Everyone has had that one moment when you run out of a certain ingredient and wonder if you can substitute it with another and get the same or better results. In a situation where you need a certain fat in your recipe, you should know the main difference between vegetable oil and shortening. Is vegetable shortening the same as vegetable oil and can you substitute one for the other?
In this article, we will highlight the main differences that come in a vegetable shortening vs. vegetable oil comparison.
Vegetable shortening does not have water. It is 100% fat. The main source of vegetable shortening is cottonseed, palm oil, or hydrogenated soybean. It is less costly than butter because it maintains its integrity for a longer period. In the past, vegetable shortening was highly discouraged, mainly because of the levels of trans fats in the composition. However, changes were made in the making of vegetable shortening. Saturated fats are used in the making of the shortening, instead of trans fats.
Shortening is usually semi-solid when at room temperature. When you use it in cookies, they will end up taller since eggs and flour in the recipe will have longer to set before the shortening melts.
No steam is produced when baking since there is no water in the shortening. Pie crusts and cookies will, therefore, become tenderer.
One similarity between vegetable oil and vegetable shortening is that it has no water and is 100% fat. It is also light, which means that baked goods will become light too. A cup with vegetable oil will weigh 218 grams.
When you refrigerate a cake baked using vegetable oil, it will always ready to eat because the vegetable oil will not solidify. You do not have to let it sit when you take it out of the fridge.
The shortening vs. oil debate does not produce much differences except in the use when baking. There are reasons that should restrict you from substituting vegetable oil for shortening and the other way round. Their main difference is that one is liquid and the other solid.
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