Does Lard Go Bad? How To Tell When It’s Bad

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Lard is a delicious oil to fry with or to include in baked goods. However, if you’ve come across an older container of Lard in your pantry, it might not be safe to consume.

If you store Lard properly, Lard kept in the pantry will last four to six months, while Lard kept in the fridge can last up to one year. However, Lard can go bad, and it may make you sick if you accidentally consume rancid Lard.

Read on to learn about the shelf life of Lard, how to tell if it has gone bad, and the best way to store it.

How Long Does Lard Last?

The shelf life of your Lard depends on where you keep it. keeping your Lard’s temperature consistent is essential to maximize its shelf life.

If the pork lard product you’ve purchased has a best date, use that as your guide instead of ours below. Homemade lard typically has a shorter shelf life due to the lack of controlled conditions in the kitchen.

Shelf life of Lard:

  • Room Temperature: Lasts between 4 to 6 months
  • In The Refrigerator: Up to 1 year
Pork Lard

In general, as long as you keep your Lard in a tightly sealed, airtight container, in a temperature-controlled environment, and away from direct sunlight, your Lard should keep four to six months in the pantry at room temperature and up to one year in the fridge.

With that said, you might be wondering if Lard that’s already been used is expired. Let’s talk about whether you can reuse Lard and how many times it’s okay to reuse it.

Can You Reuse Lard After Frying?

If you have used Lard to fry your favorite foods, you might be reluctant to toss it out afterward. After all, it still seems usable. But is it safe to reuse, or should you dispose of it?

Frying In Lard

Yes, you can reuse Lard after frying, but be careful. Lard shouldn’t be heated above 360 degrees Fahrenheit or 185 degrees Celsius. Overheating will degrade Lard and cause it to become dangerous to consume.

How Many Times Can You Reuse Lard?

Because Lard degrades quickly due to oxidation and overheating, we don’t recommend frying with Lard more than once, twice at most if filtered and not overheated.

How To Tell If Lard Is Rancid

Unsure whether your Lard has expired or turned rancid?

Here are two ways how to tell if Lard has gone bad:

  • Visual Check – Check for mold or discoloration. Both are signs that your Lard has spoiled.
  • Smell Check – Odd odors indicate rancid Lard.

If your Lard has gone bad, dispose of it, and purchase a new container. As the saying goes, “when in doubt, toss it out.” Never take a chance using expired food products.

Will Rancid Lard Make You Sick?

Eating rancid Lard can put stress on your digestive system and cause cellular damage. Not only will this be uncomfortable, but it can drain your body’s supply of key nutrients and cause longer-lasting health issues.

Can you eat Lard that smells a little odd but not yet past its expiration date?

No. You must never eat rancid oil of any kind, Lard especially. Again, if you’re unsure whether your Lard is good or bad, to be safe, throw it out!

How To Store Lard

When you purchase a new Lard container, be sure to seal it in an airtight container after every use!

Under certain circumstances, you can store your Lard on the countertop or in the pantry.

Here are instructions to do that:

  1. Make sure that your Lard is in an airtight, tightly sealed container to protect from external moisture.
  2. Store Lard in a dark, cool place such as your pantry. Never store Lard near your oven or toaster, and never place the container in direct sunlight. This ensures that the temperature of your Lard stays the same all the time.
  3. Make sure that the temperature of your home stays below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If your home regularly climbs above room temperature, you may want to refrigerate your Lard instead.

Also, mice may be attracted to your Lard if your container isn’t correctly sealed. If you have a rodent problem in your house, you may want to refrigerate your Lard.

Does Lard Need To Be Refrigerated?

Lard doesn’t necessarily have to be refrigerated, but it’s helpful if you live in a warmer climate or if you have a rodent problem.

Here’s how to store your Lard in the fridge:

  1. Seal your Lard tightly in an airtight container.
  2. Store Lard in the fridge and only remove the container when you’re ready to use the Lard to keep the Lard’s temperature consistent.

All in all, storing your Lard properly is essential to maintaining its quality. If you notice any odd smells, colors, or moldy appearances coming from your Lard, it’s time to throw it out.

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.