All About Lard Storage
A while ago, I bought a big 1 gallon tub of lard from a farm and then I realized there was no way I was going to use it quickly enough. I’ve found the best way to store it was to keep most of it in the freezer, and keep the amount I’m going to use in the fridge. So, if you’re like me and found yourself with a large amount of lard and have no idea what to do with it, keep reading to get the full lard storage breakdown.
In the Pantry
Lard can be stored in the pantry for around a month or less. This shelf-life depends on whether the lard was stored properly in an airtight container, away from direct light and kept at a steady temperature. Dramatic temperature fluctuations, a loose seal, and high humidity can make lard spoil much faster. It’s best to store lard in a hard container, whether glass or plastic, because soft foil or plastic bags will easily attract pests who can chew through it. Just to be clear, I’m talking about rendered lard here, not raw leaf lard, which should be stored in the fridge or freezer at all times.
In the Fridge
Lard can be stored in the fridge for up to a year. I like keeping refrigerated lard in a glass mason jar, like these from Le Parfait and Weck. I also always mark the date on the lard so I can keep track of how old it is. Again, make sure the container is sealed tightly, because lard has a tendency to absorb odors and flavors from the fridge.
In the Freezer
Stored in the freezer, lard can last for over a year. You can use the lard from frozen without defrosting it first, if you want. Just be sure to never refreeze the lard after it has been defrosted. You might get some freezer burn on the top of the lard, but that can just be scraped off.
Lard should be stored in an airtight, sealed container so it does not absorb flavors or odors from the freezer. I personally like storing lard and other solid cooking fats in these Souper Cubes silicone trays. I like how you can take portions out as you need them, and they’re not very bulky in the freezer. I also sometimes use these Weck jars, because these glass jars won’t break like other mason jars in the freezer since they are shoulder-less. Just be sure to not place hot lard in the freezer in glass, because the dramatic temperature change might cause the glass to shatter.
Does lard go bad?
Yes, lard does eventually go bad. The shelf-life depends on its storage conditions. Lard lasts the longest in the freezer, and shortest in the pantry. Personally, I keep my lard exclusively in the fridge and freezer, just to keep it fresher longer.
How do I know if lard is spoiled?
If the lard smells bad or different, that’s probably a sign it has turned. Any fishy smell or taste is definitely a sign that the lard is spoiled. Also, if lard looks or tastes any different or off, it’s probably best to just toss it.
Can I reuse lard?
Yes, you can reuse lard after deep frying. You need to strain it to remove food bits and impurities before you pour it into a wide mouthed container. If the lard looks or smells very different after being used, it’s probably best to toss it. Strain the lard with a metal sieve or colander and a paper towel to ensure you capture all the little food crumbs. I personally would recommend putting the used lard in the fridge or freezer for storage, just to keep it fresher.
What’s the best container for storing lard?
The best containers for storing lard are airtight containers, mason jars (I like these Le Parfait and freezer-safe Weck jars) and Souper Cubes silicone trays. I personally really like the convenience and ease of the Souper trays. They come in different portion compartments like 1 cup, 2 cup and even 2 tablespoon. It’s easy to just pop out however much you need at a time.
If you want to know more about which lard is the best, how to use lard, and more about animal fats check out my other articles: Tallow vs Lard and Tallow vs Ghee.