Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lard Candle

How to make a ball jar candle with rendered lard from a pig:


You will need:
  • A ball jar
  • A wick material.  Hemp cord from the hardware store works well.  Try to get untreated hemp, cotton or linen.  Make sure there is no plastic in your cord because it won't burn as well and it will release noxious gasses.  A simple burn test may be performed:  light the end on fire, if something in it melts rather than burns away, there's plastic present.
  • a nut or washer to weight your cord so that it hangs straight down
  • a pencil or another straight, stiff rod to hang your wick from
  • melted, rendered lard
 1.Thread your wick/cord through your nut or washer.
2. Tie an overhand knot toward the bottom of your cord so the weight doesn't fall off.  After you have tied your knot and made sure it will not allow the weight to fall off, trim the end of the cord so you can dangle it freely into the jar without excess wick in the way.
 3. Tie another overhand knot onto your pencil or rod to secure the dangling wick at the top of the jar. 
 4. Melt previously rendered lard or tallow.  If you want to learn rendering, go here:
5.When it's completely rendered, heat it further until you're sure there are no impurities left to ruin your lovely candle.  I heated it to 382F.  After I took it off the flame it continued to heat up a few degrees to 384F.  Always be sure to turn pot handles in toward the stove to help protect children and animals from accidents.
6. Pour fat (lard or tallow) into jar and allow to set overnight.  Make sure you suspend your weighted wick as near as you can to the center.
7. Once the fat has set up, trim the wick.  VoilĂ ! You have made a candle!!

I waited another week before lighting the candle to allow the fat to penetrate the wick/cord.  Alternately you may soak your cord in melted, rendered fat first.

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