Does Lard Go Bad?

Does lard go bad or not? How do you tell if lard has gone bad? Here's a simple guide that features all the answers you are looking for.

This cooking fat can be used in a variety of recipes for roasting, grilling, sauteing, frying, and baking. If you have some lard leftover that you have been holding onto for some time, you may start wondering: Has my lard gone bad? How long does it last?

Here’s the deal: lard does go bad like any cooking fat. Generally, lard will last between 3-6 months past the best-by date if kept in the fridge.

Signs Lard Has Gone Bad

spooning lard

When determining if your lard has spoiled, first look at the appearance. If you find any mold or discolorations, toss it out.

Next, if you notice any off smells your lard may have gone rancid. If this is the case, discard it.

If there are no signs of spoilage, taste to check if it’s up to standard. If not, you may as well get rid of it.

Lastly, if you’ve stored your lard for over a year past the best-by date, it’s safer to throw it out.

Storing Lard

When it comes to storing lard that is unopened, place it in a cool, dry area, away from any heat sources. The pantry or kitchen cabinet is a great spot, provided you keep it away from the stove.

Once you open your package of lard make sure to keep it tightly sealed. Whether you keep it in its original packaging or transfer it to a new one, be sure it’s sealed tight.

If you have opened your lard, you can either store it at room temperature for short-term storage or in the fridge for a longer time.

Can You Freeze Lard?

lard brands

If you’d like to keep your lard fresh for an even longer time, freezing it is the way to go. The best practice when freezing your lard is to freeze it in smaller portions. That way you’re able to use the amount you need without having to defrost all of the lard.

One way to freeze your lard is to use ice cube trays. After the cubes have frozen in the tray, you can transfer them into freezer bags and put them back in the freezer.

How Long Does Lard Last?

Fortunately, lard has a pretty good shelf-life. Whether unopened or opened, lard will last between 3-6 months if stored in the fridge. If you choose to store it in the pantry, it will last up until the best-by date.

The Uses Of Lard

lard on bread slice

As stated earlier, lard can be used in your cooking for roasting, grilling, sautéing, frying, and baking. If you’re using lard in its solid form, it can be used like butter or shortening in baking recipes. You can use lard for deep frying purposes, or simply as a spread on toast.

What kinds of foods can you cook with lard? Everything from fried chicken to flaky pie crusts.

If your recipe calls for lard, and you happen to be short on it, here are some substitutes. Shortening is a good alternative. Use a 1;1 ratio of shortening when using it as a substitute. Another option is butter. For every ¼ cup needed, use ¼ cup of butter plus 1 tablespoon. Lastly, vegetable oil can be used instead of lard. Substitute 7/8 cups for 1 cup of lard.

The Bottom-Line

Lard has its roots in the cuisines of Europe, China, and America. Although it is no longer as common anymore, many chefs still prefer to use lard in their cooking.

Lard lasts for a pretty long time. But if you’re ever worried that it has gone bad, be sure to inspect your lard for signs of spoilage. Especially, for signs, it has gone rancid. Overall, lard lasts up to the best-by date on the label in the pantry, and up to 3-6 months after the date in the fridge.

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Alisa Shimoyama
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.