Schmaltz is a traditional Jewish cooking fat produced from rendered chicken fat. It has a rich and distinctive flavor that adds depth to many dishes, particularly Jewish cuisine.
However, if you do not have schmaltz on hand, or you are looking for a healthier option, there are plenty of great substitutes that you can use in its place.
In this post, we will analyze 10 of the best substitutes for schmaltz, along with ratios and tips for how to use them.
In short, " What I Can use instead of schmaltz?" Vegetable Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Clarified Butter, Ghee, Bacon Fat, Duck Fat, Vegetable Shortening, Butter, and Beef Tallow.
What is schmaltz, and what does schmaltz taste like?
Schmaltz is a type of rendered fat obtained from poultry, such as chickens and ducks.
It has a rich, distinct flavor that can be described as being similar to buttery vegetable oil with faint overtones of onion or garlic.
Schmaltz also has a very high smoke point which makes it ideal for frying various roasted meats and other dishes.
The flavor is often enhanced by adding onions, herbs and spices to the schmaltz before cooking.
Uses of schmaltz
Schmaltz is a rendered fat made from chicken or goose and is used in a variety of recipes, including traditional Jewish dishes.
It is also often used for flavoring soups, stews, gravies, and even rubs for meats. Schmaltz can also be used to enrich baked goods like challah bread and rugelach cookies.
Additionally, schmaltz is believed to have health benefits due to its high levels of healthful fatty acids when compared with other fats.
Studies suggest that consuming schmaltz can improve heart health by reducing inflammation in the arteries and lowering cholesterol levels in the body.
The monounsaturated fatty acids present in schmaltz can also aid digestion and help reduce symptoms of certain digestive diseases.
Schmaltz also contains small amounts of vitamins A and E, which are both important nutrients for overall health.
Where to buy schmaltz?
If you are looking for where to buy schmaltz, there are a few different places you can go. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores.
You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of schmaltz.
Best substitutes for Schmaltz
1. Vegetable Oil – a good substitute for schmaltz
One of the most commonly used substitutes for schmaltz is vegetable oil. It has a very neutral flavor, which makes it ideal for use in a wide variety of dishes.
Ratio or measurement: If you are substituting vegetable oil for schmaltz in a recipe, use a 1:1 ratio.
Be sure to choose a high-quality vegetable oil with a neutral taste and an elevated smoke point, such as canola or grapeseed oil.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil is another excellent substitute for schmaltz. It has a fruity flavor that can complement many dishes, and it is rich in healthy fats.
Ratio or measurement: If you are substituting olive oil for schmaltz in a recipe, use a 1:1 ratio.
Be sure to select a high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
3. Try Coconut Oil in place of schmaltz
Coconut oil is an excellent substitute for schmaltz if you are looking for a healthy and vegan option. It has a distinctive coconut flavor that can add a unique flavor to your dishes.
Ratio or measurement: If you are substituting coconut oil for schmaltz in a recipe, use a 1:1 ratio.
Be sure to select a high-quality extra virgin coconut oil.
4. Clarified Butter
Clarified butter is another excellent substitute for schmaltz, particularly if you want to add a rich buttery flavor to your dishes.
It is created by melting butter and removing the milk solids to create pure butterfat.
Ratio or measurement: If you are substituting clarified butter for schmaltz in a recipe, use a 1:1 ratio.
5. Ghee –a great alternative for schmaltz
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has a rich and nutty flavor that can add depth to your dishes.
Ratio or measurement: If you are substituting ghee for schmaltz in a recipe, use a 1:1 ratio. Be sure to choose high-quality, grass-fed ghee.
6. Bacon Fat
Bacon fat can be an excellent substitute for schmaltz if you are looking for a rich and savory flavor.
It is made by rendering the fat from bacon, and it can add a unique and delicious flavor to your dishes.
Ratio or measurement: If you are substituting bacon fat for schmaltz in a recipe, use a 1:1 ratio.
7. Duck Fat –similar taste to schmaltz
Duck fat is another traditional cooking fat that can be an excellent substitute for schmaltz. It has a rich and distinctive flavor that can add depth to your dishes.
Ratio or measurement: If you are substituting duck fat for schmaltz in a recipe, use a 1:1 ratio.
