Saturday, February 18, 2012
Crisco Shortening and Survival Storage
I find I can’t be a comfortable prepper without some kind of oils to cook/bake with.
When it comes to long term food storage some compromises on what I store and how I cook must be considered. I can’t possibly store every food item I like without waste from not using it before expiration or best by date and couple that with the strong possibility that I may be cooking over a campfire the food item storage list shortens considerably.
One food group to make a storage decision about is oil vs Crisco.
Oil is a very handy cooking item, but the problem with oils is their shelf life is six (6) months and at best one (1) year.
However, I find the Crisco brand of shortening is a good compromise. It is the best use for frying foods in, like fried chicken in shortening, is just the best and greasing baking pans is batter than oil. So shortening is my preferred item for long term storage and survival cooking as a substitute for cooking oils.
Using shortening in baking recipes vs oil is simple. Biscuits for example, require shortening to make them and you simply cut the shortening into the flour. The same method of using shortening in other baked goods applies, cut it in the dry mix. If oil is needed in the recipe then melt the shortening first and add quickly to warmed dry ingredients.
How long does shortening last?
Crisco says unopened in the pantry and with no refrigeration it will be fine for 2 years. I have use some that was 3 years old and it smelled and tasted fine, I’m still here anyway!
I don’t know how you’d tell if it goes bad except by using your nose first, it should smell clean [no smell] like the new stuff and no taste. I find that when the shortening gets older sometimes there is a separation that takes place, it kind of looks like the white color has migrated away from the edges of the can. When that occurs I just stir it up to re-blend.
Just my non-scientific opinion but Crisco may be one of those items that could last years longer if in a cool storage place. Only a lab duration test would tell for sure and I have yet to find any long term duration studies.
For myself I only buy Crisco in the smallest 16 oz cans so I have the smallest amount opened for the shortest time before being used up.
Thanks to Crisco they have a link for everything you ever wanted to know about Crisco: http://www.crisco.com/About_Crisco/faqs.aspx
Another link for information about fats and oils: http://www.survival-center.com/foodfaq/ff10-fat.htm