Rendering lard is not a pretty process.
In fact, it's downright yucky. But if you can handle raw chicken, you can handle lard. The pieces are just larger when you're dealing with leaf lard. About 5 minutes into chopping it up, I just started giggling, realizing how comically yucky it was. I have read that some people will actually use a meat grinder to grind up the lard, which also apparently gives you a slightly higher yield, but then you have to clean your meat grinder! For now, I think I'll stick with chopping.
Rendering lard can be a little stinky.
Last time I did it in our crock pot, and cooked it low and slow for about a day, IIRC. And it smelled. Like lard. After that, Craig banned me from rendering lard in the house. Crockpotting outside would work, but if you're like me (forgetful) it's probably not a great plan. I did a little bit of reading this year, and found that lard can be rendered "sous vide," or in a vacuum packed baggy in a water bath (which I did in my crock pot). The sealed baggies do not stink, however there is a small amount of water from the fats that will need to be removed post-rendering.
Rendering lard CAN be time consuming.
I keep reading things about how people rendered lard in as little as a few hours. I have never experienced this and gotten away with lightly colored lard. The low and slow method has worked for me, so that's what I use. I cooked mine in a lowish water bath for nearly 24 hours before straining off the solids in a wire mesh strainer, cooking them in a nonstick skillet, and draining them again(into a separate container, in case the heat from the skillet caused them to develop color. Then I set aside the solids in another bowl, the dogs will love them.
I rendered out about 3lbs of lard in this batch. It got me about a quart of fully rendered lard. In my photo, you can see a thin layer of liquid at the bottom of my container. I will pop the lard brick out, scrape off the gelatinous water layer(feed that to the dogs too!), and then remelt and strain through a coffee filter to ensure there are no additional chunks of anything.