Silly Things That SOME Preppers Believe--#332

As I was doing some research today on something I was writing, a headline caught my eye and I decided to take a look at a do-it-yourself website.  I confess, I did get lost in its pages for a bit, but as I ran head on into another one of those gossipy, homespun silliness theories, I was quickly brought back into reality.


Today’s ninny of a notion goes as follows, as stated by the author, while discussing how to properly render lard. She says: "bits of meat can contaminate your lard."  When I read that, I thought that I heard crickets chirping…inSIDE my house. Where in the world do people come up with these things?!!


The good news is that there’s plenty of this kind of misinformation out there—if there wasn’t, I wouldn’t have much to write about.  Furthermore, the good news is that no, if you end up with some small pieces of meat in your lard, it’s not going to do you any harm except ruin what would otherwise be a perfectly beautiful  jar of invaluable white, rendered lard.  (Yes, I say invaluable because not only will it be critical to your nutrition someday, but at that same set of circumstances, if you have lots of it, you’ll be able to pretty much write your own ticket to prosperity because non-rancid fats that taste good and actually contain vital nutrients will be worth their weight in gold!)


So, back to the matter at hand…


Bits of meat in your lard that you've rendered and canned WON'T "contaminate" your lard. When you render lard, you’re cooking it at a nice and steady high heat (see my instructions here).  That meat is done for. I’m sure you’ve all had an overcooked piece of meat that tasted like cardboard before, right? Well the good news is that cardboard isn’t going to do you any harm so long as it’s processed properly like your lard.


Think about that statement for just a second.  Lard comes from meat—not vegetables or fruit. As such, even an OCD lard renderer couldn’t eliminate all of the bits of real meat product from their beautifully rendered and canned lard.  Furthermore, LARD is the volatile ingredient in that pairing, not the meat. LARD is what can go rancid and stink up your whole home, not a speck or two of meat.  In fact, the meat is actually PROTECTED from spoiling above and beyond the heat and the canning measures. That’s right. Many of the older methods of preserving food involve storing the item in an oil that has a long shelf-life.  Rendered lard was often used to coat eggs and keep them longer in the root storage environment of cool and dark.


Meat and fat go together like peanut butter and chocolate.  OK. OK. They are much more natural than that, but that’s my point. Meat and fat get along just fine. This is why when I can my sausage I don’t add anything else to the jars. The sausage meat combined with the fat put through the pressure canner process is plenty sufficient to protect all of the ingredients—assuming you started with beautifully sanitized jars, and store the completed product in a cool, dry, dark environment.


Here’s something else you might not know though about meat and fat.  It goes so well together that the French developed a special cooking method known as “confit”—which translates into the ever creative term of “with fat”. *grin*


If you want to make meatballs and meatloaf out of your canned ground beef, well you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got plenty of rendered lard stored away because that’s what’s going to hold the shape of the meat that you’re wanting to cook. (A little envelope of clear gelatin will help as well!) Now wouldn’t that be a silly proposal if “meat combined with lard could contaminate the lard”?  *smh*  (for those of you who don’t have all of the “lingo” down in the world of texted abbreviations, “smh” stands for “shaking my head”.) Perhaps now that you know that, you can guess what “rme” means? Hint, it usually follows the “shaking my head”, but it nearly always follows reading a silly, nonsensical statement that’s perpetuated as fact. *grin*


You know what DOES contaminate lard nowadays though that you should stay far away from?  Hydrogenated oils such as canola oil, cottonseed oil, etc. And yet our USDA spends millions of dollars a year to convince you that canola oil is the hero in the fats community, when in actuality, before it’s even shipped to its final destination it has already been processed to the point of it being rancid and downright nasty for the body. So keep that in mind when you’re wanting to use good old-fashioned lard for your next winning pie crust.




Perhaps you’ve heard of  the hoyty toyty dish called Duck Confit? Duck is a relatively dry, low fat meat. As such, in order to cook it well without running the risk of drying it out, duck is often cooked by laying it in a hot skillet with lots of warm fat and continually spooning the fat over the duck meat in order to cook it without drying it out.  This is the method that I use primarily when cooking Bison or Elk because it’s so low on fat but SO wonderfully excellent as a protein source. Nothing burns quite as bad as a grease splatter, but that’s what makes it so good to elevate the taste and texture of these otherwise dry meats.


