Can you substitute butter for lard or vegetable shortening ? If so unsalted or salted butter which is better? What is the substitution rati

Chef Cat
  • Posted by: Chef Cat
  • December 20, 2011


Hilarybee December 20, 2011
If this is for crust, yes you can sub some or all of the butter for shortening or lard.

Lard and shortening have a higher fat content than butter, though. Minimum butterfat content of Grade A butter in the US (according to the USDA) is 80.0%. Lower quality butter will contain 80% fat, higher quality butter (especially European butter) will contain more fat.

More fat is desirable when making certain items- like shortbread and pie crust. I like to use high fat butter to make brown butter for cookies, etc. Salted butter indicates that salt has been added to the cream and then churned into butter. It is longer lasting that unsalted butter, and was the standard for butter up until the 20th century.

I use salted butter to make cookies- especially delicious for chocolate chip and shortbread, punitions, etc.
It would likely be too salty for pie crust, since there is generally very little added sugar. I like to control the level of salt in baked goods, and so I use salted butter only in recipes that I have altered to contain salted butter.
SallyBroff December 20, 2011
If you're making pie crust, my family uses all vegetable shortening and it makes a very flaky pie. The issue with fats is how much water they hold and what its function is in the recipe. Always use unsalted butter in recipes or you must reduce the salt you add.
sdebrango December 20, 2011
I interchange butter, shortening and lard all the time and the ratio is the same. I always use unsalted butter. For pie crust I use both butter and shortening or lard all the time with great results.
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