Have you tried cooking with coconut oil? Coconut oil is known for its health benefits as well as a product for skin care. But not all coconut oil is made for cooking. Some are prepared with the addition of cosmetic elements. Also, the extraction method of the oil varies the nutrient contents in it.
The food-grade coconut oil has versatile use which you can use for DIY hair care or skin care purposes. However, the smell of coconut oil is not loved by everyone. So you need to be careful while choosing the best coconut oil for cooking. Otherwise, you cannot serve the food to the other members of the family.
The Viva Naturals Coconut Oil is our best pick on our list because it provides freshly pressed coconut oil enriched with flavor. This oil can be used for multiple purposes but does not have the overwhelming smell of coconut. You can have this coconut oil instead of butter on toast, muffins, etc. It is less sticky and greasy compared to other ones.
The Nutiva Coconut Oil is on our best budget pick because it is manufactured for cooking purposes. This oil can be used for making diet meals. Not to mention, the oil is virgin which means it is cold-pressed that holds all the nutrients.
Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Coconut Oil
|Viva Naturals Coconut Oil||16||A|
|Nutiva Coconut Oil||15||A|
|Garden of Life Coconut Oil||14||A|
|Carrington Farms Coconut Oil||12||A-|
|BetterBody Foods Coconut Oil||56||B+|
|Jarrow Formulas Coconut Oil||16||B+|
|Island Fresh Coconut Oil||54||A-|
|Happy Belly Coconut Oil||15||B+|
|Kirkland Signature Coconut Oil||84||B+|
|Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil||30||A-|
|Wilderness Family Naturals Coconut Oil||11||A-|
|Trader Joe Coconut Oil||7.1||B+|
1. Viva Naturals Coconut Oil
The coconuts are handpicked to make oil out of them. The oil is extracted in a cold press method that retains all the natural nutrients in it. The oil comes in solid form and has an ultra-smooth consistency.
For cooking, they can be used at high heat. Frying or sauteing requires heat and this coconut oil can reach up to 177 degrees celsius. The elements won't get burned if you cook with oil. You can use this oil for baking cakes and pastries.
Moreover, coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acid to reduce inflammation and moisturize your skin. They also help in healing wounds and the oil is cold-pressed, so no chemicals were used in the production. You can use the oil for massage as it easily blends on your skin.
The oil comes in a 16 ounces container that is capable of 32 servings. However, the oil is not liquid form so you need to warm it before you want to make any DIY skincare. The oil is organic, gluten-free, and diet-friendly. But it has 71% saturated fat which is more compared to other oils. The container of the oil is easy to carry and store.
2. Nutiva Coconut Oil
Coconut oil from Nutiva has a light taste of coconut that blends with food. The coconut meat is collected then processed through the cold pressed method to extract the oil. The oil has 63% medium-chain triglycerides and 50% lauric acid which are the nutrients needed to cook meals.
The oil is virgin which means it has the original smell and flavor of the coconut. As chemicals are not used in the extraction, bad coconuts cannot be used in making the oil. The oil is not given for refinement to keep all the nutrients intact.
However, the oil is suitable at low to medium heat. As it is cold-pressed and unrefined, no heat was used in the process of the oil. You can bake, saute, roast, or do regular cooking with this oil. This oil is a great replacement for butter. Not to mention, you can use the oil keto or paleo diets. Moreover, the oil is 100% vegan and gluten-free so it becomes accessible to all types of people.
This oil can be used for skin and hair care. The oil stays in solid form at cold temperatures. So you need to heat it lightly before using it in your hair or skin. The oil is packed in BPA-free plastic and easy to carry without licking.
3. Garden of Life Coconut Oil
Garden of Life coconut oil can be used for multiple purposes. First of all, you can cook meals with this oil without overpowering the flavor of the oil. It is widely used for hair care and skincare for moisturizing traits. The oil is gentle to put on baby skin without causing any rashes.
By the cold pressed method, the oil is collected from the coconuts. Premium quality coconuts are collected to make the aromatic oil. No other artificial elements were used in the production of the oil. The oil is approved as a non-GMO product.
The oil has certification from a third party to verify the certification. The oil is also kosher certified and its rich creamy consistency makes any food delicious. The oil stays solid below 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and it turns to liquid above 76degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the temperature of your location, the form of the oil can vary.
The oil has the natural flavor of the coconut as it is not hydrogenated, bleached, or refined. The bottle that the oil comes in is very durable and recyclable. However, it has 22% saturated fat that can cause heart diseases if taken in large amounts.
