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How long does shortening last?

Wendy Lai Oct 5, 2004 10:17 PM

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. k
    Kirk RE: Wendy Lai Oct 5, 2004 11:22 PM

    Shouldn't be a probem.

    1. j
      JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) RE: Wendy Lai Oct 5, 2004 11:47 PM

      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.

      Link: http://www.crisco.com/about/faqs.asp

      2 Replies
      1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)
        coll RE: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) Oct 6, 2004 08:14 AM

        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
          shrimpbird RE: coll Oct 8, 2004 04:49 PM

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

      2. m
        Middydd RE: Wendy Lai Oct 5, 2004 11:53 PM

        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.

        Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

        1. j
          Jenny RE: Wendy Lai Oct 6, 2004 06:17 AM

          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
            Val RE: Jenny Oct 6, 2004 08:50 AM

            "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
              Mrs. Smith RE: Val Oct 6, 2004 04:02 PM

              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
                curiousbaker RE: Mrs. Smith Oct 6, 2004 04:14 PM

                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
                  Karl S. RE: curiousbaker Oct 6, 2004 05:00 PM

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

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