Shortening Vs Lard – What’s The Difference?

Last Updated on March 26, 2022

What’s the difference between shortening and lard?
Are they both fats?
And why should I care?
Shortening and lard are two types of fat commonly used in baking.
Both are solid at room temperature and contain saturated fatty acids SFA.
Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels, increase LDL "bad" cholesterol, and contribute to heart disease.
Both shortenings and lards are solid fats that are used in baked goods.
They are also high in calories and saturated fats.
When choosing these ingredients, consider whether you want to add flavor or texture to your baked goods.
If you choose to use either type of fat, try to limit your intake to less than 2 tablespoons per day

What Is Shortening?

Shortening is a mixture of vegetable oils usually soybean and animal fats lard. It is used to make cookies, pie crusts, shortbread, and other baked goods. Lard is a solid fat obtained from the fatty tissues of pigs. It is used for making pastries, pies, and sausages.

What Is Lard?

Lard is a solid form of saturated fat derived from the adipose tissue fat of animals such as pigs. It is composed primarily of carbon chains containing 16 to 18 carbons per chain. In addition to being a major component of meat, lard is also found in dairy products, eggs, poultry, and fish.

What Are the Differences Between Shortening and Lard?

Shortening is a mixture of vegetable oils usually soybean and animal fats lard. It is used mostly in baking because it gives a lighter texture. Lard is a solidified version of animal fat. It is usually used in baking because it adds a richer flavor.


Lard is produced from rendered pork fat. This process involves heating the fat until it melts and separating the liquid portion from the solids. The solids are then pressed into blocks. These blocks are cut into pieces and dried. After drying, the pieces are ground into powder form. Soybean oil is extracted from soybeans using solvent extraction. Soybean oil is mainly used in salad dressings, sauces, soups, and baked goods.


Manufacturing Processes Pork lard is manufactured from rendered pork fat. It is obtained by heating the fat until it becomes melted and separates into two layers. The top layer contains glycerol and water while the bottom layer consists of solid fats. The solid fats are separated from the glycerol and water mixture by pressing the mixture into blocks. The blocks are then cut into pieces and dried in ovens. After drying, the blocks are crushed into fine particles. Soybean Oil is extracted from soybeans by solvent extraction. It is mainly used in salad dressing, sauces, soups and baked goods.


Flavor is determined by the type of meat or fish being cooked. For instance, beef tastes different from lamb. Pork tastes different from poultry. Fish tastes different from shellfish. Processing methods affect flavor. For instance, smoking enhances the flavor of smoked meats. Grilling adds flavor to grilled meats. Sautéing adds flavor to sautéed meats. Boiling adds flavor to boiled meats.


Flavor is determined by the type or species of meat or fish being prepared. For instance, beef is usually flavored differently than pork. Lamb is usually flavored differently than poultry. Fish is usually flavored differently than shellfish. Processes such as smoking enhance the flavor of smoked meats, grilling adds flavor to grilled meat, sautéing adds flavor to sautéed meats, boiling adds flavor to boiled meats, and marinating adds flavor to marinated meats.


Variety is important because different types of meat have different flavors. Beef is usually flavored differently than lamb. Pork is usually flavored differently than chicken. Poultry is usually flavored differently than seafood.

Uses for Shortening

Shortening is used in baking recipes where butter or lard is not available. It is used in cookies, breads, pies, cakes, and other baked goods. Uses for Lard Lard is used in baking recipes when shortening is not available. It adds richness and flavor to baked goods. Usages for Butter Butter is used in baking recipes to replace shortening or margarine. It gives a rich taste and texture to baked goods.

Uses of Lard

Lard is a solid fat obtained from rendering pork fat. It is used in baking recipes because it provides a richer taste and texture than vegetable oils. It is also used in making soap, candles, and cosmetics.

Melting and Smoke Point

Melting point refers to the temperature at which a substance changes directly into a liquid state. This is usually measured in degrees Celsius °C. A higher melting point indicates a harder material. For instance, butter melts at about 77 °C while lard melts at around 100 °C. Smoke point refers to the temperature where smoke is produced when a substance is heated. This is usually measured using degrees Fahrenheit F and is expressed as the lowest temperature at which the substance produces visible smoke. For instance, olive oil has a smoke point of 180 °F but margarine has a smoke point of only 160 °F.

