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Friday, March 2, 2012

A Lesson in Lard

It turns out the smoking point of lard can vary greatly, even when the lard is from the same source.

Several years ago I bought leaf lard online from Prairie Pride in Minnesota. I bought enough to use for pies and frying and while the lard made for some of my better pies and galettes I was disappointed to find it would smoke as soon as I tried to do even simple pan frying.

In clearing out the freezer recently I put some of the old lard in a pan with a thermometer and confirmed that its smoking point was about 320º. Last fall I ordered some fresh lard from Prairie Pride and I decided to check it too. I'm not sure what its smoking point is but it's above 365º. The first lard also left a residue in the bottom of the pan while the fresher lard left nothing behind.

If or when I order leaf lard again I will ask about the smoking point and what recourse I have if it's not above 365º. Lesson learned.