I think it is important to know that lard is the original Crisco. Lard was around long before Crisco, the company B&G spent tons of money marketing its new product as “healthier” because it was made from vegetables. What we now know is that the less processing somethings must go through the better it is for you. The process of taking pig fat and turning it into lard is so incredibly simple it blows my mind! Why in the world did people ever stop using it??? The answer is marketing! Thankfully with todays technology we can all do our own research and make our decisions from an educated perspective and maybe not believe everything a TV commercial tells us.
Raising pigs outside like we do has many benefits for the meat and the fat that we turn into lard. One of the main benefits is the increase in Vitamin D. In a study done at the University of Wyoming they show that pigs who were exposed to sun for only 1 hour a day for 2 weeks had an 18-fold increase in vitamin D compared to a pig raised conventionally indoors. Considering most people are deficient in vitamin D, sourcing pigs from farmers who raise them outdoors could be a tasty and easy way to increase it (1).
Also, by simply swapping your vegetable oil for a little bit of lard could also be a way to increase your vitamin D from a natural source. Lard is made from the pig’s fat and extremely easy to render yourself. Simply get some pig fat, either from your local farmer who raises their pigs outdoors or order from our website and we can ship some to your door!
Then you cut the fat into chunks and add to a crockpot or slow cooker of your choice and set to around 200-225, if leaving overnight turn it to around 185. I did an exceptionally large roaster and 24 # of fat. It made A LOT of lard! Then for the next 24-48 hours skim off the liquid and run through a strainer and into a jar. Once the jar is full you can put a lid on it and let it self-seal. Or keep the lard in a refrigerator until ready to use! Crazy easy right!?
I use lard for getting my cast iron ready to cook with, tortillas, pie crust and whenever I fry something, like fried chicken. Really you can use it for anything that calls for a fat, those are just the things I really enjoy the flavor in!