Shortening is a semisolid fat used in food preparation, especially baked goods. Shortening is fat or lard from an animal or vegetable. The term "shortening" can be used more broadly to apply to any fat that is used for baking and which is solid at room temperature, such as butter, lard, or margarine. Shortening often has a higher smoke point than butter and margarine, and it has 100% fat content, compared to about 80% for butter and margarine.
Shortening should not be used in place of oils for salads, but it can be melted and used in many recipes. Shortening is less liquid than oils and butter. Just add extra water to the recipe. For increased flavor, include some butter and reduce the like amount of shortening.