4. Carrington Farms Coconut Oil
Carrington Farms coconut oil is unrefined and virgin oil that contains vitamin E and fats. After collecting the coconut flesh, they are mashed without using heat to extract the coconut oil. This cold press process retains the fatty acids and nutrients that are healthy for the skin and health.
This oil comes in a 12 ounces plastic container. It is a BPA-free container but should not be recycled after. As it is not a jar, it takes space for storing. The lid can also be hard to open when you are in a hurry.
It is mentioned the oil is unrefined but it is filtered 4 times to remove the impurities of the oil. You can use the oil for cooking or skin care without any doubt. Not only cooking, frying, or sauteing is possible with this oil without creating smoke. The high heating point of the oil is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The oil stays in solid form at cold temperatures. A slight heat will convert them into liquid form.
The oil is organic, kosher certified, and gluten-free. It is a small amount if you want to use it for everyday cooking. The brand also offers a bigger container if you want to use this oil for cooking for a big family. The brand works to feed 250 kids three days a week with their income from selling coconut oil.
5. BetterBody Foods Coconut Oil
This oil from BetterBody Foods is expeller pressed that carries 60% Medium Chain Triglycerides. MCT helps to give you energy and fight bacterias in your body. As it is a non-GMO product, oil has n artificial elements added to enhance the flavor or consistency.
The oil is naturally refined so it appears Whittier. It stays in the solid form below 76 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you are living in a cold palace, you can store it in your kitchen cupboard. It turns into liquid at a temperature higher than 76 degrees Fahrenheit. For its process of extraction, the oil can be used for cooking at high temperatures.
With this oil, you can try any type of recipe. Coconut oil is non-dairy and gluten-free which can be used for cooking for large groups of people. You don't have to worry about people getting sick after eating your cooked food.
The jar of the oil is plastic. It is better not to use it after finishing the jar. Also, you need to carefully handle the jar as it can crack easily. From making to deep frying, this oil is versatile enough to use for cooking.
6. Jarrow Formulas Coconut Oil
The Jarrow Formulas coconut oil is a certified organic oil with health benefits. This oil is 100% organic as it is extracted in the cold-pressed process. Also, the oil is unrefined so you will receive healthy nutrients from it. No heat or chemicals were used to get the final product before packing.
The oil is rich with coconut flavor as this oil has not gone through chemicals processing. For some, the smell can be intense. This coconut oil also works as a great moisturizer. If you have dry skin, this oil will revive your dead skin and give a healthy look.
However, the oil is not diet-friendly as it contains 65% saturated fat. It is not mentioned if the oil is kosher certified or not. The oil comes in a plastic green jar and the oil is not visible. The oil can stay in solid or liquid form depending on the temperature of your area.
7. Island Fresh Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is widely used for massaging and nourishing the scalp. If you are a coconut oil user, this oil from Island Fresh will be a great option as it nourishes your dry hair. Not only hair but also acts as a moisturizer for the skin. Those who have very dry skin can use the oil as a night cream to wake up to smooth skin.
It is a USDA-certified oil with non-GMO verification. With no addition of chemicals and heat, it can give an intense smell of coconut. You can add the oil to your smoothies, soups, stews, etc. But if you do not like the smell, better avoid it.
The oil comes in a BPA-free container. Do not put hot oil back in the jar as the plastic will melt and cause a chemical reaction. Store the oil in a cold place so it stays good for a long time. If you live in a hot country, store the oil in the freezer after opening the seal.
8. Happy Belly Coconut Oil
If you cannot bear the smell of coconut oil but want to use it for cooking, then Happy Belly coconut oil is a good option. The oil is expeller pressed and this process reduces the smell of coconut from the oil. Though due to heat a lot of the nutritional value of the oil is broken.
The oil has a neutral taste and aroma that does make the meals smell like coconut. As a result, you use it for cooking and baking. The oil contains 65% saturated fat of the total fat. You can use the oil to cook meals for a paleo diet.
However, the oil can contain tree nuts. So those who have allergies to nuts it is better to avoid this oil. It is not also kosher certified so make sure to ask your customers if you are using this oil in restaurants. Refrigeration is not required for this oil but stores it in a cool place.
9. Kirkland Signature Coconut Oil
Kirkland Signature coconut oil is an unrefined oil that provides a lot of benefits when consumed with food. Using the cold pressed method, the oil is extracted from the coconut meat. As no heat was used in extraction, no bad coconuts can be added. As a result, the oil can have a strong and fresh smell of coconuts.
The oil is unrefined to keep the nutrients of the coconuts. It is approved by USDA for being organic. The oil is packed in the USA after collecting the coconuts from the Philippines or Vietnam.
The oil can be sweet as the natural sweetness of coconut prevails in the oil. The oil is good for cooking from low to medium heat. As it is cold pressed, it is not modified to survive at high temperatures.