Typically the confit method means that the item is cooked in its own fat, but that seems silly to me ‘cause I’ve totally enjoyed carrots confit—and we all know that carrots don’t have “their own fat.” And if bison and elk had their own fat, I wouldn’t NEED to use the confit method in the first place. Silly Webster dictionary.  


The confit method is used in my house quite a bit.  For breakfast, I cook my bacon using the confit method by placing the strips all along the bottom of a deep cookie sheet, allowing the grease to help cook the bacon along with the oven. When one batch is finished, I don’t drain the fat from the cookie sheet, I just keep putting more bacon on that cookie sheet. This method of cooking not only gives me an easy clean up, void of grease splatters all over my kitchen, but it also creates a beautiful crisp finish that I love without sacrificing some moisture, and unparalleled flavor that’s much better than just plain old bacon. (I apologize. There really is no such thing as “just plain old bacon”. Bacon is a GIFT! *grin*


How I can my bacon is based on the confit method as well. Instead of cooking up my bacon and draining out all of the fat and then canning it, I simply lay the bacon over parchment strips, roll it up, and put it in the jar and then proceed with the pressure canning process.  No water. No salt. No seasoning. Nada.  I can then have bacon in the shape I want it and fry it up or chop it up, depending on the dish I have in mind.


A quick word about hydrogenated oils (particularly canola oil): Did I mention that it’s also a common practice for restaurants to regularly perfume their deep frying vats because if they didn’t, the smell of the nasty hydrogenated oils would turn every customer away!  Yep—I am a former restaurant manager and I know the skinny!


In conclusion, whomever it was that wrote "bits of meat in your rendered lard could contaminate the lard" is obviously getting their information from another one of those silly homespun blog site.  But you?  Well, now you know the facts as well as a few powerful strategies that you can implement now to help ensure comfort later.


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Kellene,I don't leave bits of

Kellene,I don't leave bits of meat in my lard as that is "cracklins" and super yummy tossed into a bowl of cornbread!
It's amazing how much bad info that is passed off as prepping/self-reliance or survival oriented. I saw one site that said 10 pounds of white flour was enough for a six month food storage plan for a family of four. Definatly needed massive duct tape and bubble wrap to keep my head from exploding!
I still think of myself as a "rank tyro" compared to most preppers even after 7 plus years of being a quote prepper unquote.

I did a 5 day water test when my home water main developed a massive leak and a I got a $600.00 water bill. It went pretty good overall going with out tap water for 5 days. The last day was rough and I have not wanted to look at moving water for over 6 weeks. LOL

Hi Kellene. I had a couple

Hi Kellene. I had a couple of questions. What would you suggest as a safe alternative to canola oil? Also, are there links for your new sites so I can sign up? Thanks. Many blessings, Lisa


I am a protege of this website and thank you everyday for pushing me beyond my comfort zone. I started making my own lard about 2 years ago, and confiting duck came shortly after. I took the 'plunge' by asking my meat market to save all the fat from trimming their pork orders and was able to garner 4-5 lbs. of fat scraps and with careful removal of the meat (often a 1/2 lb.), made some homemade breakfast sausage and renderd out about 2-21/2 cups of liquid gold.
After I got over my 'pride' (deadly sin), I started to cook with it. More pride and more sin. Lard raises the bar for baking as well as the lowly oven roasted potatoes. The only thing that surpasses lard is duck fat, but then that's another story. Having this small bit of knowledge and experience has made prepping that much easier. To all your readers, don't be timid. My butcher does not charge me a cent for these scraps. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It is very liberating to know I can have pints of lard in my fridge for the price of a few hours of electricity.

That's it! You've pushed me!

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That's it! You've pushed me! I have failed to reach out to my local butchers in my new area but after reading this, you've assured me that I MUST do it again. Thank you!!! ;-)

Lisa our two top favorites

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Lisa our two top favorites are coconut and olive oil.

I'd suggest looking up the

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I'd suggest looking up the articles we've written about alternative cooking oils on this site. I've written a couple of articles about that in detail.

The links for the new sites will go active once I get them properly "purtified". It's taking me longer than I thought. (When will I finally learn that that's ALWAYS the case with me nowadays?)  *grin*

And what's worse, there are

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And what's worse, there are those who are committed to remaining ignorant in their ways. That's gonna make me fret and worry one of these days!

