Once upon a time, the fat from pigs was almost as valuable as the meat itself! Almost everyone who could afford it kept pigs in those days, so pork lard was a staple ingredient in kitchens around the world. Traditionally, uses for lard included flaky biscuits and pie crusts. It's fallen out of fashion today, but if you're up to learning how to render snow white lard at home in your Instant Pot, it's perfect for keto baking and other cooking!
If possible, allow pork fat to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. It's possible to make lard with frozen fat as well, but the process will go more slowly.
If using an electric cooker such as the Instant Pot, press the "Slow Cook" function and then the "Adjust" button to toggle it to the "More" temperature setting. If using a stovetop cooker, place on burner over low heat.
Add your pig fat to the insert pot. If the fat isn't already ground, cut it into smaller pieces with sharp scissors or a knife.
Once the pot is full, put the lid on to keep the heat in.
Every few hours, come back and check on it. As the fat melts, ladle the liquid through a sieve into a waiting Mason jar.
In the jar, the melted fat will rise and any meaty water will sink. This meaty water will cause your fat to spoil, so take an additional step of purifying the fat. Use a turkey baster to siphon just the fat into a clean jar, leaving behind all the meaty water.
Repeat until all fat is melted. If using an electric cooker and it turns off, simply restart the "Slow Cook" cycle.
Store rendered lard in tightly sealed jars in a cool, dark basement or in the freezer.
*For the highest quality lard, ask your butcher for the fat around the pig's kidneys. This is the leaf lard, and if rendered slowly so it doesn't scald, will yield "snow white" lard -- the most pure, odorless, and perfect for use in pastries.
*For lard that's still good for cooking, yet not as nice in pastries, use the fat from the pig's back. Once rendered, the back fat yields lard that may smell a little bit "piggy" and look off-white. It's still great for frying and sauteing, though!