you. But finding non-hyrdogenated lard turns out not to be easy at all. I make a lot of things myself that most people don't(yogurt, cheese, bread, for example) but I'm not sure I'm up to rendering my own lard. I've asked my buther and they don't have any. Suggestions?

              3 Replies
              1. re: dinnerbell

                Just did it tonight for the first time. I found some fatty bits on sale at my butcher and I was buying a picnic shoulder that I was going to cube. Googling "how to render lard" offered up as many different approaches as there were entries: cast-iron skillet/saucepan; roast/simmer; water/no water. I decided, for no particular reason other than that they seemed comprehensive, to follow the directions I found here:

                http://www.obsessionwithfood.com/2006...

                I started out with maybe a cup and a half of fat from the bits and the skin of the shoulder and added about half a cup of water. At first, it was sticking to the bottom of my stainless saucepan so badly I kept adding more and more water and was thinking this just ain't working at all. But after about an hour, maybe longer, the chicarrones started to crisp up and the fat began to look good. Stuff was still sticking to the bottom of the pan, but not as badly. And it was beginning to look as though I might end up with something, so I was encouraged.

                In the end (I wasn't paying careful attention; two, three hours) I got maybe a half cup of lard. It's still cooling. No idea what I'm going to do with it. It's not as though there's a lot there.

                1. re: xyz_recipes

                  Oh my! Never heard of these before. But I have a very good friend, lives in London but born and raised in Aberdeen, who comes to stay with me a few times a year. Can't decide whether he'd be thrilled or horrified if I surprised him with these for breakfast one morning. May just have to find out. Thanks for letting me know about them.

                2. re: dinnerbell

                  I render both leaf lard and fatback lard in my slow cooker. Cut the fat into pieces about 1-2", place in slow cooker on high. Initially you will get some sputtering as water renders out. When the sputtering stops, turn the slow cooker down and let it cook the fat down. Periodically I ladle the liquid lard out of the cooker and into storage containers. Eventually you'll get little bits of cracklings near the bottom which I strain out. It's really that easy. I do about 5lbs at a time.

                3. I order mine from Deitrich's in Pennsylvania. It is top quality leaf lard. Really cheap too.

                  1. Forgive my ignorance, but what is "leaf" lard? How does it differ from the lard I grew up with, namely rendered from hog fat?

                    1. It's my understanding that leaf lard is the fat found around the kidneys - more pure with fewer other things in it (blood, gristle, or what have you)

                      The title of this thread, "How to Store Lard" fits in perfectly with the title of another post below. "Other than adding it directly to my hips

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: oakjoan

                        Yes. It is just the really pure kidney fat, that is especially prized for baking. No trans-fat and less saturated fat than butter.