Are you a fan of pork fat in your cooking? Whether you use it for frying, baking, or as a spread, it’s important to know how long it can last in the fridge.
With conflicting information out there, it can be hard to know what to believe. Some say it can last up to a week, while others claim it can last up to a year.
In this article, we’ll dive into the facts and provide you with everything you need to know about the shelf life of pork fat in the fridge. So, let’s get started!
How Long Does Pork Fat Last In The Fridge?
The shelf life of pork fat in the fridge can vary depending on a few factors. Raw fatback, for example, can last anywhere from three days to a week in the fridge. However, there is some disagreement on this timeframe.
According to The Spruce Eats, fresh fatback can be kept in the fridge for four to five days if tightly wrapped in plastic. On the other hand, Chef’s Resources suggests that fatback will last about three days in the fridge before going rancid. However, some butchers claim that it can last up to a week if vacuum-sealed.
It’s important to keep in mind how long the pork fat has been in someone else’s fridge before it gets to you. If it’s already a few days old when you purchase it, then its shelf life will be shorter.
Lard, on the other hand, can last longer in the fridge. When stored properly in a closed container, lard can last up to six months in the fridge and up to three years in the freezer. However, it’s important to note that storing lard in the fridge can change its consistency.
What Is Pork Fat And How Is It Stored?
Pork fat is a versatile ingredient that can be used for cooking, baking, and even as a source of emergency food. There are different types of pork fat, such as raw fatback and rendered lard, and each has its own storage requirements.
Raw fatback should be stored in the fridge and can last anywhere from three days to a week, depending on how it’s wrapped and how old it is when purchased. It’s important to keep in mind that the longer it’s been in someone else’s fridge before you purchase it, the shorter its shelf life will be.
Rendered lard, on the other hand, can last longer in the fridge. When stored in a closed container, lard can last up to six months in the fridge and up to three years in the freezer. It’s important to keep the lard in a closed container to prevent it from absorbing flavors from the air.
If you’re storing lard for long-term use, consider making blocks of lard by straining the liquid lard into loaf molds and freezing it. Vacuum-sealed lard blocks can last up to two years in the freezer.
It’s important to note that sliced pork fat has a short shelf life and should be kept in the fridge for no longer than one day. Once taken out of the fridge, it should be eaten as soon as possible and kept away from air to prevent oxidation. If you wish to keep sliced pork fat for longer, invest in sealed packages sold at supermarkets and pay attention to the expiration date. Swelling of the outer plastic wrap is a sign that the product has started to go bad and should not be consumed.
Understanding The Shelf Life Of Pork Fat In The Fridge
When it comes to storing pork fat in the fridge, it’s important to understand that its shelf life can vary depending on the type of pork fat being stored. Raw fatback, for example, can last anywhere from three days to a week in the fridge, depending on how it’s stored.
It’s important to note that there is some disagreement on how long raw fatback can last in the fridge. The Spruce Eats suggests that fresh fatback can be kept in the fridge for four to five days if tightly wrapped in plastic, while Chef’s Resources suggests that fatback will last about three days in the fridge before going rancid. However, some butchers claim that it can last up to a week if vacuum-sealed.
When it comes to storing lard in the fridge, it can last up to six months when stored properly in a closed container. Freezing lard can further extend its shelf life to up to three years. However, it’s important to keep in mind that storing lard in the fridge can change its consistency.
It’s important to note that the shelf life of pork fat in the fridge can also depend on how long it has been in someone else’s fridge before it gets to you. If it’s already a few days old when you purchase it, then its shelf life will be shorter.
In general, it’s best to store pork fat in a tightly sealed container and away from direct sunlight. This will help maximize its shelf life and ensure that it stays fresh for as long as possible.
Signs Of Spoiled Pork Fat
Even with proper storage, pork fat can still spoil and become unsafe to consume. Here are some signs to look out for:
1. Rancid smell: If the pork fat has a strong, unpleasant odor, it may be rancid. Rancidity is caused by the breakdown of fat molecules, which produces a chemical odor.