8. Vegetable Shortening
Vegetable shortening is a commonly accessible substitute for schmaltz for vegetarians and vegans.
It is made from solid vegetable oils like palm or soybean oil. It has a higher smoking point than butter, making it an ideal choice for high-temperature cooking.
Ratio or measurement: Substitute 1 cup of schmaltz with 1 cup of vegetable shortening.
9. Butter – a decent replacement for Schmaltz
If you’re looking for a readily available replacement for schmaltz, consider butter. It’s a versatile ingredient that adds richness and flavor to various recipes.
Butter has a low smoking point, making it unsuitable for frying or high-temperature cooking.
Ratio or measurement: Substitute 1 cup of schmaltz with 1 cup of butter.
Explore more: Best substitutes for butter extract
10. Beef Tallow
Beef tallow is derived from rendered beef fat or suet, which contains both saturated and unsaturated fats.
It has a subtle beefy flavor and can be used in various cooking applications.
Ratio or measurement: Substitute 1 cup of schmaltz with 1 cup of beef tallow.
Tips on How to Choose the Most Suitable Substitution Option for Schmaltz
When choosing a suitable substitution for schmaltz, keep the following considerations in mind:
1. Flavor Profile: Schmaltz, which is rendered chicken fat, has a distinctly rich and savory flavor. Look for a substitute that can mimic or complement this flavor profile, such as vegetable shortening, butter, or duck fat.
2. Cooking Method: Consider the cooking method you’ll be using. If you’re sautéing or frying, choose a substitute with a similar smoke point to schmaltz to ensure it performs well under high heat.
3. Dietary Restrictions: Take into account any dietary restrictions or preferences. If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan option, vegetable shortening or plant-based oils like coconut oil or olive oil can be suitable substitutes.
4. Texture and Consistency: Schmaltz has a unique texture and consistency when melted. Consider substitutes that can provide a similar richness and mouthfeel, such as clarified butter or rendered bacon fat.
5. Recipe Adaptation: Keep in mind that while a substitute may work well in some recipes, it might alter the flavor and outcome in others.
Consider how the substitute will interact with other ingredients in the recipe and be prepared to adapt or modify the recipe accordingly.
ghee vs. schmaltz
Ghee and schmaltz are both types of rendered animal fat that are used for cooking. They have similar origins, but there are some key differences in their production and taste.
Ghee is made from the clarified butter of cows or other animals, usually by slowly heating butter until it separates into its three components: fat, water, and milk solids.
The milk solids are then removed, leaving pure, clarified butterfat. This process concentrates the flavor of the butter and increases its shelf life.
Ghee has a nutty flavor that is well-suited to spicier dishes or Indian cuisine.
Schmaltz, on the other hand, is made from chicken or goose fat that has been cooked with onions. This renders out the fat and gives it more flavor than ghee due to the caramelization of the onions.
Schmaltz is a traditional part of Jewish cuisine and has a milder flavor than ghee which makes it better suited to dishes that don’t need as much heat or spice.
Although they are both rendered animal fats, ghee and schmaltz have different flavors and uses in cooking due to their differing production methods and ingredients.
5 Vegan schmaltz substitutes
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be substituted for vegan schmaltz in a 1:1 ratio. This oil is made from the meat of mature coconuts, and it can be used as a spread on toast, indulgent sauces, and savory baking recipes.
It’s high in saturated fat and has a mild, nutty flavor that adds complexity to dishes.
2. Nut Butter and Seed Butter
Instead of schmaltz, you can also use nut or seed butter as a substitute.
They can be used interchangeably at a 1:1 ratio for vegan recipes.
Nut and seed butter is great to use when making creamy dressings and sauces, baked goods, and sandwiches, or just spread it on toast with your favorite jam!
Plus, these spreads are packed full of healthy fats like essential fatty acids, which are great for your heart health.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is another great choice for replacing schmaltz in vegan recipes; it should be used at a 1:1 ratio with the same amount of olive oil as schmaltz being replaced in the recipe.
Olive oil has plenty of antioxidants, monounsaturated fats, and Vitamin E, which makes it incredibly beneficial for heart health when used properly in cooking.
