Difference Between Lard and Dripping

Key Difference – Lard vs Dripping

Lard and dipping are two types of fats produced from animal products. These fats are used as cooking fat, shortening or spread. The key difference between lard and dripping is their source; lard is mainly produced from pig fat whereas dripping is produced from beef fat. Although these two fats were commonly used in the past, they are not much used in contemporary cuisine due to their high saturated fat and cholesterol content.

What is Lard?

Lard is a semi-solid fat that is obtained from pig fat. It is used in the preparation of food as a shortening, cooking fat or a spread. The lard can be obtained from any part of the pig which has a high concentration of fatty tissues. Lard can be rendered in two methods: the wet method and dry method. In dry rendering involves a process similar to frying bacon; the pig fat is exposed to high heat without the presence of water. In wet rendering, the fat is steamed or boiled in water at a high temperature. The lard, which is insoluble in water, can be skimmed off the surface of the mixture. The taste, flavor and other qualities of lard can depend on the process of rendering and the part of the pig from which the fat was taken.

Key Difference - Lard vs Dripping

What is Dripping?

Dripping is an animal fat that is produced from the fatty or unusable parts of cow or pig carcasses. Although dripping can be made from beef and pork, it is mostly associated with beef. The process of making dripping involves turning a waste material into a useful and edible product.

Rendering separates the fat from connective tissue and meat and processes it into a clear liquid. This liquid is free of proteins and impurities. In solid form, it is smooth and creamy and when molten it is golden in color.

Dripping can be also made at home. In home cooking, dripping was made by collecting the hot fat left in the roasting pan into a heatproof vessel, covering it and leavening it to cool.

Nowadays, dripping is mainly used as a cooking fat used either to shallow fry meat or to dot over a joint to keep it moist during cooking. However, in the past, dripping was also used as a spread; like butter, it was spread on bread.

Difference Between Lard and Dripping

What is the difference between Lard and Dripping?


Lard is mainly made from pork.

Dripping is mainly made from beef.


Lard can be produced through dry or wet rendering method.

Dripping is usually produced through a dry rendering method.

Image Courtesy:

“Homelard” By Peter G Werner~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). Own work assumed (based on copyright claims). (CC BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia

“Mucky fat (dripping)” By naughty architect -(CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia