Preserving Fat For Cooking

Discussion in 'Food Storage - Canning/Freezing/Butchering/Prep' started by poltiregist, Sep 25, 2020.

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  1. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    This is actually a question . Several years back I was in a pawn shop browsing when I saw a old cast iron lard press that was likely made about 100 years ago . My prepper instinct kicked in and I bought it . It works great but I have never found a use for it . Now with the supply chain likely to break in about a month , I figure the time of using it may be near . --- My question is after fat is pressed and squeezed out , how well will the lard keep ? Does it require any other processing to preserve the lard for cooking ?
     
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  2. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    I actually don't know anything about a lard press but if you render the lard on the stove and then pressure can it, it should keep "indefinitely " is the term I have seen used.

    If you don't pressure can it should keep for a few weeks on the counter or again the "indefinitely " in the freezer.
     
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  3. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    I don't know but have a story about some deer tallow. Years ago when I was a small child my father rendered some tallow from a whitetail deer. Anyhoo 20 years later I bought the farm from my parents. I was cleaning out the barn and thee was a open pot hanging on a hook. In this pot there was chunks of tallow from that deer. The tallow appeared in good shape, it was dirty, dusty. It didn't smell bad. I often wondered how long properly processed tallow would last if kept dry and in the dark.

    Also there is a way of preserving sausage patties. Patties are cooked up and then stacked in a mason jar. The jar is then filled with lard and capped. Pretty sure it is meant to be consumed that season.
     
  4. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    c41ebdca70dd2f3360d4d9716db1d8b3.jpeg

    How to stockpile lard:

    https://www.askaprepper.com/how-to-...e-rich-survival-food-of-the-great-depression/

    I've never heard of nor seen a lard-press. Were I attacked by someone wielding a lard press, I'd have to tell the sheriff, "That madman was attacking me with some metal tool I didn't recognize. But sheriff, that man had murder burning in his eyes and metal clutched in his hands, so I had therefore to shoot him!"

    Are lard presses large? I know that lard comes in bricks. Does a lard press form lard into bricks? The universe is fraught with conundrums.

    How long will lard last? I'd say that if you are rendering pork and do pour the fat straight into jars, it would last dang near forever if immediately sealed. In the skillet, you've added salt.

    When a lad, I ate more than my fair share of streaked meat. The molten fat was poured into jars and we'd eat the cracklings left in the pan. I've watched my grandma pressure cook enough food for mighty armies, however not once did I ever see her put back lard to last for however long. We were perpetually awash in needed grease & lard. The lard from the back of a hog is hard and very different than the belly fat, then there's the fat from around the kidneys. Each has its purpose.

    I will allow the experts to speak; the esoterica of lard:

    https://www.leaf.tv/articles/difference-between-fatback-salt-pork/

    Leaf lard rendering


    You got cracklin cornbread and soup-beans for to eat, you'll not die. Berry jams and jellies added, you'll live even more healthy.

    https://southernhomeexpress.com/cracklin-cornbread/

    ==========================
    What now follows is a light treatise on lard, Southern Appalachia, and the Gates of Heaven.

    If you are patient and you are into historic types of stories, you may find benefit within the following read. Otherwise, you'd best spare yourself and read no further. You have been warned.

    A body first gotta know that they'z yer hawgs, then there's yer groundhawgs. Groundhawgs are fat, but they'll fight you like seven devils to stay alive and keep their fat. "Well hell you old geezer, groundhawgs they jist ain't that varry big!" Skeezicks, you go wrestle one and I'll watch. Knew a fellow who shot one with his rifle and that sure didn't kill it. He said that the little hellion came straight for him and didn't stop untill he'd emptied his .38 revolver into it. I've eaten groundhog and trust me, it is gamey. Be a very good shot, or don't hunt them. Head shots are the best shots on such critters, so you yourself be the best shot to make the head shots.



    My folk slaughtered hogs, what they raised and what they hunted-down. Wild hogs are more lean, but they're more mean. You got your rendering hog breeds and then you got your bacon hog breeds. Rendering hogs aren't just fat, they are whoppers, they look like mutants, mishapenly fat.

    American Chestnut blight of 1917 was a killer. Changed how people lived. Chestnuts fattened-up the wild hogs. And too, cabins were built of chestnut logs -- takes forever to rot. People used to set-out hogs to feed on the chestnuts then come fall, it was time hog-slaughtering in preparation for winter. This is also canning season for the vegetables coming in from harvest season.

