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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Schmaltz

Are you wondering what Schmaltz is and why there are so many questions about how to cook with or use it?

After all, you may have heard of it, but what exactly is it, and what can you make with it?

This rendered form of chicken or duck fat has been used in traditional Jewish recipes for many years.

If you want to learn how to cook with Schmaltz or find substitutes for it, read on as we discuss the best options available.

We will explore how to use Schmaltz and list five substitutes that can be used in its place.

What’s Schmaltz?

Schmaltz is a traditional rendered fat that has its roots in Jewish cuisine.

It’s essentially melted poultry fat, with its main ingredients being chicken or goose fat.

Just like butter, it can also be clarified to create a pure white product with a milder flavor.

The result is an oil-like substance that can be used for cooking and frying and has a silky texture with a rich taste.

Adding Schmaltz to dishes imparts subtle smoky notes while providing an umami sensation, making it great to use in sauces and gravies.

Schmaltz also holds up incredibly well under high heat, which makes it perfect for pan-frying or sautéing meat and vegetables.

It’s best stored refrigerated after opening as that ensures the highest quality of taste and shelf life of the product.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Schmaltz

If you’re looking for an alternative to Schmaltz, there are several options available to you.

Here is a list of the five best substitutes for Schmaltz:

1 – Crisco Shortening

For centuries, humans have been trying to find the perfect fat for cooking and baking.

One of the top contenders is Crisco Shortening– a hydrogenated oil made from soybean and/or cottonseed.

This lard-like product is a stable and easy-to-use option that produces consistently good results in both cooking and baking applications.

When used properly, Crisco Shortening will create rich flavor and texture with none of the unappealing greasiness associated with some other fats or oils.

Furthermore, as a great replacement for Schmaltz (chicken fat), you can use this shortening for all types of dishes ranging from flaky pastries to sautéed vegetables – both with equally delicious results.

2 – Duck Fat

Duck fat is a fat popular in many cultures, especially in French cuisine.

It has a high smoke point which makes it perfect for deep-frying foods and even sautéing at high temperatures.

Duck fat is incredibly flavorful, rich, and creamy, with notes of umami that bring out the flavor in dishes.

Its texture tends to be thicker than other fats like butter or oil, but it can be used in much the same way.

If you want to substitute Schmaltz and use duck fat instead, simply melt one-third cup of duck fat in a small saucepan over low heat until liquefied and then use as you would any other cooking fat.

The flavor is intense enough that you won’t mourn losing the Schmaltz from your dish.

3 – Lard

Lard, or rendered pig fat, is a fatty part of the animal, typically from the abdomen area, that has been heated to produce a soft, spreadable product.

It has a mild flavor and smooth texture that allows it to mix well into dishes, resulting in a subtle yet rich taste.

When compared with its poultry-based substitute, Schmaltz, Lard produces a smaller amount of smoke when cooked and requires less stirring time for easier preparation.

Additionally, it does not require refrigeration as Schmaltz does and can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Therefore, lard makes an ideal choice for any kitchen looking to maximize flavor while minimizing cooking time and preserving shelf life.

4 – Bacon Grease

Bacon grease is one of the most popular greasy spreads out there.

It is produced when bacon fat melts, and it can easily be collected by draining off the liquid after cooking bacon in a skillet.

The savory and silky grease has an unmistakable, rich aroma that pervades any space where it’s used.

It has a pleasant smoky taste as well as a thick and clingy texture – it certainly is not as light and butter-soft as Schmaltz.

But, should you find yourself out of Schmaltz or just looking to add something extra to your recipe, bacon grease could be a great substitute.

Its flavor works exceptionally well with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes, bringing an amazing balance of salty richness to the palate.

5 – Ghee

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has been used for centuries in South Asian cuisine.

Ghee is primarily made from cow’s milk, although varieties from other sources are available as well.

Its production involves simmering butter until all the water evaporates, leaving a fragrant oil.

Ghee differs from regular butter in that it tastes richer and nuttier while retaining its creamy texture.

The use of ghee can also elevate the flavor of dishes since it has a higher smoke point than regular butter.

As an alternative to Schmaltz, ghee makes an excellent cooking oil substitute and adds an irresistible level of richness and complexity.


In conclusion, Schmaltz is a unique fat that can be difficult to replace, but there are several other options available.

Whether you’re looking for a healthier, more flavorful option like Crisco, duck fat, or bacon grease or a more traditional choice like lard or ghee, each of these substitutes will provide an equally delicious result.

Whichever you choose, you can rest assured that your dish will turn out delicious.

So the next time you’re in need of a Schmaltz substitute, look no further than the five options listed above.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Schmaltz

Need a substitute for schmaltz in your recipes? Delve into our recommendations for the five best alternatives that will lend richness and depth of flavor to your dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Crisco Shortening
  • Duck Fat
  • Lard
  • Bacon Grease
  • Ghee


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Schmaltz
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