Lordy... How I love your

Lordy... How I love your plain sense posts!!
I still need to get a pressure canner, and would like to find one in stainless steel so I can use it as a pressure cooker, as well. I don't and won't own an aluminum one.
Keep up the good work! Thank you for all the info you share!

Are you sure that the person

Are you sure that the person saying "bits of meat in your rendered lard could contaminate the lard", wasn't referring to the need for clean lard for MAKING SOAP? Perhaps it's an oversight on the part of the person writing up the article, and transferring 'soap-making' criteria, to the criteria for preservation of lard for nutritional purposes?

Hmm... Interesting response.

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Hmm... Interesting response. Yep, I'm certain, however, I suspect that this person was referencing an article on using lard for soap as the basis of their misunderstanding. *sigh*

Ok. Just remember this. You

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Ok. Just remember this. You can COOK in a CANNER but you can't CAN in a COOKER.   The regular pressure cookers don't have the volume of space that you need to pressure can properly, unless you were only doing a couple of half-pint jars. Just FYI. Keep on keeping on!!

We just bought a hog and had

We just bought a hog and had it butchered, when I asked for the all the fat off the hog also; the lady was kinda taken aback ? she could not believe I was going to make lard ? when all I had to to was go buy it ? (Crisco) gross....I've been making my own lard and tallow now for a few years....and I will NEVER buy the other the way....they just give the fat away up here in my neck of the woods; free of charge....give your slaughter house a call....they may just hook ya up, mine sure did :) Kellene, your a wealth of information! I use you for my "go to" daily! shame some people don't do the reserch prior to writing an article for their blog's.....go and

I have a hard time getting

I have a hard time getting fat, our local butchers say they save the fat for adding to things like sausage when a customer orders it and the animal brought in for process doesn't contain enough fat itself....

Amen. Amen. Amen. You are so

Amen. Amen. Amen. You are so right. And you are so smart too. Thank you for writing this.

Me thinks, the "bits of meat

Me thinks, the "bits of meat in your rendered lard could contaminate the lard" comment is more likely from a wanna be, know it all, attempting to sound good to those who do want to be impressed, rather than a bona fide experienced "homespun blogger". Let's face it, there's always those who are really good at spinning a tale about topics of which they know very little. I listen for the reason for points of that nature and if there is none, I'm not comfortable with any of their info....
Okay, so I'm spoiled by you Kellene and a few others but your points of what, how and why just makes sense. I've read some articles that has "Kellene" written all over it in everyway except giving you credit and frankly, when that happens I simply leave their page because how can I trust anything that person says if that's how they "do" business. I have read your posts and followed your instructions for quite a while now and the proof is in the results therefore I can comfortably refer people to your website, for any accurate info they need :)
Thank you yet again for sharing your worked out knowledge with us!

I have been saving bacon

I have been saving bacon grease in glass jars in an extra fridge for 2-3 years. Not sure why but I hated to throw it out. What are you thoughts on if it is still safe to eat and possibly render and pressure can at the point for longer storage? I don't strain it so it does have some bits in it.

Thanks so much, AutumnGal!!!

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Thanks so much, AutumnGal!!! I really do appreciate hearing that every once in a while. It's better than Prozac. hee hee

When it comes to using lard,

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When it comes to using lard, your nose will ALWAYS tell you whether it's good to use. If you think about it, considering that the restaurant industry repeatedly perfumes there's, just sniffing it to determine whether or not to use it is MUCH more than the "pros" would do. *sigh* Anyway, if it smells rancid, don't use it. In the future, I'd invest in a stainless steel mesh strainer and always strain it off and then follow instructions that are in the article I linked to in order to preserve it safely.

Kellene I've been watching

Kellene I've been watching your videos on YouTube. I have a question? In the lemon video what kind of knife are you using?

My husband & I have been

My husband & I have been raising about 90% of our own food for about 40 years. We kill 6-7 hogs each Jan over 2 days. It`s a lot of work but well worth it. I can quarts of lard, freeze meat, cure hams, make sausage which I freeze & can, etc. Even the crackling & skins are kept for snacking & freezing. I know exactly what is in my meat because we have raised it ourselves. Same goes for the beef, chickens, vegetables, fruits, herbs, butter, eggs, milk, etc.


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