The Most Popular Fat for Pie Crusts: A Ranking

Choose the fat you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 07:05
Welcome to StrawPoll, your one-stop destination for settling all your baking debates! This time, we're on a mouthwatering quest to determine the ultimate champion of pie crust fats. With countless options to choose from, it's time to roll up your sleeves, don your apron, and join us in casting your vote for the most popular fat for pie crusts! Will it be the classic butter or the flaky lard? Perhaps the versatile shortening or the rich coconut oil? The pie's the limit! So, pie enthusiasts, bakers, and foodies, unite in this delicious challenge and let your taste buds do the talking. If your favorite fat is missing from our scrumptious lineup, don't hesitate to suggest it! Together, let's bake the world a better place, one crust at a time!

What Is the Most Popular Fat for Pie Crusts?

  1. 1
    Butter is a popular choice for pie crusts because of its rich flavor and flaky texture. It also has a lower melting point than some other fats, which can help create a tender crust.
    Butter is a dairy product made from the churning of milk or cream. It is a versatile ingredient commonly used in baking, cooking, and as a spread. Butter has a rich, creamy texture and a distinctively rich flavor that adds depth and enhances the taste of various dishes.
    • Fat Content: At least 80% fat
    • Calories: Approximately 100 calories per tablespoon (14 grams)
    • Texture: Smooth and spreadable at room temperature
    • Taste: Rich, slightly sweet, and creamy
    • Color: Pale yellow when made from cow's milk, but can vary depending on the diet of the animal
  2. 2
    Shortening is another popular choice for pie crusts because it is 100% fat and has a high melting point, which can help create a flaky texture. It is also a good choice for people who are lactose intolerant or vegan.
    Shortening is a type of fat commonly used in baking, particularly for making pie crusts. It is a solid fat made from vegetable oils, which have been partially hydrogenated to increase their stability and create a solid texture. Shortening is often preferred for pie crusts due to its high melting point, which helps create a flaky and tender texture.
    • Composition: Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
    • Melting point: Approximately 95°F (35°C)
    • Texture: Solid and smooth
    • Flavor: Neutral, with little to no taste
    • Color: White
  3. 3
    Lard is a traditional fat for pie crusts and is made from rendered pig fat. It has a high melting point and can create a tender, flaky crust. Some people also prefer the flavor of lard over other fats.
    Lard is a type of fat commonly used for making pie crusts. It is rendered and clarified pork fat that provides a flaky texture and enhances the flavor of baked goods.
    • Fat content: Lard typically contains around 100% fat.
    • Texture: Lard is solid at room temperature but melts easily during baking, resulting in a tender and flaky crust.
    • Flavor: Lard has a mild, subtle flavor that complements both sweet and savory pies.
    • Versatility: Lard can be used in various baking applications, not just for pie crusts. It is also used in frying and sautéing.
    • Shortening power: Lard has great shortening power, which means it creates a tender and delicate pastry.
  4. 4
    Coconut oil
    Tiia Monto · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Coconut oil is a popular choice for vegan and gluten-free pie crusts. It has a high melting point and can create a flaky texture. It also has a subtle coconut flavor that can add a unique twist to pie crusts.
    Coconut oil is a type of edible oil derived from the meat of mature coconuts. It is a popular choice for pie crusts due to its unique flavor and texture.
    • Flavor: Distinctive coconut flavor
    • Texture: Solid at room temperature, melts easily when heated
    • Fatty Acid Profile: High in saturated fats, mainly medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)
    • Smoke Point: Approximately 350°F (177°C)
    • Health Benefits: Rich in lauric acid, may help increase good cholesterol levels
    Coconut oil in other rankings
  5. 5
    Vegetable oil
    Netojinn · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Some people use vegetable oil for pie crusts because it is a healthier option than other fats. It can create a tender, flaky crust, but may not have as much flavor as other fats.
    Vegetable oil is a type of biofuel that is derived from plants. It involves extracting oil from various plant sources, such as soybeans, rapeseeds, sunflowers, or palm fruits. The extracted oil is then undergoes refining processes to make it suitable for use as a biofuel.
    • Calorific value: 36-41 MJ/kg
    • Flash point: >220°C (428°F)
    • Viscosity: 10-19.5 cSt at 40°C
    • Cetane number: 45-65
    • Cloud point: -10 to 16°C
    Vegetable oil in other rankings
  6. 6
    Margarine can be used as a substitute for butter in pie crusts. It has a similar texture and flavor but is lower in saturated fat. However, some people prefer the flavor of butter over margarine.
    Margarine is a type of fat used in pie crusts, which was created as a substitute for butter. It is made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation, which converts the liquid oils into a solid form. Margarine is commonly used in baking and cooking due to its versatility and lower cost compared to butter.
    • Appearance: Solid at room temperature, similar to butter
    • Texture: Smooth and spreadable
    • Flavor: Mild and neutral
    • Versatility: Suitable for both sweet and savory recipes
    • Fat content: Usually around 80% fat
  7. 7
    Almond flour is a popular choice for gluten-free pie crusts. It has a nutty flavor and can create a tender, crumbly crust. It is also high in protein and healthy fats.
    Almond flour is a type of flour made from ground almonds. It is commonly used as a gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour in baking. Almond flour is known for its rich, nutty flavor, which adds a delicious taste to various recipes, including pie crusts.
    • Gluten-free: Yes
    • Nutty flavor: Yes
    • High in healthy fats: Yes
    • Low in carbohydrates: Yes
    • Rich in protein: Yes
    Almond flour in other rankings
  8. 8

