Yes! You might not think of the freezer as a prime place to store your cooking oils, but it is possible to freeze oils like coconut oil and thaw them for later use.
Coconut oil is already solid at room temperature (technically frozen in a scientific sense) and can be “cold frozen” when placed in a freezer set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). Freezing coconut oil after it’s been measured out in liquid form can make it easier to use later on, since measuring out solid coconut oil can be difficult due to its texture.
Freezing coconut oil isn’t usually necessary for preservation purposes because it already has a long shelf life, but it can be useful in different ways, which we’ll cover in this article.
Reasons to freeze coconut oil
Coconut oil has a long shelf life even at room temperature, with an average shelf life of two years. Cold freezing coconut oil may extend the shelf life even more.
One of the advantages of freezing coconut oil is to make it easier to measure and portion out for different uses. If you’ve ever tried to scoop room-temperature coconut oil into measuring spoons and cups, you’ve probably noticed it’s not as easy as other oils like liquid vegetable oils.
Unlike most other cooking oils, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, which tends to be solid at room temperature.
Melting coconut oil turns it into a liquid state, which is easier to measure. You can then freeze the liquid coconut oil in specific portion sizes for easier future use, such as for cooking or homemade lotions.
How to freeze coconut oil – steps and tips
To freeze coconut oil:
- Scoop out solid coconut oil from the jar into a stovetop pan.
- Heat the coconut oil on low heat, stirring often to promote even heating and melting.
- Once the coconut oil is in liquid form, remove it from the heat.
- Measure out your desired portion size of the liquid coconut oil and place it into your desired storage containers.
- Allow the coconut oil to resolidify at room temperature before placing it in the freezer.
- Avoid putting warm, melted coconut oil in the refrigerator before freezing; this promotes condensation, forming extra ice crystals in the container once frozen.
- Measure the liquid coconut oil immediately after heating; if you allow it to sit, it will resolidify and be harder to measure.
- If you don’t need a specific portion size, silicone ice cube trays work great for pouring liquid coconut oil into and then freezing.
How to thaw frozen coconut oil
When you’re ready to use your frozen coconut oil, it’s an easy process to thaw. If your frozen coconut oil is in silicone molds, simply pop them into a microwave-safe dish and heat them until they’re liquified. You can also thaw coconut oil by heating it in a saucepan over low heat on the stovetop.
If your frozen coconut oil is in a glass dish or another container, you’ll need to allow it to thaw a bit at room temperature before you can scoop it out to reheat, whether in the microwave or on the stovetop.
What is fractionated coconut oil, and does it freeze?
Fractionated coconut oil is made from regular coconut oil in a process where the long-chain fatty acids are removed, leaving the medium-chain fatty acids. This is done by melting the coconut oil and allowing it to slightly re-solidify, and then the liquid is separated from the solids.
This type of coconut oil is in a liquid state at room temperature and is typically used for things like skin moisturizers and acting as a carrier oil for essential oils. Fractionated coconut oil is known to have a less greasy feel compared to regular coconut oil.
You’ll find that fractionated oil is usually packaged in a pump bottle or a bottle with an easy pour spout, and it isn’t recommended for cooking or consumption.
Fractionated coconut oil is not as likely to solidify or freeze at lower temperatures compared to regular coconut oil.
What is the freezing point of coconut oil?
The exact freezing point of coconut oil isn’t quite clear. Technically speaking, the freezing point of a substance is when it turns from a liquid to a solid. Coconut oil solidifies around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (~24 degrees Celsius), which can be considered its freezing point by those technical standards, even though it’s not really frozen. Coconut oil will freeze when placed in a freezer, which is usually set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
Coconut oil isn’t likely to freeze in the winter if it’s stored indoors. If you store your coconut oil outdoors, such as in an uninsulated garage, it may freeze during extremely cold temperatures.
Coconut oil will solidify around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius), so it will solidify at room temperature and when stored in the refrigerator.
Freezing coconut water isn’t recommended because it can alter the taste. If you do choose to freeze coconut water, it should be placed in airtight containers to prevent freezer burn.
Coconut milk can be frozen and preserve its flavor, but it will likely be grainy when you thaw it back into a liquid form. It isn’t recommended to freeze coconut milk if you want to drink it later, but it can be frozen for use in smoothies, cooking, and baking, where the texture isn’t as important.