So you’ve purchase lard together an alternative to butter or Crisco as soon as baking or do pastries. The check turned the end a success, and you’re excited to usage lard in your future baking projects.

You are watching: How to tell if lard is rancid

Unfortunately, you’re baking only every when in a while, so you’re worried that the remaining fat won’t last that long. walk lard walk bad?

Lard, also known together Schmaltz in German-speaking countries, is largely used because that cooking and baking purposes. And also while many human being keep it in the countertop near the range to have it on hand, that’s certainly not the optimal place to save it.

If you’re interested in learning more about storage, shelf life, and also going negative of lard, check out on.

Image used under an innovative Commons from bob walker

How To save Lard

Storing lard is quite comparable to storing one more popular shortening: Crisco.

That means you need to keep one unopened package in a cool and also dry area, away from heat sources. The pantry is the ideal location thanks come the reduced than room temperature, but a cabinet in the kitchen can work too.


If you live in a heat climate and also don’t have actually a different pantry, store lard in the fridge instead.

Once you open the package, the first thing to remember is that you should always save it sealed tightly. If it come in a document packaging the you can’t reseal, you need to wrap it. Utilizing a reusable freezer bag for that is a straightforward and also environment-friendly solution. If it’s in a plastic container, it’s it s okay for long-term storage.

When it concerns where lard must sit after opening the package, there space two options. For brief term storage, the pantry is a-okay. Yet if you intend to have actually the lard approximately for more than a month, go with the fridge. Refrigerating is the easiest method to maintain the freshness of the fat.

Last but not least, always use clean cutlery once scooping lard. Making use of a knife that you’ve already dipped in any other food risks microbial contamination. And also while that doesn’t necessarily median the fat will go poor sooner than it should, the might. And also there’s no point in risking that.

(credit: Adam Engelhart)

Can You freeze Lard?

While the shelf life that lard is fairly long, if you should store the for even longer, you have the right to freeze it.

Since food typically doesn’t favor being frozen and also defrosted repeatedly, it’s finest to freeze lard in small portions. This way you have the right to thaw a section and use every one of it, rather of make the efforts to cut a piece of frozen lard or defrosting the entirety stick.

The easiest method to go about that is to freeze lard in an ice cream cube tray. If the fat is also firm to transfer it to the cubes, leave it for an hour or for this reason on the counter, therefore it softens up a bit. After the cubes harden in the freezer, deliver them into freezer bags and put castle right back in.

When it comes to thawing, you can do this either in the fridge, or use the frozen fat right away if you have to melt that anyway.


It’s constantly best to usage thawed food as quickly as possible, so shot to defrost just as much lard as you require at a time.

(credit: ben dalton)

How long Does Lard Last

Lard generally comes with a best-by or use-by day on the package. That date is an calculation of just how long the fat should retain freshness. Since lard is pretty much fat only, that will conveniently last because that months much longer if you keep it properly.

Also, opening the package doesn’t really change anything as soon as it concerns how lengthy it lasts. As I currently mentioned, if it is well wrapped and at cold temperature, it will certainly last a long time. Together usual, it’s no really feasible to tell how long previous the date on the label it will certainly still be it s okay to eat.

Lard (unopened or opened)Best-byBest-by + 3 – 6 months

Please note that the periods above are because that the best quality.

(credit: mark gordon photography)

How come Tell If Lard Is Bad

First, let’s begin with the usual signs of spoilage, such as the existence of mold, discolorations, or off odor. If any kind of of these are present, toss the fat out.

Like with various other fats such as olive oil, or bacon grease, going rancid is one option. To uncover if your lard is rancid, provide it a good sniff. If it smells turn off or rancid, throw it away. If not, feel complimentary to give a little amount a taste to examine if it’s good enough come use. Given that it tastes okay, feel cost-free to use it. Otherwise, just eliminate it.


Poor-quality or rancid lard will an outcome in one unpalatable pie crust or any kind of other baking project you’re working on.

Last yet not least, if you already store lard for about a year previous the day on the label, just throw that out. It’s most most likely stale by this point anyway. Also, if for any kind of reason you begin to question if the lard is fresh, discard it too.

Humans, many thanks to the thousands of generations of our ancestors, have the incredible capability to point out food that’s unsafe to eat. If her senses tell you it’s not safe to eat, you should listen.

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Marcin is the man behind ~ writing more than 300 posts on food storage, shelf life, and also spoilage, he"s learned a thing or 2 on the topic.