Shortening Cooking Guide

apple pie on baking board

Shortening is a popular ingredient in baking and cooking. It has many uses and is a true kitchen staple.

Understanding how and when to use shortening will help you create more flavorful dishes and desserts. This guide will answer all your shortening cooking and baking questions.

What is shortening made of?

Shortening is a solid fat made from vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated to make them more solid.

How can shortening be used for cooking?

It can be used to coat pans before frying or baking foods to prevent the food from sticking. It is also added to frostings or cake batters in order to make them more moist.

Shortening is sometimes added to pie crusts and biscuits in order for the doughs not to be too crumbly. Some recipes call for shortening as a replacement for butter, when no dairy products are allowed.

Why would I use it in cooking?

Shortening has a high smoke point, and can be used for frying. It is also good for baking because it has a neutral flavor, and it doesn’t break down when exposed to high heat as quickly. Shortening also makes baked goods light and tender.

What is the difference between lard and shortening?

Lard is rendered pork fat, and shortening is made from vegetable oils. Both lard and shortening are solid fats and are often used interchangeably in recipes. Many people prefer to use lard for baking because it produces a more moist product. Shortening has a neutral flavor, making it ideal for baked goods that need to have a delicate flavor, such as pastries or cakes.

What are examples of shortening?

Shortening has many names depending on the product. Some examples are palm shortening, hydrogenated shortening, vegetable shortening, and vegetable fat.

Is Crisco a shortening?

Crisco is a brand of shortening. Many people mistakenly use the word “Crisco” for shortening. For example, they may see a recipe calling for Crisco as an ingredient, so they may think they have to use the Crisco brand, but any shortening will actually work.

Is Crisco the same as lard?

No, Crisco is a shortening and lard is a type of rendered pork fat. Crisco is made from vegetable oils, while lard is made from animal fat.

How many calories are in shortening?

Shortening is a solid fat and contains approximately 30 calories per gram. The calories per ounce varies with the brand, but the general amount is approximately 50 to 70 calories per ounce depending on the type of shortening used.

Shortening Uses

  1. Adding to baked goods, cakes, etc.
  2. Adding to pancakes for a buttery taste similar to shortening & add cinnamon for a great treat!
  3. Grilling fatty foods like burgers, steaks, etc., and then using a spatula to remove excess grease from the food before plating/serving
  4. Stirring into sauces, gravy, etc. to replace butter and add a more neutral flavor
  5. Similar to other solid fats, shortening can be used in many recipes that require the butter or oil to be solidified (like cookie dough, cake batter, etc.)
  6. Sometimes used as a butter replacement when no dairy products are allowed in cooking (i.e.- for vegans)
  7. Some recipes use shortening as an alternative to lard

Types Of Shortening

  1. Hydrogenated Shortening
  2. Palm Shortening
  3. Vegetable Shortening
  4. Vegetable Fat

Bottom Line

Shortening is a solid fat made from vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated to make them more solid and solid at room temperature.

Shortening can be used to coat pans before frying or baking foods to prevent the food from sticking. It can also be added to frostings, cakes, etc, in order to make them more moist. Shortening is sometimes added to pie crusts and biscuits in order for the doughs not to be too crumbly.

Written by Robin

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