Lard is pig fat that is obtained from parts of the pig where high adipose tissue content is found. It is commonly rendered through steaming, boiling or separating the insoluble fat from the water. This pig fat has been used for baking and cooking purposes for years. It is also usually found in a wide range of recipes including piecrusts and biscuits.
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If you have a jar of lard just sitting in your refrigerator, you might ask this very question: Does lard go bad? In this post, I am going to provide you essential information regarding lard’s shelf life, its proper storage, and how to tell if it has already gone bad. I hope that after you read this post, you will be able to apply it to prevent food wastage.
Does Lard Go Bad?
Using lard for food preparation is something you would benefit from. Apart from the health benefits it can provide, it can make the fried chicken taste very good. In addition, it is versatile as it doesn’t burn when used for frying and it has far less saturated fat than regular butter. It is the perfect ingredient for piecrusts and does not have a pork flavor.
If you are curious about whether lard does go bad, unfortunately, it does. The reason is that it is made up of saturated molecules of fat and it has a stable structure because it can be solid at room temperature. Even though it can be stored at room temperature, spoilage can be rapid if the temperature keeps changing.
You should know that like every food item, proper storage is mandatory to keep your lard’s lifespan longer than expected. If stored properly in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, lard can last up to a year. However, if you want to extend its life even longer, you can get up to 2 more years if you store it in the freezer.
Freezing lard inside its original packaging or container is not advisable due to the fact that aluminum can cause lard to become frost burnt. This will also result in a negative effect in terms of its texture and flavor. It is required that you transfer the fat first to a freezer-safe container if you want its shelf life to be extended for longer than a year.
Cubing lad while it is still soft can also extend its shelf life by up to 2 years. You may place the cubes lined up properly on a baking sheet with waxed paper and freeze it. This method is very effective when it comes to storing lard for later use and this will be discussed in detail in the following section.
Thawed lard will be able to last for several months in the refrigerator. However, it is important to note that you should always check if the lard has spoiled before you use it for food preparation. The key to lard’s long shelf life depends on how it is stored, as well as the conditions it is kept in.
As mentioned above, there are several reasons why you should use lard for cooking. Here’s a video link to show you what makes lard the best for food preparation:
How Do You Properly Store Lard?
Proper food handling and storage is required to extend lard’s shelf life, as well as prevent food spoilage. You can also help the environment, as you would not be generating waste by getting rid of the spoiled lard. In this section, we are going to discuss some of the ways on how to properly store lard.
Lard can be stored at room temperature as long as it is transferred from its original packaging into a tightly sealed jar or container. It should be noted, however, that temperature should be constant where you store it because changing temperatures can cause lard to spoil a little faster.
Another way to store lard is to freeze it. Like the method mentioned above, lard should not be stored in its original container. If you wish to freeze it, you have to transfer the lard into a freezer safe container and it should be sealed tightly. Doing this will likely to extend its shelf life to at least 3 years.
Cubing lard is also a great option to extend the shelf life of lard. You can do this method while lard is still soft. You may place the cubes on top of a waxed paper. After that, you have to freeze the lard for up to 2 hours. Once the cubes have frozen and became solid, you have to transfer them into freezer bags.
Lard should never be stored in an open container on your kitchen counter or cabinet. The reason is that mice, rats, and all other pests will feed on it and it will cause contamination and harmful bacteria will cause quick spoilage. To add, doing so will be very dangerous to you and your family’s health.
How Do You Tell If Lard Has Gone Bad?
Lard’s shelf life can be as long as 3 years and sometimes, even after that period, it can still be used for consumption. If it does not show any negative changes in terms of its color and texture, this would mean that it will still be okay for food preparation. However, if you notice discoloration, bad taste and odor, throw it away.
One good thing about lard is that these properties can be very obvious and clear once it has gone rancid. Lastly, if you notice that pests such as rats, and mice have fed on it, you have to throw it away immediately. You will notice bite marks and missing parts of the lard if that happens.
Does lard go bad? Unfortunately, yes. But proper food storage can extend its life for up to 3 years. Here are some of the important points mentioned above:
- Lard’s shelf life at room temperature is up to a year while freezing it can extend its life by up to 2 more years.
- Proper storage includes transferring it from the original packaging into a tightly sealed container. Another option is freezing it.
- If you notice any form of discoloration, bad odor and taste, you have to discard it.