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Oct 5, 2004 10:17 PM

How long does shortening last?

  • w

I bought some years ago to season my cast iron bbq grates. I didn't use all of them, some of them are still sealed in their original container.

I'm used to using all butter for my pie crust. But I want to experiement with adding in some shortening to give it more flakieness.

So can I use shortening that's kept in a cool dark place for over three years still?

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  1. Shouldn't be a probem.

    1. j
      JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

      According to Crisco, if it's unopened, its shelf life is indefinite. Once it's opened, they say it's good for about a year.


      2 Replies
      1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

        I had a can of Crisco once, didn't use for a few years, and when I looked at it it was sort of dried up and yellow, with cracks in it, and it smelled rancid. But if it looks like new, then maybe it's ok.

        1. re: coll

          Yeah, that happened to me, but parts of it looked like vaseline...foul.

      2. This crust recipe is really flaky, since we found this one we haven't tried any others. The vinegar really seems to add something, both in texture and flavour.


        1. Three years is an awfully long time to keep something that's supposed to be edible. I appreciate your attempt at frugality but with all the fuss about hydrogenated and trans fats these days, I'd think the shortening would last longer than someone who eats a lot of it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Jenny

            "the shortening will last longer than someone who eats a lot of it."

            Haha! good one...but did you all know there's a NEW non-hydrogenated Crisco shortening product out now? Has anyone tried it?

            1. re: Val

              Not sure of the Crisco brand, but I regularly use Spectrum Organic Non-Hydrogenated All Vegetable Shortening. I believe it's a mixture of palm (but not palm kernal) oil and coconut oil.

              It's awesome. I've used it in most applications where I would have used the old bad Crisco (combined with butter in pastry, in cookies and cakes, for very high-heat browning of large pieces of meat) and it works just great. The only thing I've known it to be less than perfect in is my husband's all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. That recipe (Betty Crocker, 1961) uses half butter half shortening. I can actually tell the difference in the texture when I used the Spectrum Organic. The difference is slight -- a mild "tropical" flavor comes through, also. None of this is unpleasant -- it's just not EXACTLY like the old nasty trans-fat.

              It's well worth it to avoid a bad fat though. Try this product -- I've bought it at Whole Foods.

              1. re: Mrs. Smith

                I've used the news about transfats as an excuse to go back to lard. God, a lard/butter crust is good. Of course, not helpful to the vegetarians among us, and ingesting lots of pig fat probably not the best thing for your health - but I only have a couple pies a year. Worth it.

                1. re: curiousbaker

                  One of the best pie crust makers I know makes its from lard and shortening. An amazing pie crust.