    The men of my mom's family set out to hunt wild hogs at this time. My dad's lot were valley people (sort'a-kind'a) and thus could feed their hogs with the corn they grew. My dad's dad killed hogs by slamming them in the head with the flat side of an axe knock'em out, hang'em up by their back legs, and run a long knife into their throat to bleed them out.

    Dad's lot: Money from working the iron mines allowed people to buy farming equipment -- some men in a family worked the mines & some family men worked the farms. Understand that clans, composed of several families (sometimes LOTS of families), stuck together (they had to). If they were members of multiple churches, the churches had the same beliefs. Mess with any one amongst a clan and you've invoked an army -- an army of people who weekly killed to put meat on the table. The women could "part the hair of your head", so don't mess with Betsy! Need I speak of poor girls such as Annie Oakley? I think not. Watch out, Jack!

    Can't grow much corn up in the mountains. The chestnut blight had a horrible impact on the mountain folk. Sure there's the chickens, squirrels and the occasional deer (lean, too lean), but pork is decidedly precious in keeping people alive during bad winters. "Why would anyone want to kill a bear?" Number one, they are in the mountains. Number two, their meat can be salted / turned to jerky and their fat (bears readying for hybernation are FAT) can be rendered into ceramic pots for to store during winter. I have heard it said by more than one person that when frying up bear, all the dogs in the holler would go to howling.

    Ceramic pots, jars, and jugs was what you had up in the hills. The valley folk had glass jars which, though fragile, were super-handy and had sealing lids. My dad's family had things a whole lot better than my mom's family. Mom's clan was "some people didn't make it" poor.

    Winters at 3000 ft /4000ft up in the mountains of Appalachia are not happy winters. Any person with some fat on them were better insulated / body temps not dropping and thus didn't catch some fever and die. Having a working immune system and staying reasonably warm are good things. Lean may be good and all, however if you are not near where you can get antibiotics you'd better have some extra weight on you to see you through to the other side of a nasty fever.

    My grandparents had all weathered scarlet fever and typhoid to live on into their 90s. My dad's mom would slam me with poultices laden with kerosene and menthol plus God only knows what else on my chest to "break loose" the crud in my chest. Other kids took a week or better till they could stand straight and run, me I'd be better in three days. Yes, it DID mean that I'd have to suffer the poultices, the hacking up mass quantities of phlegm, but Mamaw beat the hell out of fevers.

    Churches and family clans took care of the lame and the elderly -- it's what you did. This was done. There was no thinking put to this. There was no, "Oh I'm being a good person for performing this charity!" This is that which is done. Zero variation. Deacons went on the "visitations", which on Sunday was determined who would be visiting which shut-ins with what provisions.

    "How you'a doin' this hyar week, Miss Yates?!" She's 94 yr old and still keeping house. "Now if'n you be in need'a anythin'what's'ever, you jist ring ussin's up awn that thar fancy telephone a'yorn. Taylor hyar has done brought you communion. We awl miss you s'much down at Church, but then, we awl know jist how much that thar hip goes t'hurtin' awn ya. So what's say we awl have us a prayer to our dear Lord right about now!"



     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  5. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    I have learned a lot from you guys today on rendering lard . The only old time hog butchering that I have been to was in a place called the " devils back bone " and I was around 6 or 7 years old at that time . Now that was primitive old fashion hog butchering . So my knowledge on turning fat into lard was limited . --- If I could I would send you guys a picture of the lard press but will give a brief description . It looks to be able to hold one to two gallons of fat with one very strong gear press that when hand cranked sends down a press into the rendered fat . Under the fat is a metal grate for the squeezing's to go through and a exit spout below the grate for the liquified remains to flow out and into a catch basin . --- Actually I didn't know how this press fit into the scheme of lard making until I watched Old Geezer's video . That is when I figured it out . The press is so old that when it was first being used it may have been as what was considered for commercial use . I am fairly sure it is at least 100 years old but being made of cast iron is just as serviceable as it was the day it was first used . Thanks for the help .
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
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  6. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    One thing I know is that the hardness of lard varies greatly. Each type has its use. That stuff, I don't know; however, were you to ask a baker, they'd likely talk your ears off.