    Hazelnut flour

    Various manufacturers
    Hazelnut flour is another popular choice for gluten-free pie crusts. It has a rich, nutty flavor and can create a tender, crumbly texture. It is also high in healthy fats and protein.
    Hazelnut flour is a type of flour made from finely ground, blanched hazelnuts. It is commonly used as an alternative to traditional wheat flour in gluten-free and grain-free baking recipes, particularly for pie crusts. Hazelnut flour imparts a rich, nutty flavor to baked goods and adds a slightly denser texture.
    • Flavor: Rich, nutty
    • Texture: Slightly denser
    • Type: Alternative flour
    • Suitable for: Gluten-free, grain-free baking
    • Ingredient: Blanched hazelnuts
  9. 9
    Ghee is a clarified butter that is popular in Indian cuisine. It has a high smoking point and can create a flaky, tender crust. It also has a rich, nutty flavor.
    Ghee is a type of clarified butter commonly used in Indian cuisine and has gained popularity in the culinary world for its rich and nutty flavor. It is commonly used in making pie crusts and other baked goods.
    • Source: Ghee is made by simmering butter to separate the milk solids and water content. The resultant product is pure butterfat.
    • Flavor: Ghee has a rich, nutty flavor that adds depth to pie crusts and enhances the overall taste of baked goods.
    • Smoke Point: Ghee has a high smoke point of around 482°F (250°C), making it suitable for high-temperature baking and frying.
    • Storage: Ghee has a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature for several months without refrigeration.
    • Texture: Ghee is solid at room temperature but melts easily when heated, which helps in creating flaky and tender pie crusts.
  10. 10
    Olive oil
    my friend · CC BY 2.5
    Olive oil is a healthy fat that can be used for pie crusts. It has a lower melting point than some other oils and can create a tender, crumbly crust. It also has a fruity flavor that can add complexity to pies.
    Olive oil is a commonly used fat for pie crusts, known for its distinct flavor and health benefits. It is primarily created by pressing olives, resulting in an oil that is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. The use of olive oil in pie crusts adds a subtle fruity taste and a slightly softer texture.
    • Flavor: Distinct fruity flavor
    • Health benefits: Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants
    • Texture: Provides a slightly softer crust texture
    • Versatility: Suitable for both sweet and savory pies
    • Digestibility: Easier to digest compared to other fats
    Olive oil in other rankings

Missing your favorite fat?


Ranking factors for popular fat

  1. Flavor
    The fat used should impart a pleasant and complementary flavor to the crust, enhancing the overall taste of the pie.
  2. Texture
    A good pie crust should be flaky, tender, and have a good mouthfeel. The fat used should help achieve this desired texture.
  3. Workability
    The fat should be easy to work with, allowing the dough to be rolled out and shaped without issue. It should not be too sticky or overly soft, as this can make the dough difficult to handle.
  4. Health considerations
    Some bakers may prefer using fats with healthier profiles, such as less saturated fat or cholesterol. This factor should be considered, especially when baking for those with specific dietary needs or preferences.
  5. Melting point
    The fat used should have an appropriate melting point, which will help create a flaky and tender crust. Fats with higher melting points, such as lard or shortening, are often preferred for this reason.
  6. Cost
    Affordability can be a key factor for many bakers, so the fat used should be reasonably priced and provide good value for money.
  7. Shelf life
    A popular fat should have a good shelf life, allowing it to be stored for a reasonable amount of time without spoilage.
  8. Vegan/vegetarian-friendly
    As more people adopt plant-based diets, the popularity of vegan and vegetarian-friendly fats, such as vegetable shortening or coconut oil, could be a consideration.
  9. Tradition
    Certain fats may be considered more traditional in specific types of pie crusts, such as butter in French pastry or lard in Southern-style crusts. Bakers may desire to use fats that are true to the recipe's roots or regional influences.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular fat for pie crusts. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or fat is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 173 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each fat once every 24 hours. The rank of each fat is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular fat for pie crusts

Pie crusts are a staple in many households, especially during the holiday season. One of the most important aspects of a great pie is the crust, and choosing the right type of fat is key to achieving the perfect texture and flavor. When it comes to pie crusts, there are several different types of fats to choose from, including butter, shortening, lard, and even oil. Each of these fats has its own unique characteristics that can affect the final product, so it's important to choose the right one for your recipe. In this article, we'll explore the most popular fats for pie crusts and explain their pros and cons, so you can create delicious pies with confidence.

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