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Old 10-06-2011, 09:37 AM   #1
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Question Cooking with Coconut Oil

Hiya folks!

Recently I read somewhere that it's healthier to cook with coconut oil, something I've never tried. I recall years ago reading that it's better to cook with olive oil. I was such a fool for this. Olive oil burnt like crazy: smoke, spatters, burns, black burnt residue on my pots and stove. Even the food was charred like I'd doused it in gasoline. Later I learned olive oil is terrible for cooking. Some get away with it but I will NEVER... cook with olive oil again. Has anyone here cooked with coconut oil? Before I blow my money on it and ruin my food I just wanted to see if anyone uses it and what your experiences have been?
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:57 AM   #2
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It all depends on the type/temp. of cooking you do. I use 5 different cooking oils. I love olive oil, but won't fry with it because of the low smoke point and I don't like the flavor of olive oil on fried foods. Coconut oil has a low-avg. smoke point.

Here is a chart for the smoke point of different oils and fats.

Good luck!
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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Virgin coconut oil is not my cup o' tea. It imparts a taste that I don't care for. I use organic coconut oil because it has little or no flavor. I don't know if there are any health benefits in using this form.

I also like to use grape seed oil.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:38 PM   #4
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This is freaky. I bought organic coconut oil a few months ago and just looked at the jar today to figure out what I was going to do with it. The jar says go to www.nutiva.com for recipes.

There are many benefits of using coconut oil in and on your body. It can only be used to 350 degrees. I use mostly extra virgin olive oil and olive oil for cooking. We love it.

I hope to incorporate it into some of my meals.
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:32 PM   #5
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I remember reading an article several years ago that claimed coconut oil is unhealthily high in saturated fats. I don't know if that's true, but I understand that both peanut oil and olive oil are monounsaturates and thus high in HDL ("good") cholestrol and low in LDL ("bad") cholestrol. I have found olive oil unsatisfactory: when I use it the food sticks to the pan like it's chemically bonded. Peanut oil, on the other hand, does not stick and does not have an overwhelming taste. I use it for almost all my cooking and like it very much.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:48 PM   #6
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I use olive, peanut and vegetable oils, but each is used for different things. I would never deep fry or high-heat fry anything in olive oil. I burns at much too low a temperature. I only use vegetable oil for deep-frying. It can take the heat and doesn't impart flavors to the fried foods. I've never used coconut oil in cooking. As Dr Feelgood said above, I had read it was not a very healthy oil, high in saturated fats. One of the reasons movie-theater popcorn is supposed to be bad for you is that it's cooked in coconut oil.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:39 PM   #7
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Mostly I use peanut oil, which I blame on an early addiction to the Frugal Gourmet. The only other oil I keep all the time is olive oil, it has many uses. That's pretty much it aside from the occasional other oil that strikes my fancy.

I had the same ideas about the unhealthiness of coconut oil as was already mentioned, so I looked on wikipedia. In summary, it pointed out that the measures of bad fat were made with partially hydrogenated coconut oil which may have made it seem worse than it should be. It said the virgin coconut oil marketed today might not be so bad on the bad fats and have other health benefits.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Carl1h View Post
In summary, it pointed out that the measures of bad fat were made with partially hydrogenated coconut oil which may have made it seem worse than it should be. It said the virgin coconut oil marketed today might not be so bad on the bad fats and have other health benefits.
This. Saturated fats are not the devil that we thought they were a while ago, particularly plant-based saturated fats. The hydrogenation process creates trans-fats, which we know are terrible for us, but raw, virgin coconut oil is another thing entirely. Just like there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, there is also good and bad saturated fats...some better than others. Coconut oil is high in medium-chain fatty acids, which is better for you than long-chain fatty acids. Medium-Chain fatty acids can actually help you lose weight, and coconut oil is used by a lot of folks for weight loss because it is so high in MCFAs. Its also really high in lauric acid, which contributes to the 'good' cholesterol in your body. There's also lots of folks who use coconut oil on their hair and skin, as its easily absorbed without being overly greasy. Its also known for anti-microbial properties

I use it when I remember, but its really good if you're cooking anything Asian, and it lends itself really nicely to potatoes and other things that need to get crispy. I've never burnt olive oil but I know I've probably over-heated it, but coconut oil gives it such a nice crisp that I've never gotten with olive oil. I cooked some pollo asada yesterday in a little coconut oil and then deglazed the pan with white wine and lime juice for a sauce, and my friend who shared it with me can't stop talking about it.

