A culinary term for melting and clarifying hard animal fat for cooking purposes. Rendering can be done by dry heat or wet heat. The fat is slowly cooked until it melts, and is then strained of impurities from the cooking process. (For example, cracklings are the remnants of rendering pork fat.) The rendered fat can be refrigerated or frozen for months.
Medical research reports that rendered animal fat has health benefits. Pork fat or lard is high in monounsaturated fat
(like olive oil and canola oil) and has 40% in saturated fat, compared to 70% in butter.