Its mild flavor pairs well with many types of dishes, but its strong taste should be considered when substituting it for schmaltz so as not to overpower other flavors in the dish.
4. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is another popular replacement for vegan schmaltz; it works best at a 1:1 ratio with the same amount of avocado oil as the amount of schmaltz being replaced in the recipe.
This type of oil has a delicate flavor that won’t overwhelm other foods, so it works particularly well when sautéing vegetables or baking bread and muffins; its natural fatty acids make avocado oil super healthy too!
5. Tofu Spread
Tofu spread can also be used to replace vegan schmaltz in recipes at a 1:1 ratio.
This spread is made from tofu which is naturally cholesterol-free (and dairy free!), so it’s healthier than traditional animal-based spreads like butter or margarine.
Tofu spread can add creaminess to dishes like stir-fries or egg-less scrambles, plus it’s easy to customize with spices or herbs, creating new flavors that’ll wow your friends and family!
Conclusion on substitute for schmaltz
In conclusion, there are many great substitutes for schmaltz that you can use in your cooking. Whether you are looking for a neutral oil, a rich buttery flavor, or a unique and distinct flavor, there is an option for you.
By using the ratios and tips provided in this blog post, you can confidently substitute these alternatives in your favorite dishes.
So go ahead and experiment with these substitutes, and enjoy the mouthwatering flavors they bring to your cooking.
FAQs on substitute for schmaltz
Q1. What is similar to schmaltz?
Schmaltz is a type of rendered chicken or goose fat, similar to lard.
It can be used in cooking and baking as an alternative to butter or oil and is often used for sautéing or frying, adding flavor to dishes.
Other fats that may be substituted for schmaltz include bacon grease, vegetable shortening, duck fat, beef tallow and margarine.
Q2. Can I substitute butter for schmaltz?
Yes, butter can be used as a substitute for schmaltz. Butter is a form of fat made from churning cream and is often used in cooking and baking.
It has a lower smoke point than Schmaltz, so it may not be suitable for all applications. However, when substituting butter for schmaltz, try to use a higher-fat variety such as clarified or European-style butter.
This will allow you to create dishes with similar rich flavors and textures that are provided by Schmaltz.
Additionally, you should consider adding a sprinkle of salt since the flavor of butter tends to be less intense than that of schmaltz.
Q3. What can I use instead of schmaltz in chopped liver?
A suitable alternative to schmaltz in the chopped liver is a neutral oil like vegetable, canola or safflower.
These oils contain less saturated fat than schmaltz, which means they are healthier for you and won’t have the same strong flavor.
The chopped liver can also be made with butter, margarine or cream cheese. If you want to keep it dairy-free, then try using non-dairy alternatives such as coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil.
Each of these options will still provide some flavor and richness to the chopped liver while keeping it healthier than traditional schmaltz.
Q4. Is ghee a good substitute for schmaltz?
Ghee is a clarified butter that has been used for centuries in Indian cuisine. It is made by heating unsalted butter until it melts and boils and then straining off the milk solids.
The result is pure fat with a nutty flavor and a more elevated smoke point than regular butter. As such, it can be used for sautéing vegetables or meats at higher temperatures without burning as easily as other fats.
In comparison to schmaltz, ghee can be a good substitute because it also provides rich flavor and is suitable for high-heat cooking.
Schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) was traditionally used in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine.
While it does provide excellent flavor, it has a lower smoke point which makes it less suitable for sautéing certain dishes at high heat.
Ghee can provide a similar flavorful element but with fewer chances of burning or smoking up the kitchen.
Additionally, since ghee is lactose-free and casein-free, making it is suitable for those with dietary restrictions related to dairy consumption.
Q5. Can I use bacon grease instead of schmaltz?
While bacon grease can be used in place of schmaltz, it isn’t exactly the same. Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat that is cooked slowly and has a strong flavor.
Bacon grease is typically rendered pork, and while it has a similar flavor, it won’t give you the same depth of flavor that Schmaltz does.
Additionally, pork fat has a tendency to burn more quickly than chicken fat when cooking.
Therefore, if you choose to use bacon grease instead of schmaltz in your cooking, you’ll need to adjust cooking times accordingly to ensure that you don’t end up with a burnt taste or texture.