You can use vegetable shortening in a variety of ways for baking and cooking. For baking, vegetable shortening can be used as a substitute for butter, giving baked goods a richer taste and firmer texture. For cooking, you can melt vegetable shortening and use it for pan or deep frying meats, potatoes and vegetables. You can reuse vegetable shortening after cooking with it, although you need to be cautious that it does not get contaminated or spoil.
Let the vegetable shortening cool after you use it for cooking.
Filter the vegetable oil through multi-layers of cheesecloth or paper towels to remove any food pieces from the oil. You will need to filter it when it is still in liquid form.
Pour the used vegetable shortening into a can. A container such as a used coffee can will suffice.
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Put an airtight lid on the container.
Store the can in a dry, cool place that is out of direct sunlight. Although you can keep vegetable shortening for up to two years after its manufactured date, reused shortening should only be kept for a few weeks or months, depending on what it is used for.
You can reuse vegetable shortening for purposes other than cooking, including making candles, lubricant or even biodiesel.
Do not keep vegetable shortening after it becomes spoiled or rancid. It will have an unpleasant smell and become discolored once it spoils.
Anne Redler is a writer who has worked in research and publishing since 1996. She has published work on the topics of macroeconomics and financial markets, including articles in the "Financial Times" and "The Wall Street Journal." Redler holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Business Administration from Boston University.