If you’re wondering which cooking fat is better for your kitchen – corn oil or lard – then you’ve come to the right place.
There has been a lot of debate over the years about which one of these two fats is the healthier, tastier, and overall better option. So, let’s dive in and find out which one comes out on top in this ultimate showdown!
Comparing corn oil vs lard
|Corn oil||Lard (Pork fat)|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||450 degrees||375 degrees|
|Taste||Neutral||Mildly porky to neutral|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Corn (zein)||Pork, meat allergy|
Differences between corn oil and lard
Corn oil and lard are like night and day. Corn oil is made from the germ of corn kernels, so it’s plant-based liquid oil, while lard is derived from pig fat, making it an animal-based fat.
To make corn oil, they crush and press the corn germ, refining it later to remove impurities. Lard, on the other hand, is made by rendering pig fat, which involves heating it up and separating the solid fat from the liquid.
Corn oil is everywhere. It’s in margarine, salad dressing, and deep-fried foods in restaurants. Refined corn oil is often used for frying in commercial kitchens, as it has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, and it’s one of the most affordable oils on the market.
Baking and cooking with corn oil vs lard
Corn oil has a higher smoke point than lard (450 vs 375 degrees) making it a better choice for high-heat cooking methods like frying. However, lard is great for baking because it adds a rich, buttery flavor to baked goods and a flaky texure.
When using corn oil for cooking, you can use it to make crispy fried chicken, sauté vegetables, or even use it as a base for salad dressings. Use lard like you would use butter for baking pie crusts, biscuits, and pastries. Leaf lard is the best for baking because it’s softer and free of any pork flavor.
Can corn oil and lard be substituted for each other?
Can you swap out corn oil for lard, or vice versa, in your recipes? The answer is, it depends! While they both have their unique properties, they can be substituted for each other in certain recipes. For example, if you’re frying up or roasting some chicken, you can use corn oil instead of lard for a healthier option. And if you want to make some flaky biscuits, you can use lard instead of corn oil for a richer flavor.
The bottom line: it’s always best to consider the specific recipe and the qualities of each ingredient before making any substitutions (use the tables in this article or our guide as a quick, easy reference).
Nutrition: Corn oil vs lard
Corn oil is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to lard, plus it’s packed with healthy unsaturated fats, like omega-6 fatty acids.
On the other hand, lard is higher in saturated fat, which can raise your bad cholesterol levels. However, moderation is key, and lard can still be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, corn oil is your go-to. It’s a lighter choice for cooking, baking, and even salad dressings. Just remember, no matter which one you choose, portion control is vital. So, opt for corn oil when you’re aiming for a heart-smart dish, but don’t be afraid to indulge in the occasional lard-infused treat!
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Corn oil||Lard (Pork fat)|
|Polyunsaturated||7.4 g||1.4 g|
|Monounsaturated||3.8 g||5.8 g|
|Saturated||1.8 g||5 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||13.6 g||12.8 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store corn oil and lard
Both corn oil and lard last a pretty long time. Corn oil can be stored at room temperature for about 1 year, but it’s best to keep it in a cool, dark place to prolong its shelf life. You can also store it in the refrigerator, which can help it last even longer.
Lard can be stored at room temperature in your pantry for around 6 months or in the refrigerator for 1 year. Just be sure to watch out for any signs it has gone bad before using it.
Corn oil vs lard: The ultimate verdict
After careful consideration and taste-testing, the ultimate verdict between corn oil and lard is in! And the winner is… Corn oil!
While lard certainly has its place in creating that indulgent, buttery flavor in baked goods, when it comes to overall health and versatility, corn oil takes the crown. It’s cholesterol-free and low in saturated fats. Plus, corn oil is a much lighter option for cooking, whether you’re sautéing, frying, or making dressings.
Corn oil is generally considered healthier than lard due to its lower saturated fat content and higher levels of heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
It depends on what you’re cooking and your personal preferences. Oil is a good all-purpose choice with a high smoke point, while lard can add a unique flavor and richness to certain dishes. However, lard is also high in saturated fat and cholesterol, so it should be used in moderation.
While corn oil has its benefits, some people choose to avoid it due to concerns about its high omega-6 fatty acid content, which, when consumed in excess, can lead to an imbalance with omega-3 fatty acids and contribute to inflammation in the body. It’s all about maintaining a balanced diet and moderation.