The usual method to clarify lard or tallow is to strain out the larger particles and then boil in water.

The fat rises to the top and when cold can be removed and is fairly pure.

But sometimes the fat is contaminated by particles that do not sink to the bottom of the pan when boiled in water and the resulting 'clarified' fat is a little discoloured and contains impurities.

Is there perhaps some additive can be used to clear these way or perhaps some different method of processing in order to get pure, pristine, white fat?

I've been asked to edit the question. Describe the whole process. Sorry I'm a bit late.

Well I cook with lard and it gets contaminated with food particles. Fish. Potatoes. Could be anything. And I fry pork and collect the rendered lard from that. And roasted pork too.

I put everything together in a pan with cold water and heat it up until boiling at a simmer and then let it simmer for a little while and then switch off, let it cool.

(If there are large lumps of contamination I'll strain them off now).

The fat rises to the top, the contaminants fall down. Often the bottom of the fat has a layer of finer contaminants but I can scrape that layer off - the body of the fat is good.

What prompts this query is that I've now come across a situation where the contaminants are apparently so fine they don't separate out and fall down - the fat remains discoloured by their presence.

I am seeking a way to clear it completely.

  • 2
    Are you starting with raw solids? I don't understand the "boil in water" part. It's not how I make lard or tallow. Can you edit your post to describe your entire process?
    – moscafj
    Aug 7 '19 at 10:51

When I have rendered lard, I have generally just heated the solids with just a little water at the bottom of the pan over low heat. I never let it get to a boil, and this does take a long time. When the fat is all liquid, I pour it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into a second vessel, then pour the strained liquid into jars. I have not had issues with impurities - my rendered lard is very clear and white. I have found straining to be very effective.

You don't mention the amount of heat or exact process you are using, so I can't speculate as to what your exact situation is, but it's possible you are trying to do this over too high heat.

  • 1
    Yes! In fact, the lower the heat the better. Boiling and high heat will contribute to off flavors. The small amount of water is just to get things started. Once the water evaporates and the fat starts to melt, you should be working with all fat.
    – moscafj
    Sep 12 '19 at 12:45

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