    Eating "high on the hog":

    https://www.gingersoftware.com/content/phrases/high-on-the-hog/

    It's not just that the meat is better high on a hawg, the lard cut off the top of a hawg is harder / higher quality.

    Sounds like a press you have. I reckon that the press, like you said, separated the harder lard from the regular renderings. This is just me guessing, but likely some lard was put into the press at temperature, but certainly not in any melted state. The whole process at completion left a brick of harder lard for the commercial market or for use in certain types of baking -- for frying, it just wouldn't matter that much, would it?; you could have a bucket of frying grease at little cost.

    In times past, I've priced bricks of lard and it isn't exactly cheap. I'd thought, like you, that maybe I could put back some of this for storage. Whatever I found out about it back then, led me to the belief that lard bricks weren't how I wanted to store lard.

    But with your press, think about this, you'd know the state of your lard from beginning to the end of the brick formation. Were the lard previously salted and had by your hand been brought to bacteria-killing-temperatures and time therein, your bricks would be at end of process, pristine. With these still very warm bricks, you could then seal them in the fashion of your choice. And when I say "seal", you'd best do it very right lest it be lost to going rancid. I have NO idea of how to seal lard bricks.

    Some folk used to, still do, can lard (pressure-cook it in jars), but like I said, I've never ever been near the process. As a boy, my mom and everybody else near there, knew personally the butcher at a country store. Need lard or specific cuts of meat, he'd slice it in front of you. The owner of that store got paralyzed in a plane crash up in Alaska. He'd roll about the store in his wheelchair, white apron. Mornings, he'd get out his car, roll across the road with a 6" barrelled revolver in his lap. I didn't mess with him. Theoretically he could smile. I never saw him smile, save to his women customers. Even then, it appeared to me that it tested his hardened heart to do so.

    Mom's dad, my mountain man Pap, eventually got a small town job (not one you'd wanna work) and moved his family out the mountains. In town, he didn't fit in ... ever. Yet this, his painful action for himself, saved his kids from a harder life. It's a beautiful thing living within nature, but it's too hard'a thing to watch the weaker children die. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away."

    Mom's Pap wasn't involved in the moonshining business ... save to be a consumer of product. As to my dad's side of the family ...
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  7. Caribou

    Caribou Master Survivalist
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  8. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Old Geezer,

    There goes America's contemporary Oberammergau Passion Play; women were "kept down", "nearly useless", "always children" from 1776 ... wait, since 1607 ... until Ruth Bader Ginsberg came alone for the rescue.

    The mention of Annie Oakley - far from a rich girl, grew up in poverty as we'd call it now - refutes the femininist official history of repression.

    Forgot specifics but after getting famous with Buffalo Bill's show, she offered President McKinley to provide a company of lady sharpshooters for the Spanish-American war. The actual history quotes her with word "lady" sharpshooters.

    She retired to a couple of places, one being in Maryland and one somewhere in North Carolina.
     
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  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Ruth Bader Ginsberg was our latter day Margaret Sanger, the person who kept the minority populations down using abortion.

    Diana was the goddess of the hunt. The women of my Appalachian remembrances were strong. They could shoot. They could take care of themselves. Men who abused women got a visitation at night by the local vigilance committees. As a boy, I knew men who served therein. I've taught some decidedly female humans (the whole XX thingy) in marksmanship who, if memory serves, became experts in marksmanship themselves.

    Appalachia, come to think of it, was a lesson in true feminism. The women were, in and of themselves capable. They did NOT whine and demand that any accolade be bestowed upon them without having themselves become the person of respect, the person of honor, deserving of such.

    Most of the "feminism" I witness today is an overt disrespect of truly noble women.

    No screamer deserves any respect. Losing control of one's emotions, especially in public, betrays the critical immaturity lying within the person having the fit.

    The things asked of feminists in the early parts of the 1900s, have been granted. These ordinances can be enforced, can be brought to trial and have been. That which is being asked now among these screamers is that they be granted revenge.

    If one wishes to defeat a man, then defeat him. Become better than your opponent.
    Become the person who cannot be dismissed. Make the lot of your enemy come to respect you more than him. You may not kill him in a day, but you will wear him into the grave long before his time.
    .
     
