With countless options for fats to choose from, how are you supposed to choose one for cooking?
Well, first, I suggest taking a look at our guide. Today, I’m going to help you out by comparing two of the most popular options: margarine vs lard.
Margarine, made from vegetable oil, rose to popularity as a healthier alternative to butter. On the other hand, lard, made from animal fat, has been a traditional ingredient in cooking for centuries. But which one is truly the ultimate choice?
Comparing margarine vs lard
|Margarine (hard stick)||Margarine (soft)||Lard (Pork fat)|
|Solid or Liquid?||Solid||Solid||Solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||410-430 degrees||410-430 degrees||375 degrees|
|Taste||Buttery||Buttery||Mildly porky to neutral|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low heat, moderate heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Soy, corn, etc||Soy, corn, etc||Pork, meat allergy|
Differences between margarine and lard
Margarine is made by combining vegetable oils (soybean, canola, palm) with water, emulsifiers, and other ingredients to create a spreadable butter substitute. It may contain natural or artificial flavoring, and it uses chemical processes to turn the oils into a solid.
Lard is 100% pork fat, processed by rendering the fat and then filtering and purifying it to create a solid cooking fat. Lard is often used as a cooking fat for frying and sautéing, as well as for making flaky pastries and pie crusts.
Baking and cooking with margarine vs lard
Margarine is great for baking, as it has a higher smoke point than butter and a neutral flavor. It’s perfect for making flaky pie crusts, tender cakes, and chewy cookies.
Lard has a slightly lower smoke point and is better for frying chicken, crisping up fries, or sautéing onions. It’s also great for making flaky biscuits and pie crusts!
Lard has a rich, savory flavor that adds depth to dishes, while margarine is more neutral. Personally, I prefer to use lard for savory dishes and margarine for sweet ones.
Can margarine and lard be substituted for each other?
I’ve found that margarine and lard can be substituted for each other in some recipes, but not all.
Margarine is a good substitute for lard in baking recipes that call for a solid fat, like pie crusts and biscuits. However, lard has a distinct flavor and texture that cannot be replicated with margarine, so margarine is not a good substitute for savory dishes like fried chicken or gravy.
If you’re looking for a substitute for margarine, lard can be used in most savory dishes, but for sweet treats, vegan butter is probably a better option.
Nutrition: Margarine vs lard
Margarine is often marketed as a healthier alternative to butter because it’s lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s also fortified with vitamins like vitamin A and D. However, margarine may can contain trans fats, which are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Lard is higher in saturated fat than margarine, but it’s also a good source of vitamin D. It’s important to remember that both margarine and lard should be consumed in moderation. As always, it’s best to consult with a registered dietitian for personalized nutrition advice.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Margarine (hard stick)||Margarine (soft)||Lard (Pork fat)|
|Polyunsaturated||3.4 g||3.0 g||1.4 g|
|Monounsaturated||5.5 g||6.3 g||5.8 g|
|Saturated||2.1 g||1.6 g||5 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||11.3 g||11.2 g||12.8 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store margarine and lard
Margarine should be stored in its original packaging in the refrigerator, away from strong-smelling foods, to prevent absorption of odors. Opened margarine keeps for around 2-3 months in the fridge.
Lard should also be stored in the refrigerator for about a year, but it can also be kept at room temperature for shorter periods of time (4-6 months).
Margarine vs lard: The ultimate verdict
It’s time to pick a winner between margarine and lard! And let me tell you, this was a tough call. But in the end, my personal choice is lard, and here’s why.
First of all, the flavor is just unbeatable. It has this rich, savory taste that adds depth to everything from flaky biscuits to sautéed veggies. And don’t even get me started on how amazing it is for frying chicken or making crispy bacon.
Margarine, on the other hand, just doesn’t have that same depth of flavor and can sometimes taste a bit…artificial. Plus, it’s made with processed vegetable oils, which aren’t always the healthiest. So, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to add some serious flavor to your cooking and baking, go ahead and give lard a try!
Yes, you can substitute lard for margarine in certain recipes, especially those that require a solid fat like in baking, but keep in mind that the flavor, texture, and nutritional content may be different.
No, these are two different fats – margarine is made from vegetable oil while lard is made from animal fat.
Butter is made from milk, margarine is made from vegetable oil, while lard is made from animal fat. They differ in taste, texture, and nutritional content, with butter being richer in flavor, margarine being lower in saturated fats, and lard being higher in saturated fats.