2

votes

Funky odor when cooking with fresh lard?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 24, 2011 at 3:12 AM

I generally use olive or peanut oil for saut??ing and pan-frying. Being a lard newbie, I recently started using fresh lard in place of the oils, and ... well, there's this odor. When the lard is hot in the pan, it gives off a very strong, unpleasant odor. I was under the impression that lard was very neutral, so I'm a bit surprised at the smell.

I should add that I've had no problems with food I've cooked in lard picking up any flavor or odor. Even so, my wife is about to ban it from the kitchen because of the odor. Is this normal for lard? Am I using too much heat? Could there be impurities in the lard I'm using (purchased at the local farmers-market)?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 28, 2012
at 06:45 PM

I COMPLETELY AGREE! I got ~8 lbs of heritage-breed, pastured pork leaf lard for free from a local farmer. So I carefully (low temp) rendered and strained it, and obtained this beautiful snow-white creamy lard. I was sooo excited to use it! But sadly, I can't stand the smell of it! Too rich and gamey for me. I've switched to chicken schmaltz for savory dishes, and organic palm shortening for baking.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:24 PM

I was wondering about that. I'll give it a try.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Beef-related nickname? Are you using beef tallow? Right now, switching to beef tallow is my backup plan. If that isn't any less smelly, I'm going to have to build an outdoor kitchen.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on January 24, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I'm pretty sure that's normal then. I'm a little relieved that everyone else seems to smell the same thing- I was afraid that mine had gone off. :-)

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on January 24, 2011
at 02:52 PM

The smell of over ripe pork -- that's exactly what we're smelling.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on January 24, 2011
at 04:21 AM

I have cooked with lard recently as well and it does have an odor I do not like. I'm not sure how to describe the odor so I'm not sure it's the same issue your wife is having. It really just smells like meat sort of I guess but that doesn't even describe it well. The food tasted good after being fried in the lard and I didn't smell the odor on the food but it really bothered me. I had to breathe through my mouth to avoid it!

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8 Answers

best answer

3
1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:00 PM

That is the normal smell of lard, especially the home-rendered kind.

best answer

1
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Use lower heat. We get that smell when the lard starts to smoke.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:24 PM

I was wondering about that. I'll give it a try.

1
Medium avatar

(3259)

on January 24, 2011
at 04:45 PM

My wife and daughter have banned it from our kitchen. I don't mind the smell, but it permeates everything in our very open-concept home. We all end up smelling like an old-school deep fryer (before transfats). I use it in small amounts and when nobody's looking, but I've generally stopped to save my 7-year-old from acquiring some esteem crushing beef-related nickname at school.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Beef-related nickname? Are you using beef tallow? Right now, switching to beef tallow is my backup plan. If that isn't any less smelly, I'm going to have to build an outdoor kitchen.

1
C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:58 AM

I have the same problem and use beef dripping (UK) instead of pork lard. Beef dripping is more saturated than lard & has a better taste IME.

1
E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

on January 24, 2011
at 05:29 AM

I've noticed the same when cooking with lard. To me it smells just a little like slightly over ripe pork. Not quite spoiled, but... off. There doesn't seem to be an actual taste to it, though, and everything I cook in it is delicious. Maybe mine doesn't smell as strongly as yours though, since my husband hasn't complained yet.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on January 24, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I'm pretty sure that's normal then. I'm a little relieved that everyone else seems to smell the same thing- I was afraid that mine had gone off. :-)

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on January 24, 2011
at 02:52 PM

The smell of over ripe pork -- that's exactly what we're smelling.

0
81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on June 15, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Yeh the smell from lard has really put me off using it. I think I'm gonna try cooking with ghee next time

0
9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on January 24, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I've noticed this too, so I usually go with bacon grease or coconut oil.

0
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on January 24, 2011
at 03:46 AM

How long have you had it? Suet goes bad prety fast, but rendered fat (like lard and tallow) should last longer. That said, on occasions when I've used slightly expired suet, the first sign is a funky odor when it is heated, which sounds like what you're describing.

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