Does Lard Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 28th, 2022

Is it possible for fat to go bad? So how do you determine whether fat is bad? Here’s a basic tutorial with all of the answers you’re looking for.

This cooking fat may be used in several applications, including roasting, grilling, sautéing, frying, and baking. If you have any leftover lard you have been saving for a while, you may ask, “Has my lard gone bad?” How long is it going to last?


What Exactly Is Lard?

Lard is a solid, creamy-white fat derived from swine fat tissue. It is produced by steaming or boiling. It should have little to no scent or flavor if it’s well-rendered. Lard is typically sold in supermarkets as a brick or block wrapped in tissue paper.

The appeal of cooking with lard stems from the fact that it contains no trans fats. Lard contains primarily saturated fatty acids, which are beneficial to your health. Lard is a superior cooking oil to most commercial vegetable oils and even butter!

Consider the nutritional value of one ounce of lard:

Nutritional valueAmountDaily value in %*
Total fat28g36%
Saturated fat11g55%

*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Another advantage of lard over other cooking fats is its high smoke point (because of the high amount of saturated fats). It creates less smoke when heated than other cooking fats and adds taste to meals. Many experienced chefs choose to prepare specific meals with fat.

Oil and fat smoke points:

Butter200 – 250°F
Coconut Oil350°F
Sesame Oil350°F
Olive Oil375°F
Canola Oil400°F
Vegetable oil400°F

Lard’s Applications

As previously said, you may use lard in your cooking for roasting, grilling, sautéing, frying, and baking. Furthermore, lard in its solid state may be utilized in baking recipes like butter or shortening. In addition, lard can be used for deep frying or as a spread-over toast.

What types of dishes can you make using lard? Everything from fried chicken to flaky pie crusts is available.

Here are some alternatives if your recipe asks for lard and you don’t have any on hand.

Shortening is a viable option. However, when using shortening as a replacement, use a 1:1 ratio.

Butter is another possibility. Use 14 cups of butter + 1 tablespoon for every 14 cups required. Finally, vegetable oil can be used for lard. 7/8 cup lard can be used for 1 cup lard.

Can Lard Go Bad?

Lard, like other cooking fats, may become rancid over time. However, because lard is mostly composed of saturated fat molecules, it is more solid at room temperature and has a more stable structure.

However, lard may be stored at room temperature in a pantry or other container, and the risk of spoiling increases dramatically when the temperature is not kept consistent.

Lard can be stored at room temperature for four to six months, depending on the circumstances. Lard, on the other hand, has a shelf life of up to a year when stored in the refrigerator.

How Long Does Lard Last?

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

Lard keeps its quality for around six months at room temperature and a year in the fridge when you open it. All sticks and containers have best-by dates that can readily exceed, especially if refrigerated.

That’s a long time. This is because lard is largely made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats, which are more stable than polyunsaturated fats.

Of course, different brands offer different suggestions. Lard, for example, recommends 7 months for their lard, whereas Fatworks says its lard lasts 12 to 18 months in the fridge.

If you keep lard refrigerated, it will last considerably longer than if you leave it out on the counter (more on that later).

All of the above applies to “pure” lard or fat. Greaves and lard with bacon pieces are also available, but they have a significantly shorter shelf life, often a few weeks.

Let’s imagine your lard is past its “expiration” date, and you’re wondering how long you can use it. Then, let’s get into it.

Signs That Your Lard Has Gone Bad

Look at the sight of your lard to see whether it has been ruined. Toss it if you notice any mold or discolorations.

If you notice any off-odors, your lard may have gone rancid. If this is the case, throw it away.

Whether there are no symptoms of rotting, taste it to see if it meets your expectations. If not, you should probably get rid of it.

Finally, if you’ve had your lard for more than a year over its best-by date, it’s advisable to toss it out.

Is it possible to reuse lard once it has been fried?

If you’ve used Lard to cook your favorite meals, you might be hesitant to throw it away. After all, it appears to be functional. Is it safe to reuse, or should it be discarded?

Yes, you may reuse Lard after frying it, but take caution. Lard should never be heated over 360°F/185°C. Overheating will deteriorate Lard and make it unsafe to ingest.

