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Can You Freeze Shortening?

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By Ross Young

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Shortening might not be something you use often but it is essential for baking when making delicious flakey and short pastries. You can buy your shortening in fairly large quantities which can lead to a problem when you have lots of it leftover.

That is why you must be wondering how to store your shortening, can you freeze shortening?

Shortening can be frozen for up to 1 year as long as it is well wrapped and protected. It’s best to freeze it in smaller portions so you can grab out the perfect amount when you need it without having to thaw it out and waste the rest.

Does Shortening Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Shortening? No

How to Freeze Shortening

When it comes to freezing your shortening, it’s important to freeze it in the weights and amount you most use it in. So, check your favourite recipes and work out the weights you need and weigh these out before you start.

Whilst most shortenings are vegetable oil-based, you can also get lard shortenings, but there is no need to adjust your method as both types of shortening can be frozen in the same way.

That being said, there are two ways to freeze your shortening depending on whether you have suitable containers or not:

How to Freeze Shortening in Containers

If you have got rigid, plastic containers to use for freezing shortening, then here is what you need to do: 

  1. Get Containers
    Grab some containers with lids you need enough for each portion of shortening you have.
  2. Portion Out
    Spoon your shortening into the freezer-safe containers.
  3. Seal
    Pop the lid on and label with the date and contents.
  4. Freeze
    Put these containers into the freezer and freeze.

How to Freeze Shortening in Bags

Freezer bags are both cheaper and more space-efficient when freezing foods, so if you’d prefer to use bags to freeze shortening, then here is what you need to do:

  1. Solidify Shortening
    Make sure your shortening is in a solid-state before starting.
  2. Cut Up
    Chop the solid shortening into chunks of the right size or weight for a single portion.
  3. Wrap
    Wrap each portion in cling film. Make sure you add at least two layers.
  4. Flash Freeze
    Put the wrapped portions onto a baking tray and put this into the freezer for a couple of hours until the shortening portions are solid enough not to get squashed.
  5. Bag Up
    Transfer the portions of shortening from the baking tray into a freezer bag.
  6. Seal
    Seal the bag and label with the date and contents.
  7. Freeze
    Put the bag of shortening into the freezer and allow it to freeze fully.

Every time you need a portion of shortening, you can open the bag, grab one and then seal the bag with the rest in it, ready for the next time you need to add some shortening to your recipe.

3 Tips for Freezing Shortening

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing shortening to have the best results:

Freeze Solid Shortening
Make sure the shortening is solid and not liquidy and soft before freezing. This will make it much easier for it to hold its shape in the freezer and not end up a squishy mess.

Consider Portions
Make sure you check the typical portion sizes you use and freeze your portions of shortening to match these portions. This ensures you always have the exact amount you need.

Add Weight to Labels
When labelling the bags with the date and contents you could also add the weight or portion size. This means that if you have a few different portion sizes, you can pull out the one you need from the freezer.

How Long Can You Freeze Shortening?

Shortening tends to keep for a really long time, even if it isn’t frozen. It will keep for up to six months in the fridge. If you are freezing it, you should be fine to freeze it for about a year.

In some cases, you may be able to freeze it for even longer than this. Just be aware that the longer you freeze any food, the more chance it has for spoiling or getting a freezer burnt taste.

You Can Freeze Shortening for up to 12 Months

How Do You Defrost Shortening?

There is only one method to defrost your shortening well, and that’s to pop it onto a plate and let it thaw out slowly.

You can do this in the fridge for best results, but if you need it a little quicker, you can pop it onto the kitchen side to thaw out instead.

Can You Refreeze Shortening?

No, we wouldn’t recommend that you refreeze your shortening for many of the same reasons we wouldn’t recommend you refreeze any food. It can spoil, become freezer burnt and if you are unlucky, make you ill.

Does Shortening Freeze Well?

Shortening does freeze very well! In fact, because the most common use for shortening is in baking, by the time you have baked your pastry, you won’t notice the difference at all.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing shortening or shortening in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Lard?

Lard can also be frozen in the same way as shortening. In fact, lard is a shortening much like beef, goose and duck fat. If a fat is solid at room temperature, then it is a form of shortening. 

Can You Freeze Pastry Made with Shortening?

Pastry that is made with shortening will be some of the flakiest, shortest pastry you’ll enjoy. You can freeze it, but you should expect to lose some of this flaky quality. You will find the texture does change when frozen – and not for the better!

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