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Old 10-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl1h View Post
Mostly I use peanut oil, which I blame on an early addiction to the Frugal Gourmet. The only other oil I keep all the time is olive oil, it has many uses. That's pretty much it aside from the occasional other oil that strikes my fancy.
I didn't know that the sources saying "bad, bad coconut oil" used hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenation is what makes unsaturated fats retain solidity at room temperature, hence their use in margarines. I should have known this, I've seen them put the coconut oil solid lump in the popcorn popper at the theater. Saturated fats, like beef and pork fat, are fully hydrogenated, naturally, and remain solid at room temperature. They do not produce trans-fats when heated.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:05 PM   #10
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I use a light coat of extra virgin olive oil on my cast iron skillet when I make pancakes; I add it when the skillet is hot enough to make water dance, and have no problems. With these reviews, I think I'll be giving coconut oil a try since I've seen for myself that the olive oil can make a real mess if not used carefully.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:33 PM   #11
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I use a light coat of extra virgin olive oil on my cast iron skillet when I make pancakes; I add it when the skillet is hot enough to make water dance, and have no problems. With these reviews, I think I'll be giving coconut oil a try since I've seen for myself that the olive oil can make a real mess if not used carefully.
For pancakes I actually prefer to use solid fat, like butter flavored Crisco. It handles a very high temp and doesn't negatively affect the flavor of the pancake.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:06 AM   #12
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I saute mirepoix in organic, virgin coconut oil when I'm going to use it in quinoa. I picked up the tip from an old neighbor who was into competitive body building so I just assumed it was healthy in that form.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:27 PM   #13
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I've cooked a bunch with coconut oil. There are some things that its not as awesome to cook with, but in general its great. It treats vegetables well, and has a very quiet delicious flavor. It's more expensive and more healthy, but I'd still recommend it.
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:20 PM   #14
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For pancakes I actually prefer to use solid fat, like butter flavored Crisco. It handles a very high temp and doesn't negatively affect the flavor of the pancake.
Crisco is awful for you. Why not use ghee? Butter flavor with a higher smoke point. Its friggin' delicious to use for grilled cheese sandwiches, too.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:20 PM   #15
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Crisco is awful for you. Why not use ghee? Butter flavor with a higher smoke point. Its friggin' delicious to use for grilled cheese sandwiches, too.
I don't even know what that is. Is it found at a regular supermarket? If so, can you tell me a brand name to look for. Does it need to be refrigerated? I would love to know more. Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:33 PM   #16
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Ghee is a type of clarified butter (solids removed) It's found a lot in Indian food. I've only seen it in ethnic grocery stores but it may be available in other places too and I haven't noticed because I usually cook with canola oil. You can also clarify butter yourself if you like.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #17
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Ghee is a type of clarified butter (solids removed) It's found a lot in Indian food. I've only seen it in ethnic grocery stores but it may be available in other places too and I haven't noticed because I usually cook with canola oil. You can also clarify butter yourself if you like.
Yep. Ghee is just butter, melted, and then the milk solids removed. Its pure fat, and you store it at room temperature. Its dead easy to make, or you can buy it in a jar at an Indian food store (or even a place like Whole Foods, or a store with a good international aisle). Because you remove the milk solids, youre able to get the ghee to a much higher temperature without burning. It will still burn, but not like butter/olive oil/etc. It has several of the health benefits of Coconut oil, along with others. Plus it tastes amazing. Try the grilled cheese with ghee, you'll never go back. It spreads easily too, which is great, no more waiting for the butter to soften. You can bake with it, put it on your toast, cook with it like an oil, etc. It has an intense nutty/buttery flavor. Not exactly the same as butter, but deeper, I think.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #18
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I use it to make a sandwich with processed cheese and then grill it and call it-ghee Whiz
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:05 AM   #19
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Ghee is a type of clarified butter (solids removed) It's found a lot in Indian food. I've only seen it in ethnic grocery stores but it may be available in other places too and I haven't noticed because I usually cook with canola oil. You can also clarify butter yourself if you like.
I can't find my source to link it, but last time I made clarified butter I poured the melted butter in a container with an inch or so of water in the bottom and then put it in the fridge. The solids sank and the clarified butter floated and hardened and was easily removed. You can either skim the foam in the pan or scrape it off the cooled and hardened piece of clarified butter. It was an easy process.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:17 AM   #20
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Has anyone used coconut butter (not oil?). Dinner is being made for me as I type (YUM!) and he used coconut oil but really wanted to use the butter. Couldn't find it in regular market or at Trader Joe's. Anyone had it? Know where I can get it? (House smells divine! He's making a Chicken Dhansak.) Mmm!
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:34 PM   #21
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Due perhaps, to its high smokepoint, it tends to scorch the shit out of whatever I'm cooking, even at lower temps; my pancakes were all charcoal coated with raw insides. I'll be sticking with canola/olive blends.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:53 PM   #22
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Due perhaps, to its high smokepoint, it tends to scorch the shit out of whatever I'm cooking, even at lower temps; my pancakes were all charcoal coated with raw insides. I'll be sticking with canola/olive blends.
THIS is what I was exactly wondering Captain Save. I was given the same healthy schpiel about olive oil and nearly lost an eye trying to cook with it. Apparently you're not really supposed to cook with it, you're only supposed to warm with it or drizzle it on breads and salads.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:06 PM   #23
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Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Captain Save has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!
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Olive/canola oil blends work fine for me, Lilly, as long as I use just enough to prevent sticking by wiping off the excess with a paper towel; it's the coconut oil that nearly causes house fires in my cast iron skillet. I get the whole healthy cooking thing, as far as frying things with it; it's just that I can't get a good result from using the coconut oil unless the good result is a visit from the fire department or waking up in the back of an EMS truck from smoke inhalation.
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