What's the best way to store lard?

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I am going to stock lard in our stash. No date on carton, what is shelf life?

-- && (&&@&&.&), July 24, 1999


Lard is animal fat which will eventually go rancid. I don't know for how long you can store this. Crisco would be better. That can store indefinitely.

-- Mo questions (Maureenls@Worldnet.att.net), July 24, 1999.

How do you raise a Crisco and what do you feed it? I know how to raise lard and what to feed it, but Crisco.....

-- chicken farmer (chicken-farmer@ y2k.farm), July 24, 1999.

Over a year's storage life for lard in a freezer.

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), July 25, 1999.

I bought a 50 lb. box of lard. I am storing it in my well's pressure tank area. It's a hole in the ground about 10 feet deep where the pressure tank resides. Hubby put the box of lard down in there where the temp remains at around 50 or less F. We don't know if it will keep well down there or not (don't have our propane freezer set up yet), but at least it won't melt! :-) This hole is also where I am planning to store my gallons and gallons of blackberry wine when I make it (soon, soon...)!

-- prairie woman (stockingup@home.com), July 25, 1999.

Lard that has not been used will last for years in a bucket with lid. Any grease will go rancid after being used and saved for a long period of time. I have never saved oil or grease after using, except bacon grease. Not because of taste, but because it was too messy to store and too easy to buy. I have lots of lard and Crisco stored and some very cheap brands stored for soap making. My family always used lard. Armour in the green and white package was always in our house when I was growing up. It was never refrigerated until after it was used. Don't worry about lard, it will be around for a long time.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), July 25, 1999.

If you are "producing" your own lard, you will need to "render" it in order to provide long-term storage.

Rendering used to be done outdoors, putting cut up bits of fat into a large kettle, heating over a fire, and letting it simmer until all fat is converted to a transparent liquid. There will be bits of meat/skin/other stuff in the very hot liquid, so the lard needs to be strained when storing. In the olden days, the lard was passed through a clean cheesecloth, and the oil stored in covered tin cans. The "cracklins" are the leftover fried bits of stuff -- same as "pig skins" you get at the supermarket today.

A simpler way (to me, anyway) to render lard is to place cut up fat on a grate over a dutch oven or some other deep pan. Place in a slow oven (say, 200F, if your woodstove has a thermometer!), and let the fat cook down into a liquid. Proceed as above!

You can also can lard, using quart/pint jars and fresh lids. Heat the jars in the oven, steam lids and let dry. Pour strained hot lard into hot jars and cap immediately (use potholders)....make sure there's not even a drop of lard on the rims -- it will prevent a good seal. When the lard has cooled, it solidifies into the familiar white product.

Store your lard in a dark, cool place. As long as you don't open the jars, the lard should keep "indefinitely" -- at least until the next pig! Once the jars are opened, the lifespan is much shorter, especially if there is no refrigeration.

Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (ale@townsqr.com), July 25, 1999.

&& (&&@&&.&):

My experience is the same as Anita's. When I grew up we had what the family called the cave. It was cold and had a spring. We made lard and stored the lard there in ceramic tubs. From my experience, if you have to worry about lard going bad, you will have more important things to worry about.

Best wishes

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), July 25, 1999.

I forgot. I am talking of the great unwashed of the frozen north. This might not work in San Diego.

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), July 25, 1999.

I recall from the Conniry's survival lecture at the city of Poway, that they suggested storing lard in those heavy plastic juice jugs and sealing it with roofing patch. This was to be buried as a cache for emergencies. Apparently, if you are starved, you crave fat.

I would suggest anyone who wants to know about basic urban survival to listen to their lecture series on real audio. It used to be at y2k Update, but the link seems to have been removed.

The Conniry's website is http://members.home.net/shadow-scout/

-- marsh (armstrng@sisqtel.net), July 26, 1999.

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