You've probably heard about the many benefits of coconut oil to your skin, hair, and general health. Besides its nutrition, coconut oil tastes great and can be incorporated into anyone's diet in your cooking!
That's why we did some research and found 10 amazing coconut oils you can cook with. Viva Naturals Organic's extra virgin coconut oil was one of our favorites as it's versatile and works great in many different recipes. And for even more information and tips, we also included a buying guide at the end to help you choose the right product, reviewed and approved by a vegan pastry chef. Read on to see what we came up with!
Shayanne has over 10 years of experience in the food industry. She has two culinary degrees (one in baking and pastry, and the other in culinary arts), and for the last four years, she has owned and operated her own small business, Bleu Moon Bakery. They are 100% vegan and specialize in allergy-friendly custom cakes and treats.
With that much experience in the industry, we knew we had to ask Shayanne to take a look at our buying guide and offer some extra insight and tips. To see more of her culinary work, you can check out her Facebook and Instagram.
Coconut oil is great, but why? In terms of cooking, depending on the grade of the coconut oil, the smoke point ranges from 350 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. That high heat tolerance makes it great for searing, sauteing, and baking. It can also be simply used as a spread.
Incorporating coconut oil into your diet can also improve your health. Specifically, coconut oil contains a lot of essential fatty acids and can boost your fat metabolism while supplying your body and brain with enough energy to function.
It helps increase the HDL (good) cholesterol in your blood as well. Moreover, 50 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are composed of lauric acid, which can prevent viral infections.
Coconut oil is also noteworthy for its medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) content as well. MCTs can help with weight loss, energy levels, blood sugar levels, and more. Coconuts naturally contain anywhere from 45 percent to 65 percent MCTs, but some liquid forms may contain even more. If you're more interested in these MCT health benefits than the best coconut oil for cooking, we suggest looking for MCT oils instead!
We researched the best coconut oils to use in cooking with hours of research and the help of a vegan pastry chef. We chose our products based on the following factors:
We then chose 10 products we thought fit the bill for various forms of cooking. Read on to see our choices, and see more explanations of our method of choice by reading the buying guide!
Barlean's Organic Oils
Garden of Life
Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
Organic Steam-Refined Coconut Oil
Liquid Coconut Oil
Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Organic Coconut Oil With Non-Dairy Butter Flavor
Best Pure Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil
Best for the Mild Coconut Flavor
Best for Coating Cookware to Prevent Sticking
Best for the Rich and Creamy Consistency
Best for High-Heat Cooking
Best Liquid Coconut Oil
Best Versatile Oil for All Your Cooking Needs
Best for Mixing in Smoothies and Protein Shakes
Best for Other Uses in Addition to Cooking
Best Vegan Alternative to Butter
|Type||Extra virgin||Extra virgin||Refined||Virgin||Refined||Not provided||Virgin||Virgin||Extra virgin||Refined|
|Production method||Cold-pressed||Cold-pressed||Expeller-pressed||Cold-pressed||Expeller-pressed||Not provided||Cold-pressed||Cold-pressed||Cold-pressed||Expeller-pressed|
|Amount||16 oz.||32 oz.||5 oz.||54 oz.||15 oz.||20 oz.||56 oz.||32 oz.||29 oz.||14 oz. each|
After looking through various product listings, we compiled a list of the top 10 coconut oils based on important points listed in the buying guide as well as reviewer satisfaction. Take a look and see if any works for you!
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Shayanne Brents.
|Production method||Not provided|
|Amount||14 oz. each|
Choosing a great coconut oil is not an easy task due to the plethora of coconut oils currently sold on the market. In this buying guide, we provide you with some tips that you may want to consider when making a purchase!
Coconut oil comes in two main types: virgin and refined. It's important to keep in mind the flavor and smoke point of each type in order to choose one that best meets your needs.
Virgin coconut oil is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts. There are no chemical processes involved, so virgin coconut oil still retains the purest taste with the most benefits. However, it has a strong coconut flavor and aroma that may scare away those who dislike the taste of coconut.
Many people are enticed by "extra-virgin coconut oil" products and assume that the difference is the same as with virgin and extra-virgin olive oils. Unfortunately, virgin and extra-virgin coconut oil are not distinguished according to the USDA (they're simply both unrefined), so this label may not signify any real difference.
For cooking, the smoke point of virgin coconut oil is 350 degrees. This makes it great for baking and sauteing, but not for frying or high cooking temperatures. For baking, it's a great grease to use for pans.
