If you’re considering using an alternative oil to traditional oils such as olive oil, or vegetable oil, you may be concerned that they’re as good for frying. So is coconut oil good for frying?
Coconut oil is very good for frying and can be used to fry both high-heat and low-heat cooking. As it is made up of a composition of fatty acids, coconut oil is highly resistant to oxidation at high levels of heat – this makes it highly suitable for high-heat cooking such as frying and searing.
In this article I’ll be talking you through how to fry different foods with coconut oil, cooking and baking with coconut oil, how coconut compares with olive oil as well as other healthy oil options on the market.
How to fry with coconut oil
There are many types of meat that can be fried using coconut oil such as chicken, beef, and pork, as well as vegetables such as onions and garlic.
You can fry with coconut oil in a frying pan – you can use a similar amount that you would with your typical oil of choice or use slightly less if you’d rather have a less oily dish.
Alternatively, you can use coconut oil in a deep-fat fryer. To do this, you’d simply fill up the fryer to the fill line with coconut oil and set the temperature between 325F and 375F. Let the fryer heat up, and then place the food into the basket and lower it into the fryer.
You can lift out the basket to check on the food and serve onto paper towels to remove excess fat.
There are many other uses for coconut oil, check out this user guide for lots of ideas!
Frying with refined coconut oil vs unrefined coconut oil
There is a difference between frying food with unrefined coconut oil vs refined coconut oil.
Unrefined, or raw/virgin, coconut oil has a lower smoke point than refined coconut oil. This means that it is suitable for moderate frying such as sauteing, shallow frying, and deep frying, however, its lower smoke point means it’s not suitable for frying at very high temperatures.
Refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point and will handle higher heat frying better than unrefined coconut oil. However, if you’re carrying out very high-heat frying such as stir-frying, you’d need to use a different oil such as avocado oil which has a much higher smoke point.
Cooking and baking with coconut oil
Coconut oil is very popular in cooking and baking, particularly with those looking for an alternative to olive oil for example.
Coconut oil is also very useful as a binding agent and can be used as an alternative to eggs in plant-based diets such as the vegan diet.
Popular recipes for coconut oil include savory dishes such as curries, soups, and roasted vegetables, as well as sweet desserts including cookies, fudge, and cakes.
If you’re unsure of how to store coconut oil, take a look at these top tips.
Coconut oil vs olive oil
Coconut oil is similar to olive oil in many ways, including calorie count, carb levels, and fat.
They can be used interchangeably with one another, however, some people prefer to use coconut oil as it has fat-burning properties and can help to improve levels of ‘good’ cholesterol more effectively than olive oil.
Both oils are suitable for those following the below diets:
I’ve included below a nutrition table to demonstrate the differences between these two types of oil and what they can be used for when it comes to cooking and baking.
|Per 1 Tablespoon Serving||Coconut Oil||Olive Oil|
|Paleo-Friendly?||Yes, if unrefined||Yes|
|Best for baking||Frying, sauteing, cookies, muffins, soups, cornbread, pie crusts, cakes, mashed potatoes, salad dressings|
Frying, sauteing, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, cookies
Other healthy oil options
There are many other healthy oil options on the market, including the following:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Avocado oil
- Walnut oil
- Sesame oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
These each provide different benefits that are generally based on offering lower saturated fat levels. This can help to reduce cholesterol and ultimately make it easier for the consumer to lose excess weight when combined with a nutritious diet.
Take a look at the below frequently asked questions to learn a little more about coconut oil in terms of frying!
The healthiest oil for frying food is likely to be olive oil, as it contains high levels of monounsaturated fats and is therefore a healthier choice. The healthiest oils for deep frying include safflower and soybean oil, as well as peanut and canola oil.
Olive oil is generally more effective for frying foods, however, coconut oil is better for frying at higher temperatures. They will both produce similar results but will be more effective with different types of cooking.
You can absolutely deep fry food with coconut oil. You would need to heat the oil up to between 325F – 375 degrees, and then add food to the oil via a wire basket.
Take a look at my favorite brands of coconut oil for some buying inspiration!
Coconut oil is generally suitable for high-heat frying due to its composition of fatty acids. It works for deep-fat frying as well as other high-heat cooking such as searing. But for even higher-heat cooking like stir frying, even refined coconut oil (with its higher smoke point than virgin coconut oil) will fall short and start smoking…so for those applications, you’ll need an oil with an extremely high smoke point, like avocado oil.
Coconut oil is very neutral in flavor and therefore won’t significantly change the taste of the food you’re frying. It doesn’t taste like coconut and therefore is suitable to use when frying a wide variety of foods.