Cooking with Coconut Oil 101
“You can use coconut oil in just about any recipe that calls for vegetable oil, shortening, butter, or margarine,” says Fife, who points out that coconut oil, unlike other oils, does not create toxic by- products when heated. Here, he shares some other tips and facts:
Coconut oil has a moderate smoke point. When using it for frying, keep the temperature under 360° F. Coconut oil can be used to grease pans or in baked goods— in these cases, the oil can be cooked in the oven at a higher temperature because the evaporation of water in the food keeps the temperature at 212° F. Coconut oil is very stable. It keeps for up to three years unrefrigerated, says Fife. To liquefy coconut oil, immerse the bottom of the jar in hot water for a few minutes. The oil melts quickly. There are two main types: virgin and refined. Virgin oil is minimally processed and retains a mild coconut taste, whereas refined versions are essentially flavorless.