Top 4 Lard Substitutes for Your Cooking Recipes
Trying to find the best alternative for lard? Whether you’ve run out of this ingredient or want to ditch it for a healthier lard substitute, you will never run out of worthy options to choose from. In fact, unknown to many, there are a range of substitutes likely already in your kitchen cabinets that promise the same potential as lard.
To help you make your planned recipe without compromising its overall taste and quality, we have prepared a roundup of the top four lard substitutes to turn to.
What Is Lard
Typically described as the semi-soft, white fat located in the fattiest portions of a pig, lard is a popular cooking fat used for roasting, grilling, sautéing, frying, and even baking. Generally, it is obtained by a process called rendering, in which pork fat is separated from portions of a hog, specifically from the pork belly, pork butt, or pork shoulder.
Best Lard Substitutes
As mentioned earlier, lard has a long and impressive list of possible replacements. Among these include:
When it comes to the top lard substitute, no other ingredient promises more potential than butter. Since butter has a similar consistency to lard, using it in your recipe won’t hurt its overall taste and quality. In addition to that, butter’s versatility makes it a suitable choice for baking and even roasting.
However, on the downside, since butter has a lower smoking point than lard, it may not be the best option when cooking a dish like stir-fry. Moreover, since lard is 100 percent fat and butter only contains around 80 percent fat, you’ll need to add more butter to get the right fat content suitable for your recipe.
In most cases, ¼ cup and a tablespoon of butter will replace ¼ cup of lard, or use 1 ¼ cup of butter in exchange for 1 cup of lard.
If you don’t like butter, you may want to look at beef tallow as a replacement for lard instead. Since this ingredient is also saturated animal fat, using it for your cooking will lead to a similar result. In fact, compared to butter, you can conveniently use the same quantity of beef tallow as lard in almost any recipe.
However, you must keep in mind that beef tallow is high in calories, making it an unsuitable replacement for people who are on a low calorie diet.
Another possible lard substitute you can turn to is none other than the much-loved coconut oil. Since the ingredient has a high smoke point, it works well in recipes that require frying or cooking at a high heat. Similar to beef tallow, it can also be used in the same quantity as lard in any recipe; meaning if your original dish calls a cup of lard, you can simply use a cup of coconut oil instead.
However, if you want to stick to your dish’s original taste, using coconut oil might not be the best option. It could impart a subtle coconut flavor into your cooking.
Last but definitely not the least: vegetable oil. This oil makes a great replacement for lard, even compared to butter. Not only does it promise a high smoke point that makes it suitable for high heat cooking or frying, but it can also be used in the same quantity as lard (1:1).
However, there is one major drawback; it generates high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes. These have been associated with a range of possible health risks, including cancer and heart disease. With this, it is best to limit the amount of vegetable oil you use.
The Bottom Line
Determined to finish your pre-planned dish? Whether you’re eyeing to prepare some desserts or targeting a main dish, you can now carry on with your desired recipe despite the absence of lard. Try these lard alternatives in your favorite fried chicken, tamales, biscuits, and even donuts.
Which among these top lard substitutes do you plan to use in your next cooking venture?