2. Off taste: If the pork fat tastes bitter or harsh, it may be spoiled. Fresh pork fat should have a mild, neutral flavor.
3. Mold: If you notice any mold growing on the pork fat, it should be discarded immediately. Mold can produce harmful toxins that can make you sick.
4. Discoloration: If the pork fat has turned a different color, such as brown or gray, it may be spoiled. Fresh pork fat should be white or pale yellow.
5. Slimy texture: If the pork fat feels slimy or sticky to the touch, it may be spoiled. This is a sign that bacteria have started to grow on the surface.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard the pork fat. Consuming spoiled pork fat can cause food poisoning and other health problems. Always trust your senses and use your best judgment when deciding whether or not to eat pork fat that has been stored in the fridge.
Tips For Extending The Shelf Life Of Pork Fat
If you want to extend the shelf life of your pork fat, there are a few tips you can follow:
1. Store it properly: To keep your pork fat fresh for longer, it’s crucial to store it properly. This means keeping it in a closed container or wrapping it tightly in cling film or charcuterie paper to prevent air exposure.
2. Keep it cool: Pork fat should be kept in a cool location, such as a refrigerator or freezer. At room temperature, it can go rancid quickly, so it’s best to avoid leaving it out in the open.
3. Freeze it: Freezing pork fat is an excellent way to extend its shelf life. When stored in the freezer, lard can last up to three years, while raw fatback can last for over two years if stored correctly.
4. Vacuum seal it: If you plan on storing pork fat for an extended period, consider vacuum-sealing it before placing it in the freezer. Vacuum-sealed lard can last up to two years in the freezer.
5. Check for signs of spoilage: It’s essential to keep an eye on your pork fat and check for any signs of spoilage. Rancid pork fat has a strong odor and should be discarded immediately.
By following these tips, you can extend the shelf life of your pork fat and ensure that you always have fresh and flavorful fat on hand for cooking and baking.
How To Safely Use Leftover Pork Fat
If you have leftover pork fat from cooking, it’s important to store it properly to ensure it doesn’t go bad. Cooked fatback products, such as bacon or scrunchions, can keep for months in the fridge without going off. Sliced lard, on the other hand, has a brief life span and should be kept in the fridge for no longer than one day.
Once you’ve stored your pork fat properly, you can use it in various ways. One popular method is to render the fat into lard. To do this, take about 3 to 5 pounds of cold fat straight from the refrigerator and grate it finely by hand or in your food processor. The finer the pork fat is before it hits your pot, the more lard it will release when you render it. If the fat begins to soften in the warmth of your hands, return it to the refrigerator to harden before continuing.
You can also slice up cooked fatback and use it as a substitute for bacon in recipes. Another option is to cut the fat into small pieces and cook/fry them into scrunchions. These fried pieces of pork fat or salt pork are a popular dish in Newfoundland and Labrador.
When using leftover pork fat in recipes, it’s important to pay attention to its flavor profile. If you’ve rendered the fat quickly at higher heat, it may have a slightly browned color and a stronger flavor profile. This is great for savory dishes but may not be ideal for baked goods like pastry or pie crusts.
Properly Disposing Of Spoiled Pork Fat
If you notice that your pork fat has gone bad, it’s important to dispose of it properly to avoid any health risks. Spoiled pork fat can contain harmful bacteria and other contaminants that can cause food poisoning.
The first step is to check the pork fat for any signs of spoilage. If it has a rancid smell or an unpleasant taste, then it’s past its shelf life and should be discarded. Additionally, if the pork fat has been opened or exposed to air, it should be used within two to three days.
To dispose of spoiled pork fat, you can simply throw it away in the trash. However, it’s important to do so in a way that prevents animals from accessing it. You can double bag the pork fat in plastic bags and tie them tightly before throwing them away.
Another option is to compost the spoiled pork fat if you have a compost bin. However, it’s important to note that not all composting systems can handle animal products. Check with your local composting facility or consult with an expert before adding spoiled pork fat to your compost.