Recently I posted about rendering lard at home. After picking up another package of pork fat at the Asian market while purchasing beef bones for stock, I decided to try to render the fat in my slow cooker.
The lard took 6 hours to render completely; I did check on the lard every few hours to give it a quick stir, but otherwise, no work on my part was needed. This was much easier than the stovetop method, and will become my go-to method from now on.
I followed the same procedure as my stovetop lard; I trimmed the fat of excess meat, then cut the fat into cubes.
This fat was very well-trimmed; there was hardly any meat at all to remove.
I then placed about 3/4 cup of water in the crock of my slow cooker, then added the cubed fat.
I used my programmable, 6-quart slow cooker for the lard.
I then covered the slow cooker and set the temperature to LOW. I didn't bother with the timer since I was planning on checking the lard every few hours.
After 2 1/2 hours, the lard is beginning to render off its fat.
After 4 1/2 hours, the fat cubes are beginning to brown as more fat is rendered out.
After 5 1/2 hours, the fat cubes are browning, puffing up and forming cracklins.
After a little over 6 hours, the cracklins have all floated to the surface of the fat.
As with the stovetop method, I strained the fat and pressed as much of the fat from the cracklins as possible.
Cracklins before being pressed to extract lard.
I used the same amount of fat for this slow cooker batch as I did for the stovetop batch. My yield was slightly higher, as I got 2 FULL pints of lard, as opposed to a little less than 2 pints with the stovetop batch. My guess is that there was less loss to evaporation since the slow cooker stayed covered throughout the entire rendering process.
This batch had a more yellow/gold color than the last batch...
But still ended up creamy and white once chilled.
This method didn't create as strong of a "porky" smell while rendering, either. Cleanup was a lot easier as well, and I didn't have to deal with any spattering.