Which One Is Healthier?

When choosing between butter and margarine, choose margarine because it contains trans fats. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol levels. Butter does not contain trans fats, but it does contain saturated fat. Saturated fat raises bad cholesterol levels and lowers good cholesterol levels.

Storage and Shelf Life

Butter is stored in the refrigerator and should be used within 3 months. Margarine is stored in the pantry and should be used within 6 months.


Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but melts at body temperature. It is a saturated fat and contains medium chain triglycerides MCTs. MCTs are absorbed directly into the bloodstream where they are metabolized quickly and easily. This helps reduce hunger and cravings. Coconut oil is great for weight loss because it burns calories faster than other fats. It is also good for heart health because it lowers cholesterol levels. Olive Oil – Olive oil is liquid at room temperature. It is a monounsaturated fat and contains oleic acid. Oleic acid is a healthy fatty acid that reduces inflammation and improves blood flow. It is also rich in antioxidants. Olive oil is great for heart health because it reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. Soybean Oil – Soybean oil is liquid at room temp. It is a polyunsaturated fat and contains linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is a healthy unsaturated fat that reduces inflammation and protects against cancer. It is also rich source of protein.

Can You Substitute Shortening for Lard?

Yes, shortening is a healthier alternative to lard. However, if you are using lard to fry, you may substitute shortening. But, remember to use only 1/3 cup of shortening for every 3 cups of lard.

Can You Make Lard and Shortening at Home?

You can make lard and shortening at home. To make lard, melt down butter in a pan until it becomes liquid. Then pour off the melted fat into a bowl and let it cool. Once cooled, put the solidified fat back into the same pan and repeat the process until you get enough lard. For shortening, melt down vegetable oil in a pan until it gets hot. Pour off the melted fat into another bowl and let it cool completely. Once cooled, put solidified fat back into same pan and repeat the whole process until you get enough shortening.

What is the best lard for baking?

Fat is used in making pie crusts because it helps bind ingredients together. Fat gives pie dough a tender texture and keeps it from drying out during baking. Pie crusts usually contain shortening a type of vegetable oil or lard, but butter is sometimes added to give the crust a flaky texture. Shortening is generally preferred because it doesn’t melt at high temperatures, whereas butter does. Butter is not always used in pie crusts, however; some recipes call for margarine instead.

Can I use Crisco instead of lard?

Lard is a solid fat derived from pork backfat. It contains saturated fats and cholesterol. Shortening is a liquid vegetable oil used in baking. It does not contain any cholesterol but it is mostly composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids PUFA. Both of these fats have different properties. Lard is good for frying because it has a higher smoke point than shortening. However, if you are using lard for baking, you should avoid adding butter because it will affect the taste of the baked goods. For instance, if you bake cookies with lard, they will turn out greasy. On the other hand, shortening is great for baking because it doesn’t melt easily. But if you’re making french fries, you’ll want to use lard instead of shortening.

Is it better to use lard or shortening?

Crisco is a shortening product that contains vegetable oils such as soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn, safflower, peanut, olive, palm, coconut, and rapeseed. It is used in baking and cooking since it doesn’t solidify at low temperatures. Lard is a rendered pork fat that is used in cooking because it is very soft and melts easily. It is usually stored in a liquid state in order to prevent rancidity. Both products are suitable for cooking but not for baking.

What fat makes the best pie crust?

Lard is a solid fat derived from pork fat. It is used in many recipes because of its unique flavor and texture. Lard is not only great for baking but also for sautéing, frying, and roasting. Lard is available in different forms such as liquid, soft, hard, and smoked. The type of lard you choose depends on what you intend to bake. For instance, if you are making cookies, cake, breads, and pastries, you should go for the soft lard. On the other hand, if you are planning to make pies, casseroles, and meatloaf, you should opt for the hard lard.

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