Crisco is a firm, vegetable-based fat used for baking and cooking. I remember it vividly on supermarket shelves in the 90s, but it seems not to be around as much now as it was then. Which means you may require a decent alternative.
Here are five substitutions that will help you keep your recipe on track without compromising flavor or texture (at least not too much!)
Best All-Around Substitute For Crisco: Shortening Or Lard
The best all-around substitutes for Crisco would be shortening or lard. Shortening is probably the best, as it is usually a little more neutral in flavor than lard is and slightly closer to the texture of Crisco. Lard was traditionally used for baking and cooking in the same manner as Crisco but has since fallen out of favor due to health concerns about saturated fat in the 80s.
While you can find lard that is more neutral in flavor, some of them do taste kind of meaty, so be aware of that when substituting it in sweet dishes.
Best Raw Cooking Substitute For Crisco: Avocado Oil
While I can’t think of any raw recipe requiring Crisco as an ingredient, I may be wrong. Crisco doesn’t really lend itself to raw dishes because it is designed to be worked into recipes before they are heated, and then it melts into the product to create texture. Raw recipes usually require something that is not solid at room temperature.
Nevertheless, avocado oil would be the closest tasting substitute suitable for raw dishes. It has a fatty mouthfeel and light flavor and blends easily into dishes without overpowering them.
Best Crisco Substitute for Regular Cooking: Shortening Or Lard
For regular heat cooking, you can substitute Crisco with shortening or lard, whatever suits you best! Shortening has a smoke point of 360 degrees, while lard has a smoke point of 375 degrees, making them both suitable options for regular heat applications but not high heat.
Best Crisco Substitute for High-Heat Cooking: Ghee
If you have a recipe that calls for high heat but still need a semi-solid or solid fat to incorporate into it, try ghee! Ghee is made from butter, heated to remove the water and dairy part, leaving only the clarified butter behind. It has a smoke point of 480 degrees and is suitable for most high-heat applications.
Crisco Substitute that is Closest in Flavor: Shortening
Shortening is the closest flavor substitute for Crisco. While some brands of shortening are very similar to Crisco and made from entirely plant-based ingredients, some shortening products contain animal fat along with hydrogenated vegetable oils. When seeking shortening with the most similar flavor profile to Crisco, look for one that does not contain any animal fats.
Best Neutral-Flavored And Budget-Friendly Crisco Substitute: Shortening
Shortening, particularly the ones that do not contain animal fat, are the most neutral-flavored Crisco substitutes. As Crisco is entirely neutral, the vegetable shortening varieties should taste almost the same. Shortening is also the most budget-friendly alternative to Crisco.
Best Healthy Crisco Substitute: Refined Coconut Oil
If you are on a health kick, you may want to consider substituting crisco for a plant-based solid at room temperature oil. Unrefined coconut oil is healthier but has an intense coconut flavor, so refined is better if you want to keep your pastries tasting more neutral.
If you do like the taste of coconut, go with the unrefined version! Just be aware it melts pretty quickly, so use it from the fridge, and work with it as fast as possible.
Best Keto/Paleo/Whole30 Crisco Substitute: Lard
Crisco is a highly processed food item, so it is unsuitable for diets focusing on minimal processing, such as keto, paleo, and Whole30. Instead, lard is suitable for all three, as it is simply rendered animal fat. If you are vegetarian or vegan, try the coconut oil mentioned above!
Crisco is a brand of vegetable shortening made from hydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola or cottonseed. Vegetable shortening is pretty much the same thing, just different blends of hydrogenated oils without the Crisco brand.
Crisco is a type of vegetable shortening, meaning it is a fat that has been hydrogenated to create a solid. It is used in baking and cooking as an alternative to butter, as it has no water content like butter or other plant-based fats, making pastry products flaky and light. Vegetable shortening can also be made from various sources, including coconut, palm, and other plant-based fats. However, Crisco is the most widely available and recognizable brand name.
Crisco is lower in saturated fat than butter but also lacks the beneficial vitamins and minerals present in butter. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake of trans fat and avoiding processed foods containing hydrogenated vegetable oils like Crisco.
In many baking recipes, you can substitute Crisco for butter. The amount of fat in each is similar so that the recipe won’t require much tweaking. However, it’s important to note that these substitutes will not have the same flavor as butter and may affect texture or consistency slightly. Crisco does not work as a spread like butter does, either.