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Crisco FAQs

How long can I keep Crisco® shortening on my shelf? What exactly is a manufacturing code, and how do I read it? What exactly is a "Best If Used By" date, and how do I read it? Do I need to refrigerate Crisco? Can you give me any helpful measuring hints for Crisco shortening? Can I use Butter Flavor Crisco shortening in place of regular Crisco shortening? I'm out of shortening! Can I use oil instead? What about shortening in place of oil? Can I substitute Crisco shortening for butter or margarine? I'm curious about Canola oil. Will you tell me more about it? Are all Crisco shortening products trans fat free? How can I make a better pie crust?

How long can I keep Crisco products on my shelf?

The shelf life of a shortening or oil product depends a great deal on how it has been stored and handled. For the best results, Crisco products should be stored in a cool, dry place away from strong odors, direct sunlight, and sources of heat (stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators)

Crisco Products Shelf Life & Manufacture Code Locations
Shortening Can Shortening Sticks Crisco Oil Crisco Spray
Unopened 2 years from manufacture date 2 years from manufacture date 2 years from manufacture date 2 years
Opened about 1 year about 6 months about 1 year 2 years
Code Location bottom of can side of plastic tub side of bottle back label bottom of can

Freshness Tip: To help keep track of how long a container's been opened, you might write the date on the package when you first break the seal. If you notice any change in color or appearance, or if your Crisco product develops an off odor or taste, it's probably past its shelf life and shouldn't be used.

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What exactly is a manufacturing code, and how do I read it?

  • The manufacturing code is the date the product was made. It might look something like this: 4 122 420 0321.
  • The first number represents the year it was made. For instance, the 4 in our example code means it was made in 2004. A number 3 would mean it was made in 2003, 2 in 2002, and so on.
  • The next three numbers represent the day of the year the product was made. In our example, the 122 (or one hundred and twenty second day) is May 2 (May 1 during Leap Year).
  • The third set of numbers or letters are plant codes, which have nothing to do with the date.
  • Finally, the last four digits represent the time displayed in military time.

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What exactly is a "Best If Used By" date, and how do I read it?

A "Best If Used By" date code may appear on your product. This future date from the original date of manufacture represents the day that the product is guaranteed fresh. It might look something like this: APR 04 2007. The date code represents the month, date, and year.

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Do I need to refrigerate Crisco shortening?

We suggest storing Crisco shortening on the pantry shelf. If you live in a warm climate and prefer to refrigerate shortening and oil, keep in mind that refrigeration causes shortening to be more firm and oils to be thicker and look somewhat cloudy. Allowing the products to return to room temperature will bring their appearance back to normal and give you the best performance.

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Can you give me any helpful measuring hints for Crisco shortening?

Crisco shortening has a honeycomb structure with air and liquid oils suspended in the solids. This makes it lighter than butter or margarine — one pound of Crisco shortening actually equals 2-1/3 cups instead of 2. But you can still measure Crisco shortening in the same way, by tablespoon and cup portions, to get the right amount for your recipe.

  • Scoop shortening from can to the measuring cup with a rubber scraper or spatula. Press it into the cup and level it off with the same spatula.
  • The water displacement method is best for measuring amounts less than 1 cup. When 1/2 cup Crisco shortening is called for, fill a standard measuring cup with cold water to the 1/2 cup mark. Add Crisco shortening until the water reaches the 1 cup level. Pour off the water. The remaining 1/2 cup of Crisco shortening is ready for use!
  • For your convenience, Crisco shortening is now available in easy to measure sticks in both original and butter flavor. Each shortening stick is equal to 1 cup.
  • For other measuring help, use the guide below:
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5-1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
16 tablespoons = 1 cup
2 cups = 1 pint
4 cups = 1 quart
16 cups = 1 gallon

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Can I use Butter Flavor Crisco shortening in place of regular Crisco shortening?

By all means! Butter Flavor Crisco shortening performs the same as regular Crisco shortening, but adds a rich buttery flavor to foods.

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I'm out of shortening! Can I use oil instead?

It's always best to use a shortening if your baking recipe calls for it. Shortening makes baked goods fluffier and flakier, while oils provide a denser and heavier texture. We don't recommend using oil to grease baking pans.

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What about shortening in place of oil?

Frying — Sure! Go ahead and use melted shortening for fried foods.

Salad dressing—Because shortening will resolidify when it cools, we don't recommend it as a salad topper.

Baking—Shortening can be melted and then measured according to the recipe. It should be allowed to cool slightly before adding to other ingredients.

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Can I substitute Crisco shortening for butter or margarine?

In general, you can substitute Crisco shortening for butter or margarine in equal amounts. Not only does Crisco shortening have 50% less saturated fat than butter and 0g trans fat per serving, it gives you higher, lighter-textured baked goods.

A few exceptions in which you can't substitute: No-bake cookie recipes

Recipes, such as candies and fudge, where butter or margarine is heated/melted and sugar is added/dissolved

Crisco shortening doesn't contain water, so if you want to get the same results as you get with butter or margarine, adjust the water according to the chart below. (A Crisco cookie with no extra water added is higher and lighter, while a butter cookie is flatter and crispier.)

Butter/Margarine Substitute
1/4 cup butter or margarine 1/4 cup Crisco shortening + 1-1/2 teaspoons water
1/3 cup butter or margarine 1/3 cup Crisco shortening + 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup butter or margarine 1/2 cup Crisco shortening + 3 teaspoons water
2/3 cup butter or margarine 2/3 cup Crisco shortening + 4 teaspoons water
3/4 cup butter or margarine 3/4 cup Crisco shortening + 1 tablespoon + 1-1/2 teaspoons water
1 cup butter or margarine 1 cup Crisco shortening + 2 tablespoons water

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I'm curious about Canola oil. Will you tell me more about it?

Canola oil is produced from the seeds of the canola plant. This plant grows best in cool, moist climates. In fact, it received its name because the canola plant is Canada's major oilseed crop. Of all vegetable oils, Canola oil is the one naturally lowest in saturated fat. Because it's 100% vegetable oil, Crisco Pure Canola oil contains no cholesterol. It also has no additives or preservatives, and can be used in any recipe that calls for vegetable or salad oil.

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Are all Crisco shortening products now trans fat free?

All Crisco shortening products now have 0g trans fat per serving for a more healthful option.

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How can I make a better pie crust?

There are a few minor changes that can make a big difference in your finished pie crust. First, make sure all of the ingredients, tools and preparation surfaces are cold. For example, use ice cold water instead of room temperature water, use cold Crisco shortening, place the rolling pin in the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to rolling out the pie crust, etc. Second, try to handle the dough as little as possible to keep all of the ingredients as chilled as possible. For a better pie crust recipe, click here.

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