Ghee vs Lard (Everything You Need To Know)

natural lard in silver bowl

Both lard and ghee are excellent ingredients to keep stocked in your kitchen. In fact, I keep both on hand at all times.

There are many uses for both ghee and lard and they offer similarities and differences so read on so you know the best uses for lard and ghee as well as the important differences to keep in mind.

Ghee vs Lard: Differences, Similarities, and Uses

ghee is clarified butter

Both ghee and lard have been used in traditional styles of cooking all over the world. And both ghee and lard have been gaining in popularity in recent years.

I love cooking and baking with these ingredients and encourage you to read on to learn how you can best incorporate them in your cooking.

What is Ghee?

bowl of ghee

Ghee is a rich and creamy, clarified butter. It goes through a simmering process and then had all excess water strained out.

Ghee can even contain uncooked milk solids that are slightly browned creating a flavor with notes of earthy caramel.

Ghee has a long shelf life and has many uses. Traditionally, it has been used in culinary as well as therapeutic recipes.

Related: Substitutes for Ghee

As long as moisture isn’t introduced to your ghee, it can be stored at room temperature.

Ghee Uses

cup of coffee with ghee

Ghee offers a high smoke point (higher than regular butter) making it a great option for any recipe that requires heat.

In fact, ghee is ideal for cooking at high temperatures. You can sauté, fry, roast, and bake with ghee.

Ghee offers a complex flavor that can add an interesting flavor to all types of recipes. Here are just some ideas to get you started, but the uses for ghee are nearly endless.

  • Add to coffee or tea
  • Roast vegetables
  • Frying
  • Topping pancakes
  • Toast, bagels, English muffins
  • Baked goods
  • Eggs
  • Lobster rolls
  • Pizza crust

What is Lard?

lard in rustic ceramic container

Lard is composed entirely of animal fat. Lard is (usually) made by rendering the fat from pig. The most commonly used parts of the pig for making lard are butt, belly, and shoulders.

The meat is cooked slowly, allowing the fat to separate. The separated fat is then chilled, allowing it to solidify.

There are multiple types of lard, here they are.

Unrendered lard

There is in fact one type of lard that is not produced by rendering. Some lard is made from pig fat trimmings that has not been heated first. Unrendered lard will usually have a light pork flavor.

Rendered lard

This is the type of lard most people use in their kitchens in earlier times. Produced by rendering, this type of lard usually has very little pork flavor. It is the type of lard I usually use.

Processed lard

The most popular type of lard used today, processed lard is made by a process that includes rendering, heating, filtering and then clarifying the resultant fat.

This type of lard has no pork flavor and has a light, uniform color.

Leaf lard

This type of lard is a bit of a delicacy. It is produced using the fat located near the pigs kidney and stomach.

It get’s it’s name from the shape of the fat used. It is an exceptional fat to use in baking and can even be used in other high heat cooking.

Related: Substitutes for Lard

Lard Uses

lard in cast iron skillet

Lard is my go to fat for baking. It is an exceptional fat for all types of recipes. It even has a high smoke point that makes it ideal for sautéing, grilling, and frying.

There are many uses for lard in the kitchen and should be kept well stocked. Here is a list of ideas to get you started.

  • Baked breads
  • Cake
  • Cookies
  • Frying
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Grilling
  • Hash browns
  • Eggs

Lard vs Ghee FAQ

clear jar of ghee

Is ghee better than lard?

That depends on what you are making. Both ghee and lard are great options, but there are some differences.

If baking, ghee and lard both make great options for texture and flavor. If spreading on a muffin, toast, or bagel, ghee is a much better choice than lard.

Related: Lard vs Butter

Can I use ghee instead of lard in baking?

Yes, ghee can be used instead of lard when baking. Both fats are well suited for all types of baked recipes. Keep in mind that ghee has a stronger flavor and will be noticed in your final recipe.

Can I use lard in place of ghee when baking?

Yes you can use lard instead of ghee in baked dishes. As discussed above, both lard and ghee are great fats for use in baked recipes.

Written by Liv

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