How Many Times Can Lard Be Reused?

We don’t advocate frying with Lard more than once, twice at most, if filtered and not overheated, because it degrades fast due to oxidation and overheating.

How to Store Lard: Foolproof Methods for Extending Its Shelf Life

Fortunately for cooks, fat has a reasonably long shelf life by nature. This kind of fat belongs to a hydrocarbon class distinguished by its stability. Furthermore, bacteria are unable to degrade the big molecules of fat easily. As a result, fat does not require any special care to stay fresh for several weeks.

However, if you want or need to keep your lard for longer, there are numerous options. Lard can be stored at ambient temperature, in the refrigerator, or the freezer. Every storage technique has a different shelf life and has pros and disadvantages.

Is it safe to store lard at room temperature?

To ensure that it lasts as long as possible and that you can enjoy its full flavor, you need to know how to preserve it properly. The first question many people have is whether lard can be kept at room temperature. Yes, it certainly can!

If you want to keep your lard at room temperature, ensure it’s in a well-sealed container, as oxygen might cause it to spoil faster. Also, keep it away from direct sunshine and other heat sources.

It is preferable to store lard in colored glass or plastic containers, as transparent glass may allow too much sunshine. Ideally, you should be able to keep it in an airtight container, such as a Rubbermaid container. A cold, dark, and dry part of your homes, such as a pantry or storage closet, is the best location to keep it. Lard will survive up to six months in these conditions.

How to Keep Lard Fresh in the Fridge

The disadvantage of keeping lard at room temperature is that it can attract mice even if the container is well sealed. If you’re worried about rats getting into your fat, keep it in the fridge.

Check sure the container is hermetically shut in this situation, as fat may absorb odors from the air surrounding it. Also, keep the lard out only when needed and put it back quickly to maintain a consistent temperature. Lard will keep in the fridge for six months to a year.

Lard Safely Stored in the Freezer

Finally, you may put lard in the freezer to extend its shelf life. If you determine this is the best option for you, wrap the fat in wax paper. Then, to keep it airtight, add another layer of foil or plastic wrap.

Even in the freezer, lard will pick up unpleasant flavors if it comes into touch with air. As a result, the advice to ensure that it is completely sealed remains relevant. Before freezing, you may also chop your fat into cubes. This will allow you to take out only what you need. Lard may be frozen for up to two years.

Is it necessary to refrigerate lard once it has been opened, or is it preferable not to?

As previously noted, refrigerating lard extends its shelf life. However, keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer is not always necessary. It is up to you whether or not to do so based on your cooking habits.

If you only use lard seldom or in little amounts, it’s better to keep it refrigerated. You probably don’t want it to go bad after only a small amount of this delectable product has been used! If you refrigerate the lard, it will still be excellent when you are in the mood to make something delectable!

Storing it in the refrigerator isn’t necessary if you use lard regularly or in greater quantities, and your supply is normally depleted within a few weeks.

You don’t have to worry about lard getting rancid because it has a shelf life of four to six months when stored at room temperature. Make sure the container is tightly shut to keep bugs and pests out.

If you use lard frequently, storing it in the fridge will add to the clutter, and you risk it absorbing unpleasant tastes or odors from other foods. So, to summarize, unless you need to preserve lard for a long time, it is safe to store it at room temperature.

Is it possible to freeze lard?

If you want to keep your lard fresh for an extended period, freeze it. When freezing lard, it is recommended to freeze it in smaller volumes. This way, you may use only what you need without thawing all the fat.

Using ice cube trays to freeze your fat is one option. After the cubes in the tray have frozen, transfer them to freezer bags and place them back in the freezer.


Lard has its origins in European, Chinese, and American cuisines. Even though it is no longer widely used, many chefs still choose to cook with fat.

Lard has a rather long shelf life. However, if you are concerned that your lard has gone rancid, check it for symptoms of deterioration. It has gone rotten, especially for signals.

Overall, lard will keep in the pantry until the best-by date on the label and in the fridge for up to 3-6 months after the date.


Editorial Staff

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