Does lard need to be refrigerated? Does it go bad when it expires? Or would refrigerating stop it from going bad? If these are questions you have been thinking about, you are in luck as we are about to answer them all in this article.
There really is no rule that says the lard must be refrigerated. It fares well when stored both on the shelf and in the refrigerator but, there’s a twist, some pros and cons of the two kinds of storage that you should know about so as to make the right decision.
Which is a better choice? Don’t be too quick too decide until you are done reading this write up.
The Fat Called Lard
Lard is a multi purpose fat that can be used to fry in all your frying and even baking. This particular fat is gotten from around the abdomen of a pig, it passes through some processes that expunges some properties that would have made it unfit for cooking and consumption.
Does Lard Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, you can refrigerate lard if you want, but it’s not compulsory. Refrigerating lard is a very effective way of preservation. It keeps its freshness locked in and retains its quality for much longer. For a lard that stays refrigerated, you can get a few extra months of use after it must have expired.
Now, If you are not one to use the lard frequently, have it freezed instead. You can have it freezed in small quantities. Simply put in separate containers, so you do not feel the need to defrost the whole thing whenever you need it.
When you intend using the freezed lard, you can have it transferred to the fridge or, use it straight away as the fat will go ahead to melt away.
See Also: Does Celery Need To Be Refrigerated?
How Long Does The Lard Last In The Fridge?
Typically, lard that is being stored on the shelf, can last for half a year. But, if refrigerated, can go up to a year.
How To Know When Your Lard Has Gone Bad
The smell of the lard is one pointer used by a lot of people to know if a lard is about to go bad or has gone bad already. While that is valid, it is also important that you know its true smell in order for you not to pass it off as bad when it actually isn’t.
There are two types of lard and each one of them have their own distinct smell. We have the regular ones that is more popular and used by lots of people.
The lard has a smell that is similar to that of pig’s meat. Also, there is the leaf lard. Unlike the regular lard, the leaf lard’s smell is very mild and almost non existent.
Now that you know their individual smell, it becomes easier to differentiate between a smell that signifies a lard gone bad and its natural smell.
But, there are other factors aside the smell to consider before finally tossing off that lard for good. Let’s take a look at them below:
1. Presence Of Mold
Whenever you notice the presence of mold growth or other funny stuff or discoloration on top of your lard, it is a sign that it is just about to go bad.
This happens mostly as a result of your own negligence, perhaps the way and manner it was scooped when you used it last. Other times, it might happen to a lard that has been stored on the shelf for a long time without been used.
The good thing is that the presence of mold does not ultimately signify that your fat has gone bad. You can simply scoop out the surface and salvage the rest.
See Also: Can You Refrigerate Avocados?
2. Awful Taste
Lard has a very distinct taste and flavor. If you suspect it to be bad, check to see if there is a change in flavor.
For the leaf lard, if the flavor is anything other than its natural mild one, then you should dispose it as it is obviously not good anymore.
3. Terrible Smell
A lot of people actually do have their fat reused for frying over and over again. However, you must first check with the smell before reusing. You know its trash worthy if and when it begins to smell stale.
Aside from smelling stale, you should totally throw your lard away if it smells like paint or a combination of chemicals, smells like detergent or for any unfamiliar smell it has.
How To Storage Lard The Right Way
There are a number of things you must know in order for you to have your lard stored properly and preserved for much longer. See them outlined briefly below:
- Always check to see that the lid is tightly shut after each use. If for some reason, you are unable to seal it tightly shut, have it transferred into a zip lock bag and refrigerate.
- Always keep it refrigerated at all time. This would help retain its taste and flavor and keep it from going bad even before its expiration date.
- When using the lard, make sure that the item used in scooping it is clean and debris free. Using dirty items for scooping is very unhygienic and indirectly encourages mold growth.
- One mistake a lot of people make is turning back remnants of used lard into the unused one. That is a complete blunder. It is the fastest way to get the unused one contaminated and get spoilt easily. You are better off storing used lard in a different container.
See Also: Should You Refrigerate Apples?
Keeping lard refrigerated is totally optional and not a must. However, your lard stands a better chance of retaining its quality for longer when refrigerated.
Here’s the thing; your lard also stands a chance of still being good even way after it must have expired.
Does lard need to be refrigerated? Not necessarily. Are there advantages accrued to keeping your lard refrigerated? Yes, there are. Especially if it is one you might not be able to totally consume in a short while.