Have you ever heard of Schmaltz? It’s a type of fat derived from cooked poultry or beef, and it is often used as a flavoring or spread in cooking.
While this unique ingredient may seem overwhelming to those unfamiliar with it, it can be substituted with other easily-found ingredients for the same flavor profile in any recipe.
So, if you’re wondering how to use Schmaltz and what the best alternatives are, then read on.
From olive oil to ghee, here are the five best substitutes for Schmaltz.
Schmaltz is a type of fat made from poultry, including chicken and goose, that have been rendered or cooked down until the fat separates and melts.
It is a popular ingredient in many Eastern European and Jewish dishes and it has many flavorful uses.
Schmaltz has a distinct flavor that is often described as being “meaty” or “rich” with a hint of sweetness.
It is commonly used as a cooking fat in place of oil or butter since it doesn’t burn like these other fats do.
There are several types of schmaltz available on the market including ground schmaltz, chicken schmaltz, and duck schmaltz.
Ground schmaltz is often flavored with garlic, onions, or herbs to add extra flavor to dishes.
Chicken schmaltz may also be flavored but tends to have more subtle flavors than ground schmaltz does.
Duck schmaltz tends to offer the strongest flavor but has a slightly smoky undertone due to the smoking process used to make it.
Although some home cooks prefer using homemade versions of this delicious fat, there are still plenty of store-bought options available.
Whether you’re looking for authentic Eastern European flavors or just searching for an easy substitute for traditional fats when stir frying, baking, sautéing or pan-frying foods –schmatlze can provide you with great results every time.
The 5 BEST Substitutes for Schmaltz
While it adds a delicious flavor to many dishes, schmaltz can be hard to find, so here are a few of the best substitutes for Schmaltz you’ll find in most grocery stores.
|Substitute||Key Characteristics||Proper Ratio|
|Crisco Shortening||Vegetable-based solid fat, can provide similar texture and flavor as Schmaltz||Use the same amount as Schmaltz|
|Duck Fat||Rich and savory flavor, adds depth to dishes||Use the same amount as Schmaltz|
|Lard||Rendered pork fat, versatile and imparts a rich, savory flavor||Use the same amount as Schmaltz|
|Bacon Grease||Adds smoky and salty flavors to dishes, works well in recipes with a savory profile||Use the same amount as Schmaltz|
|Ghee||Clarified butter with a nutty flavor, can be used as a substitute for Schmaltz in many recipes||Use the same amount as Schmaltz|
Let’s explore each substitute in more detail:
1 – Crisco Shortening
Crisco shortening is one of the most well-known substitutes for schmaltz.
It has a similar fatty flavor and texture, and is perfect for cooking due to its high smoke point.
For those looking to cut down on saturated fats, Crisco shortening is also a great option because it contains no trans fats or cholesterol, making it less likely to raise blood cholesterol levels.
Additionally, Crisco remains solid at room temperature, which makes it a good alternative if you don’t have access to chicken fat.
Keep in mind that if you’re replacing schmaltz entirely with shortening, you may want to add some additional salt and spice for flavor.
2 – Duck Fat
Duck fat is one of the most popular substitutes for schmaltz and packs a lot of flavor.
The high smoke point makes it ideal for roasting, stir-frying, sautéing, or deep-frying.
It has similar properties to schmaltz, including a slightly gamey taste and creamy texture.
Duck fat is not as widely available as butter or chicken fat, but you can often find it in specialty food stores.
Make sure you get pure duck fat with no flavorings added and store it in the refrigerator for up to six months.
3 – Lard
Lard is the classic substitute for schmaltz, and it’s an ingredient with many uses in both baking and cooking.
Unlike schmaltz, lard that isn’t made from poultry fat and can be sourced from pork or beef.
While it may not provide quite the same flavor as schmaltz, lard cooked with savory herbs and seasonings may come close in terms of taste.
Some cooks also like to mix lard with olive oil or vegetable oil in order to match the texture of chicken fat.
It’s important to note that lard isn’t the most healthful option since it’s high in saturated fat so it should be used sparingly.
Depending on how strict a kosher kitchen is, this could be a better alternative than true schmaltz for those who follow halachic dietary laws as well.
4 – Bacon Grease
Bacon grease is a great substitute for schmaltz, both in terms of flavor and texture.
Bacon grease has a salty, smoky flavor that gives dishes an extra layer of complexity.
It’s also a solid fat that can be used to fry or sauté vegetables, meat, and more.
However, be aware that some brands may contain milk solids or other additives so read labels carefully before purchasing.
To store bacon grease for future use, scoop it into a heat-safe container and refrigerate for up to one month.
Be sure to strain it first to remove any solids or bits of charred bacon that might have sneaked in during cooking.
5 – Ghee
Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is a popular substitute for schmaltz in some cultures.
It is made by simmering unsalted butter until it separates into two parts — the clear golden liquid (which is the ghee) and white milk solids.
The solids are skimmed off, and what remains is ghee — a type of fat that has a nutty flavor and aroma.
Ghee can be used in place of schmaltz in many dishes and can handle higher cooking temperatures than regular butter, so it’s an excellent choice for frying or deep-frying.
However, ghee does contain lactose and can’t be used by those with dairy allergies or sensitivities.
Schmaltz is a very unique ingredient that can add a distinct flavor to many dishes, however, it can be difficult or expensive to find.
Fortunately, there are many substitutes that can provide the same flavor profile without relying on schmaltz.
These five alternatives should provide enough variety when substituting for Schmaltz in your favourite recipes so you won’t have to miss out on your favorite dishes.