For your body - especially your hair - coconut oil can stimulate hair growth, add shine, and add moisture back to your hair.
Refined coconut oil is not the purest, but it still retains the benefits of coconut oil without having a strong, distinct coconut flavor. For those with coconut allergies, highly refined coconut oil is a safer option.
Don't think that all refined products are bad and contain harmful additives. As long as the refined coconut oil is not chemically processed, it should still be healthy for you! Refined coconut oil is often cheaper than virgin coconut oil and can be used for cooking dishes where you don't want the coconut flavor.
Since the smoke point of refined coconut oil is 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it's suited to high-heat cooking such as stir-frying and deep-frying.
Coconut oil is a product that has no distinctive taste due to the process in which refined coconut oil is extracted. This is a great thing for cooking and baking because you can control the flavor and taste of the dishes you choose to use coconut oil in without it tasting like coconut. That's so important, especially when it comes to flavor and health benefits.
Coconut oil can be produced using various methods. Different processing methods yield oils varying in flavors and nutritional values. Read on to learn more!
Expeller-pressed coconut oil is extracted from coconut meat through a mechanical process that relies on force. There are no chemicals involved in the extraction process.
However, keep in mind that this method involves higher temperatures than cold-pressing (which doesn't exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit). Therefore, expeller-pressed coconut oil product has less nutritional value.
When it comes to versatility, expeller-pressed coconut oil tends to be the best choice. It has a neutral flavor and can meet all of your baking, frying, and cooking needs.
Despite how good the coconut source is, the oil can still be oxidized and lose all of the beneficial nutrients if processed using the traditional hot-pressing method. If you're looking for a type of coconut oil that provides you with the most health benefits, consider oil produced using a cold-pressing method.
Cold pressing is a mechanical process that extracts oil from coconut meat. There is no heat involved, so all the healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants still remain. Coconut oil obtained through this method retains most of the flavor and aroma as well. So if you don't like the coconut flavor, you might find the taste of cold-pressed oil too strong.
Cold-pressed coconut oil is great for baking, roasting, as well as sauteing. You can also use it to make salad dressings or sauces.
As its name implies, cold-pressed pure coconut oil is extracted without any heat. When you're talking about health benefits, it's great! Due to the fact that the oil is unheated, many of the antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits are at their strongest capabilities, and it's completely free of additives.
Coconut oils can come in sprays or jars. Sprays allow you to grease pans with a thin and even coat of coconut oil. But if you need to use a large amount of oil, a spray is not the best choice.
On the other hand, jars are simple to use and tend to hold from 14 to 64 ounces of coconut oil. Simply spoon out the amount you need and close the lid to preserve the quality of the oil.
Maybe you've sorted out which coconut oil to get, and maybe you haven't. The answers to these commonly asked questions may solve your problems until you decide on the best coconut oil for you!
Coconut oil can certainly be used for your skin! In fact, coconut oil contains a high amount of fatty acids to enhance your skin's protective barrier and keep the skin moisturized and supple. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties to soothe irritated skin! Just be careful of using it on your face if you're acne-prone; it can paradoxically cause fungal acne.
Shayanne says, "It's best to store coconut oil in a dark container, but not a reactive metal container (to avoid losing flavor). Due to its extremely low melting point, it is best to store in a cupboard away from areas that might get warmer than 75 degrees.
It is best not to refrigerate because it becomes hard and more difficult to use when too cold. Coconut oil has a long shelf life of up to two years if stored properly. Make sure to check for mold and a rancid smell as your indicators of it turning."
Coconut oil has a high level of saturated fats and is also high in calories. So, over-consumption of coconut oil may actually lead to weight gain. To attain the best benefits of coconut oil, consuming about one to two tablespoons per day is suggested by many studies!
Coconut oil, though high in health benefits, can also have negative effects from overconsuming. Some of these negative effects can include, diarrhea, cramps, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
People with cardiovascular risks should also beware of overconsuming coconut oil, due to the high saturated fats contained in the oil which could increase your LDL levels (bad cholesterol).
Coconut oil might not be the be-all-and-end-all of your cooking supplies. Here are a couple more cooking oils you might enjoy, as well as equally versatile coconut milk!
If you use coconut oil for cooking, you might be interested in a few other plant-based cooking essentials to add to your kitchen. We've consulted plant-based food enthusiast Amy Rosen, and she has given a breakdown of the must-have tools to accompany your ingredients.
Maybe you're not quite satisfied with our choices, so let's see what the majority has to say! Here are some bestsellers according to Amazon.
Author: Thuy Nguyen
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