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  10. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Fat is one of the hardest things to come by in nature. That is why the whales were so sought and hunted nearly into extinction. In order to put fat on cattle and hogs, you have to pen them up and feed them lots of grains and high-calorie food. When we butchered the hogs the rendering of the lard was always a big deal. you did a lot more with that than just fry in it. We made some of the best lye soap ever with rendered almost snow-white lard. I remember when you washed with soap that you grated and used to hand wash your clothes. My grandmother on my Mama's side never owned a washing machine. When her kids tried to get her to let them buy her one she would just laugh and tell them that hot and cold running water made washing clothes about as simple as she could imagine. No firs to build and no soap to make and grate. To the day she died, she used rub boards and a clothesline. Her sheets were ironed and smelled like heaven.

    Without soap, all that you can do is rinse clothes off and that isn't clean. Clothes that are not kept clean don't last as long. Abrasion wears down the fibers and dirt and sand is like little knives as you move about.

    People now accept so many things as just given. You just go and buy soap and have all the different types for different uses. Even among those of us that are preppers we didn't live that life and will not realize what ALL we have lost until it happens and like when the last bar of store-bought soap is gone for most soap will be a thing of the past until they find someone that learned when they were a kid or something.

    Writing is going to be lost. We don't know how to make a pencil, Styluses (How many people these days even know what a stylus is and why the graphite in pencils is called lead?), paper pens and ink. THINK for a bit what it will be like to not have a decent way to write and keep records. Needles and thread??? You had better have LOTS of them. How long will it be before we will have access to cloth again?
     
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    1. Dalewick
      Ink isn't that hard to make actually and if you have a small supply of gum Arabic and thyme oil (which you can render) on hand.
      Black Walnut Ink
      • 1/2 cup dried walnut hulls
      • 1 cup water
      • 1/2 tsp. gum Arabic
      • 3 drops thyme essential oil
      Boil the walnut hulls with water for 30 minutes. Strain out the hulls and whisk in the gum Arabic. Cool and pour into a small bottle. Add the thyme essential oil and shake to combine.

      If you don't have gum Arabic you can use pine resin and a sugar and oil of cloves to prevent molding. As a kid I made ink for a school project out of maple bark (Boiled down), pine resin, honey and oil of cloves and wrote on handmade paper with a turkey quill. The ink was a cool looking brown color. Paper is simple to make from either old paper or winter collected hornets nest. Guess it will depend on how bad you need to write something.
       
      Dalewick, Sep 26, 2020
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  11. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    I remember rendering lard or tallow as being a yearly thing. I do remember my granny going on about a tin (mason jar) of lard that was good after 3 years but it seems like most was used up within the year. I know it will last indefinitely frozen, but you can't exactly count on a freezer after a SHTF event. I also remember bear fat being rendered the same way and all of it being used for making soap. I also remember it being mixed with bee's wax and linen seed oil to make cloth water proof.

    I also remember that they used a pressure canner to can fat and they only did that when they had to.

    I've always wondered how old the bacon grease mom and granny kept beside the stove was. I don't ever remember it being empty or mom emptying it out to clean it, though she probably did and I just didn't notice as a kid. I've kept bacon grease for 4 months without it going rancid while sitting on the counter top.

    Some of the best lard my wife has ever used came from a hog that had fattened on white oak acorns. he was good.

    Dale
     
  12. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning TexDanm,

    I'm one of the few who know what a stylus is. Went to a meeting with a clipboard and Streamlight brand high-intensity light attached to board. Also carried a quill - think of picture of those signing the Declaration of Independence - and a pen knife.

    For other meetings, especially inventory control of anything, sometimes, based on my mood, will carry an abacus.
     
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  13. Caribou

    Caribou Master Survivalist
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    Dale, properly canned fat will keep indefinitely.

    I remember my mom cleaning the bacon grease. There were always a ton of bacon bits on the bottom of the crock she kept the grease in.
     
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  14. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    It was probably more that it only lasted a year. With the size of my family it was no wonder they needed a hog and cow each year for fat and meat. My Mom's side had 12 kids including my mom and my Dad's side had 14 brothers and sisters. That meat and fat always got substituted with wild game. During the years long before I showed up there wasn't much game in West Virginia. The depression had come close to decimating game populations here. Even when I was a young man it was unusual to even see a deer and you had to go to the national forest for animals like bear and turkey. Wildlife management is why WV has abundant game now.

    I've heard others talk about using fat years after canning, it just never lasted long enough for me to find out. LOL!

    Dale
     
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  15. Max rigger

    Max rigger Expert Member
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