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Coconut Oil THE Multipurpose Oil?

I bought a jar of coconut oil about six months ago. I've used it for baking and love it. However, I most enjoy the 'beauty' benefits using it on my face, neck, and arms and as a hair/scalp dressing. I have not used it for sauteing or frying. Would coconut oil be suitable or should I stick with vegetable/canola/peanut oil? How/what do you use coconut oil? (Yes, I did view the old threads on coconut oil, however I'm sure over the years there are new ideas and uses to be shared.) Thanks, everyone!

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

asked 5 months ago
7 answers 317 views
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cv
added 5 months ago

Coconut oil is heavily used in cooking in areas where coconuts are indigenous. This is the basic principle for any cooking oil. You cook with the oil that is abundant in your area.

Live in the Mediterranean? Olive trees probably grow well, which is why those people use olive oil? In Northern Europe? Cows are more prevalent, so you are using butter.

Moreover, many oils have other uses (like personal care). Some Mediterranean folks have used olive oil as hair conditioner or in soaps for centuries.

Coconuts are a tropical crop. I know that coconut oil is used extensively in the tropical areas of Southeast Asia, including places like Indonesia.

That said, each oil has its own set of characteristics, some positive, some negative. A wise cook will look at the task he/she wishes to accomplish and uses the fat that works the best for the task at hand, whether it be peanut oil, ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil.

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cv
added 5 months ago

I've used coconut oil as a skin care product (both by itself and as an ingredient in a commercial product), but not used it as a cooking ingredient to my memory. I have travelled to Southeast Asia and consumed many dishes cooked in this ingredient.

Coconuts are an exotic crop here in California so it is not particularly plentiful here.

At this point, what is in my house at any given moment is butter, olive oil, and peanut oil. I do not stock other oils on a regular basis.

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added 5 months ago

Personally, I like coconut oil for shrimp and chicken frying and sautéing when am going for something that suits it - like Caribbean, things involving coconut milk or shredded coconut, that kind of thing. I've personally never used it for anything beefy or lamb.

If you have room temperature sweet potato you can slice them or cut them into fries and toss them in coconut oil to roast them in the oven. I imagine it would complement butternut squash, carrots or parsnips for roasting too.

E2fa6967 d69b 4984 9510 16261f54e881  sophie
added 5 months ago

I agree with Catherine. Coconut oil has it purposes. It has coconut overtones, therefore I use it for root vegetables and sweet cooking. Just as avocado oil tastes like avocados and walnut oil tastes like walnuts. it also has a pretty low flash point, so you really can't do high heat frying with it.

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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added 5 months ago

I always have a jar of coconut oil in my cupboard. I use it as you've described, a moisturizer for dry skin and curly hair tamer. I also really like the flavor it imparts in my homemade granola.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 5 months ago

Coconut oil doesn't have a high smoke point, so I don't advise using it for high temp frying, but a medium temp sauté is perfect. I use virgin unrefined and I actually don't detect much of a coconut flavor once cooked with other ingredients if at all. I love the aroma though.

I never use canola or any other vegetable oil. I do use peanut oil for stir frys. I use beef tallow and pork lard from Fatworks a lot. They are local here in Portland. New Seasons carries it now, but I've been buying it out of one of the owners garage since they started the business. Nicest group of guys ever!!

I love the sweet potato use that Catherine mentioned. I make smashed sweet potato coins using coconut oil. Delish!!

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PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

My wife makes her egg white omelet with coconut oil all the time. I agree , it doesn't impart any noticeable flavors as far as I can tell