If a recipe calls for shortening (which I don't buy as I don't use if often enough and then end up throwing it out when it becomes rancid) could I replace it with cooking oil?
Sue from Saudi Arabia
If you are baking, the alternative to shortening is probably butter or margarine. However, if you are frying, then cooking oil is a good substitute. By the way, shortening keeps for a very long time! (01/29/2005)
I stopped using shortening as a way of eliminating trans fats from my diet. You could refrigerate shortening to prolong its lifespan. That said, I substitute butter for most recipes asking for shortening. Sometimes I use a combination of butter and cooking oil (in pie dough). If the recipe states "melted shortening", then use cooking oil.
When using butter, use slightly less than the amount of shortening requested. For example, if a cookie recipe asks for 1 cup of shortening, use 3/4 cup of butter. (01/29/2005)
Different types of oils can result in different textures in baked goods. For example, cookies made with cooking oil will usually be softer and spread out more in the oven than cookies made with shortening. Butter would be a better substitute if you're trying to preserve the texture/consistency of what you're making. (01/29/2005)
What works for me is to use a tip I read in the Old Tightwad Gazette newsletters. Use 2/3 ratio. If the recipe calls for 1 cup shortening use 2/3 cup of your oil of choice. The person that shared that tip had won a blue ribbon in the county fair for her biscuits. I find it works. I do not even have shortening in my house. (05/16/2005)
I have been using butter as a good replacement in recipes as I am somewhat horrified by the health risks posed by shortening, and the idea of directly consuming transfats petrifies me.
Use 2/3 cup of oil or butter to replace it. (11/25/2008)
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