Lard might not be as popular as it once was, but it is still a great ingredient to cook with, to add a deliciously fatty flavor to cooked dishes.
If you’ve bought some lard, you might not be able to use it all before it expires, as a little does tend to go a long way, but you would not want any to go to waste.
Can you freeze lard? You can freeze lard, and if prepared and protected properly, lard can freeze well, and it can be frozen for up to 12 months. This means that you get enough time to use up all of the lard you buy without any of it going to waste.
Read on to find out more about freezing lard, and the best ways to do so!
Is It Okay To Freeze Lard?
It is okay to freeze lard, and lard does freeze well, which means that it is a great way to extend the shelf-life of lard, giving you the chance to use it before it goes off.
When freezing lard, you need to make sure that the lard does not have a high water content, as this can cause it to lose some taste and texture.
There is a higher chance that lard that contains more water will experience freezer burn, but good quality lard should not have that high of water content.
It is a good idea to freeze lard to allow it to last for longer, and as long as you prepare the lard properly for freezing, and make sure that it is protected in the freezer, then it will be fine once it is frozen and used.
How To Freeze Lard
Freezing lard is a fairly simple process, but while it is a simple process, you do have to make sure you prepare the lard properly for freezing, to ensure it is protected in the freezer.
This will ensure that it keeps its best quality.
Here is how to freeze a block of lard, or whatever might be leftover from a block of lard you have used:
1. Remove Any Packaging
Start by removing the packaging of the lard, especially if you have opened up the packaging and used some of the lard.
The packaging that the lard is sold in is not necessarily designed for freezing, so it is best to not use it.
2. Wrap The Lard
You cannot place a bare block of lard into the freezer, and you will need to cover it up. The first layer you should place on the lard is a layer of baking paper.
Wrap the baking paper around the lard, making sure it is folded around it properly. This helps to protect the lard from moisture while frozen.
3. Cover It In Plastic Wrap
The baking paper alone is not enough to protect the lard while it is frozen. To give it extra protection, wrap the lard in plastic wrap, covering it in a few layers, to make sure it is fully covered.
This will create a total seal around the lard, which will keep moisture out, and hopefully prevent the lard from developing freezer burn while frozen.
4. Label The Packaging
If possible, you should label the lard packaging with the date of freezing, and even the name of the contents.
This helps you to easily identify the lard in the freezer, and it lets you keep track of when the lard should be used by.
Can You Freeze Lard In Smaller Portions?
The downfall of freezing lard in a whole block is that you will have to thaw it all in one go when you want to use it, but you might not be able to use it all.
To avoid going to waste after thawing it, you can freeze the lard in smaller portions, so you only have to thaw as much as you will need at one time.
The best way to do this is to thaw the lard in an ice cube tray.
This allows you to freeze smaller portions of lard, which you can grab one at a time from the freezer and use in your cooking.
Here is how to freeze smaller portions of lard:
- Leave the lard to soften slightly, so it is easier to portion into the ice cube mold.
- Make sure the ice cube tray is clean and dry.
- Portion the lard into the ice cube tray molds, making sure to pack the lard in tightly, so that there are no air bubbles in any of the ice cube molds.
- Once you have packed all of the lard into the ice cube tray, wrap the tray in a layer or two of plastic wrap.
- Place the ice cube tray into the freezer, and allow it to stay there for a few hours until the individual portions of lard have frozen solid.
- Remove the ice cube tray from the freezer, and pop out the cubes of lard by twisting the ice cube tray.
- Place the frozen cubes of lard into a plastic freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
- Label the plastic freezer bag with the date of freezing.
When you need to use a cube of lard, open up the bag, grab as many cubes as you want, and use them as needed.
Freezing them separately and then placing them in a freezer bag means that they will not be stuck together, and they will be easy enough to remove individually.
How Long Can Lard Be Frozen For?
Ideally, lard should not be kept frozen for longer than 12 months. The less time the lard spends in the freezer, the better the quality will be once you use it.
After 12 months, the lard will still be safe to use, but there is a good chance that the quality of the lard will deteriorate, and the taste and texture will not be all that great.
This is why it is important to label the lard with the date of freezing, so you can be sure to use it within the recommended 12 months.
Tips For Freezing Lard
Here are some tips that might make freezing lard a little bit easier:
- If you do not want to wrap the lard in baking paper, you can freeze it in a butter tub or an airtight plastic freezer container, as long as the container has been cleaned thoroughly and as long as it is completely dry. Any moisture will affect the lard as it freezes.
- It might be a good idea to slice the lard into smaller portions and freeze these slices individually so that you do not have to thaw a whole block and have some go to waste.
- Make sure that the lard is protected properly, as any moisture that gets into the lard will cause it to develop freezer burn, which will destroy the taste and texture.
How To Thaw Lard
You will obviously get to a point where you need to use the frozen lard, and it probably isn’t best to throw a piece of frozen lard into a frying pan.
You will have to thaw the lard before you use it, and the best and safest way to do this is to plan ahead. Remove the lard from the freezer, and place it into the fridge.
It should take a few hours to thaw in the fridge, but it allows the lard to thaw at a very safe temperature.
If you do not have a few hours to spare, you can leave the lard to thaw on the kitchen counter at room temperature, but this always runs the risk of the lard being exposed to temperatures for too long which might encourage bacterial growth, which is obviously not ideal.
Try to plan ahead as much as possible to be able to thaw the lard at a safe temperature.
It is possible to freeze lard, and freezing lard is a great way to extend the shelf-life of the lard for longer, especially if you are not going to be able to use it all before it begins to spoil.
You need to make sure that you protect and package the lard properly so that it keeps its best quality in the freezer, and so that it does not develop freezer burn.
Lard can be kept in the freezer for 12 months, so keep a check to make sure you use it within this amount of time.
What is the best way to store fresh lard?
The best way to store fresh lard is to keep it in the fridge, but if it is properly rendered lard, it can also be kept at room temperature.
Does lard go bad?
Lard has quite a long shelf life, but it will go off at some point. Lard will develop an off odor if it begins to spoil, and it might even begin to grow mold on the surface. Lard that appears off should be thrown away.