Lard, derived from pig’s fat, has been a cherished ingredient for centuries, imparting rich flavors and textures to dishes. On the other hand, palm kernel oil is a plant-based oil known for its high heat cooking ability and stability.
So, which one should you choose? Let’s dive in and uncover the ultimate verdict!
Comparing palm kernel oil vs lard
|Palm kernel oil||Lard (Pork fat)|
|Solid or Liquid?||Semi-solid||Solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||430-450 degrees||375 degrees|
|Taste||Mild and nutty||Mildly porky to neutral|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Oil palm fruit||Pork, meat allergy|
Differences between palm kernel oil and lard
Palm kernel oil is a vegetable oil derived from the kernel or seed of the oil palm fruit. It’s extracted from the inner part of the fruit, which contains the oil-rich kernel. Note, palm kernel oil is different from palm oil!
On the other hand, lard is a type of fat that comes from rendering or melting down pig fat. It is commonly used in cooking and baking to add flavor and enhance the texture of dishes.
So, they differ in source, flavor, nutrition, and culinary applications, which I’ll talk more about now…
Baking and cooking with palm kernel oil vs lard
When it comes to baking and cooking, palm kernel oil and lard each bring their own strengths to the table.
Palm kernel oil’s high smoke point makes it ideal for high-heat cooking methods like frying and sautéing. It imparts a mild flavor to the dishes, allowing the other ingredients to shine. For example, when making crispy french fries or stir-fried vegetables, palm kernel oil can provide that desirable crunch without overpowering the natural flavors.
On the other hand, lard excels in creating tender and flaky textures in baked goods. Its richness adds a delightful savory note to pie crusts, biscuits, and pastries. Picture a perfectly golden and buttery pie crust that melts in your mouth – that’s the magic of lard!
Additionally, lard can be used for pan-frying certain meats, lending them a delectable taste and succulence. Think juicy pork chops with a crispy exterior. It is also commonly used in traditional recipes like tamales, carnitas, and refried beans, adding richness and depth to the flavors.
Can palm kernel oil and lard be substituted for each other?
In some cases, yes. If a recipe calls for frying or sautéing, palm kernel oil can be used in place of lard. However, keep in mind that the flavor profile will differ.
On the flip side, when a recipe specifically calls for the rich and flaky texture of lard, palm kernel oil may not be the best substitute. It’s important to consider the desired outcome and the impact on the final product before making a substitution.
Nutrition: Palm kernel oil vs lard
Palm kernel oil contains high levels of saturated fats, which can contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues when consumed excessively. But unlike lard, palm kernel oil is cholesterol-free.
In contrast, lard is also high in saturated fats, but it contains a significant amount of monounsaturated fats, which are considered healthier. Additionally, lard provides a good source of vitamin D.
However, both oils should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet to maintain overall health and well-being.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Palm kernel oil||Lard (Pork fat)|
|Polyunsaturated||0.2 g||1.4 g|
|Monounsaturated||1.6 g||5.8 g|
|Saturated||11.1 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 palm kernel oil and lard
When it comes to storage, palm kernel oil and lard have different requirements.
Palm kernel oil should be stored in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Refrigeration is not necessary, as long as it is kept in a stable temperature environment.
Lard, on the other hand, should be refrigerated to maintain its freshness and prevent it from going bad. It’s best to store lard in an airtight container to avoid absorption of any unwanted odors.
Palm kernel oil vs lard: The ultimate verdict
Choosing between palm kernel oil or lard depends on individual dietary needs and preferences. Palm kernel oil is a more versatile and neutral oil that’s better for high-heat cooking and baking.
However, I prefer the rich flavor and texture that lard brings to certain dishes like biscuits, meats, or Mexican recipes.
Yes, palm oil can be used as a substitute for lard in certain recipes, but keep in mind that it will yield different flavors and textures.
Palm kernel oil is high in saturated fats and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
While they share some similarities, palm oil and shortening are not the same. Shortening is a type of fat that typically contains hydrogenated vegetable oil, while palm oil is derived from the oil palm fruit.