The oil comes in a transparent plastic jar with an orange lid. The lid can rack if too much pressure is applied while opening it. You can use this oil to remove makeup as well as moisturize your skin. However, the oil is not gluten-free or kosher approved which can be a reason to avoid for many people.
10. Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil
Dr. Bronner's coconut oil is rich with original coconut flavor. For those who love coconut meat and smell, this oil will also be liked by them. To give the nutty flavor, the oil has the brown skins of the coconuts. For cooking or baking any coconut recipe this oil is the perfect one as it will enhance the flavor of the coconut.
After the coconuts are expeller pressed, the oil is not refined. It is an organic oil that has benefits for skin and hair. It is vegan oil and kosher certified. The brand has been working in making the perfect and aromatic coconut oil for various years.
The oil comes in two quantities. You can try the smaller jar if you are not sure about this oil. It comes in a glass jar which is reusable. But the jar can break if mishandled. The oil stays in solid form at low temperatures.
11. Wilderness Family Naturals Coconut Oil
This is a refined oil extracted by the expeller method. For those who do not like the smell of coconut oil, Wilderness Family Naturals made flavorless coconut oil. You can use this for cooking, frying, baking even for your hair care. Many people cannot use coconut oil on their hair for the smell but this oil does not have the odor.
The oil is vegan for those who look for vegan products. The oil has no wild smell so you can use it for smoothies. The oil is healthy because the oil is refined mechanically. No chemicals were used in the refining or removing the impurities.
There is no mention if the oil can be used at high temperatures. But as it is expeller-pressed you can use it up to a certain temperature. The oil can be found in solid or liquid form depending on the temperature of your area. The oil is found in different quantities. If you like the oil you can choose the bigger quantity for regular use.
12. Trader Joe Coconut Oil
Lastly, we have coconut oil from Trader Joe which comes in a packet. The oil is virgin and cold pressed to retain the nutrients. However, the packets can be hard to store. The oil stays cold at low temperature but at high temperature, it converts into liquid form. It can be hard to manage and pour from the packets.
This oil is 100% organic which is certified by the USDA. The packet has 14 servings. Each packet contains 15 milliliters of coconut oil. It is better not to use it for high heat cooking as it is cold-pressed oil. We are not sure about the oil being gluten-free.
The pack comes in multiple options from which you can choose. The oil is not suitable to move around. If you are on a diet, we recommend you ask the producer of the oil as it does not mention that the oil is diet-friendly.
Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Coconut Oil For Cooking
Are you thinking of using coconut oil for cooking and hair care? Food grade and hair care coconut oils are different. You need to know their differences before opting to buy coconut oil for versatile use.
Process of extraction
The oils are extracted from the coconuts in two different ways. Cold-pressed and expeller pressed. In our article, we mostly mentioned cold-pressed coconut oil.
Cold-pressed oil is a healthy oil as it has nutrients while processing. The coconuts are carefully collected after seeing the good ones and bad ones. The meat of the coconuts is extracted then grounded. With the help of a press, the oils from the grounded coconuts are extracted. No external heat is used and the temperature of the room is kept under 49 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Expeller pressed coconut oil is extracted at high temperature and pressure. The oil is extracted from the meat of the coconuts. The expeller pressed coconut oil has very little fragrance of coconuts. Also, the heat destroys much of the nutritional value.
There is another way to extract oil which is called centrifuged coconut oil. In this process, the coconut meat is converted into a puree. Then the puree undergoes a high-speed centrifuge. The spinning separates the oil from puree. This process extracts the purest coconut oil which contains the maximum nutrients of the coconut.
Refined or unrefined
Coconut oils are sold in two types. Refined and unrefined. The unrefined oils are nutritious than refined oils but the refined oil can have little to no smell of the coconuts.
To refine the coconut oil, it goes through various processes. After scrubbing the meat out, degumming is done to remove the gums from the oil. Then the oil is neutralized with sodium hydroxide and washed to remove the free fatty acids. Bleaching and deodorizing are the last steps to prepare refined coconut oil.
Unrefined coconut oil does not go to further process after extraction of the oil from the milk. The oil received after the cold press is unrefined coconut oil.
Virgin oil or extra virgin oil
These terms are widely seen on the jar of oils. But these terms are not meant for all kinds of oil. In terms of coconut oil, virgin oils mean unrefined oil. The oil is extracted in the cold press process and serves you the nutrients of the coconuts.
However, there is nothing special about extra virgin coconut oil. So don't go and buy the ‘extra virgin oil’ without knowing its features. This term is mainly used by brands for marketing.
