In recipes, a chef can substitute 1 cup of Crisco with 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of lard, 1 cup of butter or 1 cup of margarine. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of liquid Crisco, 1 cup of vegetable oil or other cooking oil makes an appropriate substitute.
If a recipe calls for butter or margarine, a chef can substitute Crisco. It is a straight substitution with a little water added as well. For example, if 1/2 cup of butter is needed, the amount of Crisco is 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of water.
Crisco was introduced in 1911 and was the first shortening made entirely of vegetable oil. The brand name came from the phrase "crystallized cottonseed oil" from which the shortening was originally made. Through the years, the composition changed and as of 2012, the shortening is made up of fully hydrogenated palm oil, soybean oil and partially hydrogenated soybean and palm oil.
The shelf life of this product is fairly long, as unopened cans of shortening remain fresh up to 2 years. Once the can has been opened, the product retains freshness for 1 year. Storing the product in a cool, dry place helps keep it fresh. It should not be stored near heat, such as a stove, or in direct sunlight. A dark pantry in the kitchen is ideal.