Lard in a large plastic bucket
What Is Lard Made Of? (And When To Use It)
By Elias Nash
Lard is solid fat extracted from pigs, and it can be rendered either by steaming the pork fat or cooking it down in a kettle, with the main difference being that kettle-rendered lard tends to be somewhat darker in color. Although lard’s contents don’t make it particularly nutritious, some recipes still benefit from using lard.
Lard contains saturated fat, which should be used in moderation as it can increase the risk of heart disease. Surprisingly, lard makes fried food less greasy than oil-frying does, which can be an advantage for foods that need crispy exteriors while remaining light and delicate on the inside, like fish and chips or doughnuts.
Lard will typically be most useful in baked goods where solid fat is necessary, and it’s the classic choice for making biscuits and pie crusts. While you could use butter or shortening instead, lard makes extremely flaky dough and is easier for bakers to work with because of its high melting point.