Purpose of use
Coconut oil is being used for multiple purposes. The brands process the oil differently, depending on the usage. For cooking, food-grade elements will be added to keep them fresh and edible. But for haircare or skincare, other cosmetic elements are added to give the best results.
For cooking purposes, removing the chemical impurities is essential. Checking the properties of the oil is necessary before choosing one.
Whole kernel or white kernel
There are various dishes that are cooked with coconuts. From different curries to desserts, the coconut flavor is widely eaten. To create the flavor of actual coconut, coconut oils are used instead of butter in cakes, pudding, or smoothies.
In oil, you might find some coconut skin. The interior skin adds more flavor to the oil and brings out the delicious coconut meal. The oil that has a nutty flavor as the interior skin is added along with coconut flesh is whole kernel oil.
On the other hand, coconut oil is only produced from the white flesh without adding the brown skin is white kernel oil. This oil is not as aromatic and flavorful as whole kernel oil. These types of oil are not refined for packaging.
The smoking point of the oils
If you are looking for coconut oil for cooking, then you need to check their smoking point. The smoking points of the oils depend on the way they are pressed. The cold pressed coconut oil has fewer smoking points and cannot be used for cooking at high heat.
Whereas expeller pressed coconut oil uses temperature to extract the oil. So they can survive high temperatures without creating any smoke. The refined oil has a smoking point around 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Liquid or solid form of oil
The form of the oil solely depends on the temperature of your area. The oil usually stays in solid form. You can easily take a portion out with a spoon. With the increase in temperature, it can turn into liquid form.
The color of the coconut oil can vary from brand to brand. In addition, unrefined coconut oil appears yellowish whereas refined coconut oil is more white.
Packaging of the oil
The oils are usually packed in a jar made of glass or plastic. The jars have a big mouth which makes it easy to access the oil. When the oil is in solid form, it is easier to take out with the spoon without spilling. In liquid form, there is a high risk of spilling as the jars don't have spouts.
The plastic jars need to be BPA free or else the oil will react with the toxic elements. The glass jars are best to store the oil but they are easily breakable. However, there are packets of oil that are sold in the market. Packets filled with oil give a messy situation. If you bought packers, it is better to pour them all in a jar before starting to use them.
Storage of the oil
Oils stay good if they are stored in a cool place. The same goes for coconut oil. You do not need to refrigerate it unless the brand mentions it. Some brands recommend storing the coconut oil in the freezer after opening the lid. If you do not use the oil regularly and the oil is 100% pure, it is better to refrigerate to use it for longer.
Check the expiry date is the most important work to do before buying the oil. If you are ordering online, make sure you ask about the expiry date. It is because you might not use coconut oil regularly. If you buy coconut oil with a close expiration date, you might end up using it once or twice. Better choose the one that is freshly prepared and has a huge time before expiration.
Kosher and non-GMO verified
A lot of people do not buy food if it is not kosher certified. If the oil follows the guidelines of being kosher, “K”, “pareve”, or “OU” is mentioned on the bottle. Though coconut oil is a completely vegan product, people want verification from a third party.
Moreover, a product being non-GMO certified is very essential. While growing the coconuts toxic chemicals and pesticides can be used to make them grow faster. With a non-GMO certification, the coconuts were grown naturally and no artificial elements were used in the production. All the mentioned products in our article are non-GMO certified but it is necessary to check yourself before buying coconut oil.
Is coconut oil healthier than butter?
Coconut oil is a good substitute for butter but it is not healthier than butter. The coconut oil contains 90% saturated fat which is greater than butter.
Is coconut oil good for oily skin?
No, coconut oil is not good for oily skin. It will clog the pores causing more damage to the skin.
What are the health benefits of coconut oil?
Coconut oil contains fatty acids that help to gain immunity. It helps to boost heart health, induces fat burning, kills bacteria, viruses, etc.
How to use coconut oil for cooking?
The video shows 8 ways of using coconut oil in your meals and beverages.
Is coconut oil healthier than olive oil?
No, olive oil is healthier than coconut oil. Coconut oil contains large amounts of saturated fat compared to olive oil.
Coconut oil is considered a healthy oil if you want to cook healthy meals. However, the oil can give high cholesterol if consumed in large amounts. It is good for those who lack energy, immunity in their body. If you do not like the smell you can use it on the smoothies to hide the smell with other ingredients.
If you are thinking of using it for frying chicken, fries, you need to look at the smoking point of the oil. The higher the smoking point, the better it is for cooking at high heat. You might not want to add coconut oil to your salad dressing but it works great with baking cakes. Make sure to check the properties of the oil before choosing the best coconut oil for cooking as food-grade oil is different from other types of oil.