Piece of salted lard on board
Food - Drink
Are Suet And Lard The Same Thing?
Over the past 100 years, the amount of lard consumed by the average U.S. citizen has dwindled from 14.3 pounds per year to 1.5 pounds. Lard doesn't deserve to go out of style, since it has many unique uses in the kitchen, but suet, another type of animal fat, is even better than lard at some tasks — here are the differences between the two.
Lard is pig fat that is melted down, strained, resolidified, and either chilled or hydrogenated to make it shelf-stable. Making lard puts every part of the pig to use, and its creamy texture and low melting point make for ultra-flaky pastries and pie crusts; plus, more "porky" lard adds a subtle meatiness to savory dishes.
Meanwhile, suet is the fat surrounding a cow’s kidneys, and it is completely solid and crumbly at room temperature and has the highest melting point of any animal fat used for cooking. Like lard, suet is great for flaky pastries, but creates larger air pockets, and suet's higher melting point makes it feel less greasy than lard.
Lard works better as a butter substitute in warm applications, such as sauteing vegetables or cooking meat, while suet is better for cold applications like pie crusts and biscuits. Flavor also plays a factor, since lard will bring a slightly porky, savory taste to your dish, while suet is more of a blank canvas for your other ingredients.