Have you ever been stuck for a substitute for schmaltz in cooking? You’re not alone.
Schmaltz is a unique ingredient that can be difficult to replace.
Whether you’re avoiding traditional ingredients or just curious to learn more, this article will provide the five best substitutes for schmaltz and help you in the kitchen.
Schmaltz is an intriguing cooking fat with a rich history dating back to Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe.
It’s made from poultry fat, flavored with onions and salt, and rendered down until clear.
The result is a buttery-like fat that’s excellent for adding flavor and extra richness to many dishes.
When it comes to taste, there’s no mistaking schmaltz – it has a mild onion flavor that leaves an unforgettable impact with its satisfying texture.
As far as usage goes, you can use schmaltz for sautéing or frying meat and vegetables for added richness, or use it in place of butter or oil in baking recipes.
With these food preparations, you’ll definitely achieve culinary perfection when utilizing this deliciously unique ingredient.
5 Best Schmaltz Substitutes to Consider
Unfortunately, schmaltz can be difficult to find in stores due to its niche market.
Here are 5 of the best substitutes for schmaltz that you can use if you’re looking for a similar taste and texture.
1 – Crisco Shortening
Crisco Shortening is a popular alternative to schmaltz because it is considered to be a healthier choice and provides the same kind of flavor that you would expect from schmaltz.
It’s made from 100% vegetable oils, which makes it cholesterol-free, so it’s perfect for those who are looking for a plant-based substitute.
It also has a high smoke point compared to some other alternatives and can be used in baking as well as in savory dishes.
Just keep in mind that it’s not quite as flavorful as schmaltz so you might want to add an extra pinch of salt or use another fat such as butter or lard to get that classic chicken fat flavor.
2 – Duck Fat
Duck fat can be used as an excellent substitute for schmaltz.
Like schmaltz, duck fat is high in saturated fat and rendered from the skin of ducks or geese.
It has a rich flavor, a golden color, and a creamy texture.
When used in cooking, it can add more flavor than butter and other vegetable fats.
Duck fat can be found in many grocery stores and specialty shops that sell meats.
It is usually sold in small containers and has a shelf life of up to 8 months when stored properly in the refrigerator.
Duck fat can be used for sautéing vegetables, roasting potatoes, making pastries, frying eggs or even spread on toast.
3 – Lard
Lard is another traditional favorite for many cooking methods, including frying, grilling, and baking.
With a creamy, nutty flavor that is unmistakable, lard is an ideal schmaltz alternative.
It should not be excluded from the repertoire of Jewish cooking by any means—Israelis and Jews from other Middle Eastern countries use it often.
Lard has advantages over vegetable oil as it has a naturally higher smoke point, which makes it ideal for high-heat cooking such as stir-frying and deep-frying.
In addition to being 100% natural with no additives or preservatives, lard can also contribute significantly to your overall health.
It contains healthy monounsaturated fat and Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to heart health and brain development.
Lard also provides energy in the form of saturated fats gas we all need to live.
4 – Bacon Grease
Bacon grease, or bacon fat, is the rendered fat of pork and makes a great substitute for schmaltz that’s also packed with flavor.
To add a delicious flavor to your dishes, simply save the rendered bacon fat from cooking up some cuts of bacon.
Allow it to cool and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to use it, make sure to heat it before incorporating into recipes.
Be sure not to use too much at once since it can easily overpower other flavors.
Bacon grease can be added to fried eggs for a smoky taste or sautéed vegetables for an extra punch of flavor.
It can also be used as an incredible finishing oil for roasted vegetables and salads.
5 – Ghee
Ghee is a type of clarified butter, which is clarified through the process of heating regular butter and separating the milk solids and liquid.
Ghee has a high smoking point and is often used in South Asian cuisine such as ghee rice.
It has a nutty, caramel-like flavor that goes especially well with curries, but you can use it to replace schmaltz in almost any recipe.
It’s recommended that you reduce the amount by one tablespoon when replacing schmaltz with ghee, since its consistency is much thicker.
No matter what type of dish you are cooking, the right fat can make or break the dish.
Schmaltz is a traditional Jewish fat prized for its flavor, texture and other unique properties.
Unfortunately, many hard-to-find ingredients like schmaltz are inaccessible to cooks who simply don’t have access to these sources and need to find a substitution.
When substituting for schmaltz, it’s important to remember that you won’t get exactly the same flavor or texture as if you used schmaltz itself but with careful consideration of all possible substitutes you can find something that works just as well in any particular recipe.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!