Many cuisines prefer using pork lard to cook their food instead of oils.
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However, pork lard is not always available on the market or in your kitchen pantry.
So what can we use instead of pork lard in cooking recipes that call for this ingredient?
Let’s figure it out in this article.
What is pork lard?
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Pork lard is a kind of fat that is made from pork fat.
Normally, the fat is taken from the back of the pig, fatty cuts like pork belly or butt, as well as organs like kidneys.
These unused parts are rendered until the fat is completely melted and becomes solid when cooled down.
Although pork is a kind of red meat that is considered unhealthy if consumed in the long term, pork lard turns out to be even healthier than other common kinds of oil on the market because it contains more monounsaturated fatty acids that benefit our heart health.
Since pork lard has a high smoke point, it is often used in cooking recipes that call for high temperatures like baking or frying.
It can be also used as an ingredient for pies to add a richer and meaty taste.
Can you substitute pork lard in cooking recipes?
Pork lard is a great option for cooking.
However, in case you don’t have this ingredient on hand, you totally can substitute it with many other kinds of fat or oil.
You can make these alternatives at home from easy-to-find ingredients, or buy the premade versions from any grocery store, local butcher, or supermarket across the country.
What can you substitute for pork lard?
As mentioned above, there are many things that can be used to substitute for pork lard.
Below is the list of the most commonly used cooking oils or fats that can work well in place of pork lard:
1. Beef tallow
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The first substitute is the closest one to pork lard.
Beef tallow is very similar to pork lard, the only difference is that the fat is taken from the cow instead.
Normally, fats around the cow’s kidneys are gathered and rendered until they completely melt and form a semi-solid substance called beef tallow.
Beef tallow also has a high smoke point with a rich taste, so it can be used interchangeably with pork lard in any cooking recipe.
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Butter is another great substitute for pork lard.
It is a very popular dairy product with versatile uses in plenty of recipes.
However, butter contains a high amount of saturated fat and has a lower smoke point, it shouldn’t be used frequently and in deep-frying recipes that call for high temperature.
You should also use unsalted butter to maintain better health.
3. Vegetable oil
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You can also use vegetable oil to alternate pork lard.
In fact, there are many kinds of vegetable oil, such as canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, and soybean oil.
Vegetable oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for deep-frying, but it lacks a rich taste like animal-based fats.
Therefore, vegetable oil is just perfect for frying and stir-frying foods instead of being used as an ingredient for baking recipes.
4. Olive oil
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Olive oil is another kind of oil that can greatly substitute for pork lard.
Olive oil is especially popular in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, but you can actually find it anywhere in the world.
Olive oil is considered healthier than most vegetable oils because it contains more fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, vitamin K and E, and is a rich source of antioxidants.
Olive oil can be used for deep-frying, stir-frying, or basting the foods while baking or grilling to add a richer taste while keeping the foods moist during cooking.
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Shortening refers to any fat that has a solid texture at room temperature.
The most popular kind of store-bought shortening is vegetable shortening, which is commonly used in making pastries.
Although it is a vegan product, vegetable shortening is actually high in calories and contains no nutrients for our body, making it less healthy than other kinds of oil or fat.
The bottom line
Pork lard is great for both our dishes and our health because it adds flavor as well as is a good source of healthy fats.
However, in case you are running out of this kind of fat, there are various options for you to choose from to substitute pork lard, including butter, different types of vegetable oil, olive oil, beef tallow, or other kinds of shortening.
The best pork lard alternative is the one that is available in your local grocery store, is affordable, and works well in your cooking recipe.