Crisco, a go-to for bakers, is known for its ability to create flaky crusts and crispy fried goodies. On the other hand, Lard, a classic favorite, brings rich flavor and moisture to savory dishes.
Below, I’ll cover more important differences, and how to use each of these ingredients, so you’ll know exactly which one to reach for the next time you’re cooking or baking up a storm!
Comparing Crisco vs lard
|Crisco/Vegetable shortening||Lard (Pork fat)|
|Solid or Liquid?||Solid||Solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||360 degrees||375 degrees|
|Taste||Buttery||Mildly porky to neutral|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low heat, moderate heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Soy, palm, tree nut||Pork, meat allergy|
Differences between Crisco and lard
The main difference between Crisco and lard lies in their composition. Crisco is entirely plant-based (and vegan), while lard is derived from animal fat.
Crisco, a brand of shortening introduced in the early 20th century, is made from vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated. This process transforms the liquid oils into a solid form, making Crisco easy to measure and use in recipes.
On the other hand, lard is a rendered fat obtained from pigs. It has been a staple in many cuisines around the world for centuries.
Baking and cooking with Crisco vs lard
When it comes to baking and cooking, I’ve found that Crisco and lard each have their specialties.
Crisco is my go-to for baking, thanks to its solid consistency that creates a light and tender texture in pastries, cakes, and cookies. I especially love using Crisco for pie crusts, as it gives me that flaky and crumbly crust I can’t resist. It’s also great for preventing over-browning in my baked goods.
On the other hand, when I’m aiming for rich and savory flavors, lard takes the spotlight. It adds a deep and delicious taste to dishes like pie fillings, biscuits, and fried foods. In fact, lard is my secret ingredient for achieving that perfect crispy and golden finish in fried chicken or French fries.
Can Crisco and lard be substituted for each other?
In my experience, Crisco and lard can be substituted for each other in certain recipes, but it’s important to consider the impact on flavor and texture.
When using Crisco as a substitute for lard, the result may be lighter and less rich. On the other hand, when substituting lard for Crisco, the dish may have a deeper and more savory taste.
It’s best to make the substitution based on the specific desired outcome of the recipe, keeping in mind that the flavor and texture may be slightly different.
Nutrition: Crisco vs lard
Crisco is a vegetable-based shortening that contains no cholesterol and is lower in saturated fat compared to lard.
On the other hand, lard is an animal-based fat that is higher in saturated fat and cholesterol. However, lard contains a small amount of monounsaturated fat, which can have potential health benefits.
Both Crisco and lard are calorie-dense, so moderation is key.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Crisco/Vegetable shortening||Lard (Pork fat)|
|Polyunsaturated||8 g||1.4 g|
|Monounsaturated||3 g||5.8 g|
|Saturated||2 g||5 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||14 g||12.8 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store Crisco and lard
Both Crisco and lard should be stored in a cool, dark place away from heat and direct sunlight.
Crisco, being a vegetable-based shortening, should be tightly sealed and stored at room temperature. It has a longer shelf life and does not require refrigeration.
On the other hand, lard, being an animal-based fat, can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to extend its shelf life, especially if you won’t be using it frequently.
Crisco vs lard: The ultimate verdict
After considering the differences, best uses, and nutritional aspects, here’s what it comes down to:
The choice between Crisco and lard ultimately depends on your personal preferences, dietary needs, and the specific recipe you’re working on. If you’re aiming for a flaky pie crust or delicate pastry, Crisco is your best bet. But if you’re seeking a rich and savory flavor in your cooking, lard might be the perfect choice. The key is to experiment, explore, and find what works best for you!
From a health perspective, Crisco is generally considered healthier than lard due to its lower saturated fat content and absence of cholesterol, although both should be consumed in moderation.
Crisco is often preferred over lard as it can produce flakier crusts and lighter textures in baked goods.
The main difference between lard and Crisco lies in their composition and origin. Lard is rendered pig fat, while Crisco is a brand of vegetable shortening made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Lard has a higher saturated fat content and adds a savory flavor to dishes, while Crisco is lower in saturated fats and is often used for achieving a flaky texture in baked goods.