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What Are the Best Tips for Cooking with Coconut Oil?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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When cooking with coconut oil, cooks should pay attention to cooking temperatures, experiment with substitution amounts, and match the grade of coconut oil to the type of recipe they wish to prepare. While coconut oil can be an excellent cooking ingredient, particularly for vegetarians and vegans who are looking for a substantial oil that is not derived from animals, it behaves differently than some more familiar cooking oils. In addition, some types of coconut oil taste strongly of coconuts, which can be an advantage in some recipes, but may not be what a cook wants in others.

There are several different types of coconut oil currently on the market, including refined, expeller-pressed coconut oils as well virgin coconut oils that have undergone minimal processing. Typically, the more refined coconut oils have less coconut scent and flavor. On the other hand, virgin coconut oils can have a strong coconut flavor. While many people find the flavor of virgin coconut oil to be very appealing, this flavor may not be what a cook wants in the food he prepares. If a cook wishes to work with coconut oil but does not want his food to be affected by its flavor, he should choose a refined coconut oil that has no residual flavor of coconut.

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Coconut oil is solid at temperatures less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) and at higher temperatures as a liquid oil. This can make cooking with coconut oil tricky, especially if the cook is attempting to substitute coconut oil for another type of fat or oil. Some cooks who are experienced in cooking with coconut oil recommend measuring it by weight rather than by volume. This can help ensure that the correct amount of fat is added to a recipe. If trying a substitution for the first time, particularly when using coconut oil in baking, it may be best for a cook to prepare a small test batch to see how the oil measurement works out.

Some people who enjoy cooking with coconut oil find that less refined oils can be temperamental when used in high heat cooking. While coconut oil is generally quite stable when used in baked goods or on roasted vegetables, high-temperature frying can sometimes cause virgin coconut oils to give off an unpleasant soapy scent and flavor. Again, cooks should experiment with different grades of coconut oil to determine appropriate temperatures for cooking with it. In many cases, they might find that by ensuring that the pan temperature is kept low, even virgin coconut oils can be used in stovetop cooking.

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anon347611
Post 3

If you add a few drops of water to the heated coconut oil, it will lesson the strong coconut flavor for cooking.

indigowater
Post 2

@sunnysideup - Sorry, I've never heard of that. But then again, I'm no coconut oil expert. I just use it as much as possible. I even switched from hazelnut creme in my morning coffee to coconut oil lately. It's naturally creamy and much healthier for you than the processed cream!

The benefits of coconut oil are beginning to reach the general public. Some of the best reasons to use it are mind boggling. I've read that it can kill the bacteria that causes ulcers, gum disease and urinary tract infections.

It's also supposed to kill the fungi that causes ringworm, athlete's foot and diaper rash.

If you suffer with herpes or hepatitis C, check out the research and try it out for yourself.

sunnysideup
Post 1

I have started cooking with coconut oil because of the healthy benefits associated with its use. I've never noticed "an unpleasant soapy scent" when using organic coconut oil in a saute pan. Maybe because I only cook at low-to-medium temperatures while making an omelet or scrambled eggs, sauteing mushrooms and onions.

Does anyone know why a "soapy scent" might be a problem when cooking with coconut oils?

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