Lard is something many of us have considered unhealthy for years, but it’s making a comeback as nutritionists reveal the healthy, complex fats in lard are actually pretty good for you! It’s way better for you than vegetable or seed oils, and definitely better than margarine or imitation butter.
If you fry bacon at all, you definitely want to collect the fat that builds up in the pan and keep it for cooking! I keep a small jar in my fridge and use it as I would oil or butter all the time.
But did you know you can render it on your stove just like you would tallow? It can be used in so many different ways and, if you’re lucky enough to find a butcher that will give pork fat away, you can do it entirely for free!
Here are just a few examples of the many ways in which you can use lard:
Seasoning cast iron skillet
This is my personal favorite. Nothing seasons my cast iron like lard, and it makes them truly non-stick. I don’t even have to use water to clean them out when they’re regularly seasoned with lard! Simply rub on the warm, dry pan after washing and the next time you use it, you’ll probably just have to wipe them out with a cloth and a little more lard!
Use lard as a base to fry in, as you would any other cooking oil. With enough lard, you can deep fry, and nothing is quite as crisp or perfectly fried as when it’s fried in lard, trust me.
Lard makes a great fat for things like biscuits, breads, or tortillas. Simply use in the place of butter or oil for a smooth, buttery texture that is to die for!
Lard actually makes a great base for candles! There are many different recipes out there, and while they definitely don’t have a fatty smell like you’d expect, you can still scent them however you want using essential oils. These make a great gift or emergency candle stockpile.
If you’ve seen ‘Fight Club’, you’ll remember that animal fat is used as a base for soap, and lard makes a great one. It’s wonderfully moisturizing, and again, if you can get your pork fat for free and render your own lard, it serves as a very frugal base for soaps.
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