Trim away any pieces of meat or blood as you go. When I first started making lard I was very fastidious about cutting away every tiny bit that had color. There's not really any need to do that - just get the big stuff.
Step 2: Place fat in slow cooker
Add 1/4 cup of water to the slow cooker to prevent the fat from burning - it will evaporate during the rendering process.
Step 3: Turn on slow cooker
Place the lid on top of the slow cooker and set to low heat.
Step 4: Check progress and stir
After an hour, you'll start to see some liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker. Progress! Give the pot a stir every once in awhile until the fat is completely melted.
Step 5: Remove from slow cooker
When the lard is ready you’ll see brown bits of “cracklings” resting on the bottom of the pot with a layer of fat over them. Time to turn off the slow cooker and prepare to strain.
Step 6: Strain lard
Pour the contents of your slow cooker over a cheesecloth lined colander to separate the lard from the cracklings.
Step 7: Pour into storage containers
Pour the lard into jars and set aside to cool on a countertop or in the fridge.
Step 8: Use remaining bits
Don’t throw the browned bits away! You can use them to make cracklings. (See below for instructions)
Bonus Step: How To Make Cracklings
To make cracklings, simply sprinkle the leftover brown bits with a little salt and put them in a pan set over medium heat.
As they cook some of the excess fat will melt away and they’ll become crispy. They’re called cracklings because they often pop and sizzle as they cook.
Once they’re crispy remove them from the pan and serve. They’re delicious with a little hot sauce and a spritz of lime.