It is very easy and convenient to make your own coconut oil at home whether for cooking purposes or for applying on skin/hair. There are three methods for this:
- Cold Process Method
- Wet Mill Method
- Boiling the coconut
We will be using the third method.
- Stainless steel pot
- Cheesecloth/ muslin cloth
- Jar/Cans for storage
- Brown coconuts (3 for this demonstration)
3-4 coconuts will produce about 1 liter of coconut milk. And 50 grams of coconut oil can be extracted from 1 liter of coconut milk. This quantity is better appropriate for making virgin coconut oil at home.
For this simple DIY demonstration, we will be taking three coconuts at a time. The process is a bit time consuming, but it is very easy. There is no need for extra added preservatives for basic pure coconut oil.
Step 1: Breaking up the coconuts
Take three dried up coconuts and break them with a heavy and blunt object i.e screwdriver, hammer, or sharp knife. Once it breaks open, remove the coconut meat from its outer shell.
It is very easy to remove coconut meat from a mature coconut.
For extracting oil, it is better to use old mature coconuts compared to younger ones. Try not to waste the coconut water, fix a drink, and enjoy!
Step 2: Rinse and Chop the coconuts
Now wash and rinse the meat of the coconut. And chop it into smaller pieces. This way it fits into blender easily.
Alternatively, you can simply grate the coconut if you don’t have a blender.
Step 3: Extract coconut with hot water
Now boil some water. It is better to use hot water for coconut extraction, compared to warm or cold water as it gives makes more quantity of oil.
Pour the water into the blender filled with coconut chunks and grind it. Turn the blender off when it is turned into a fine paste of smooth consistency.
If you have used grated coconut then squeeze milk out of it with the help of your fingers, using hot water.
Step 4: Squeeze the milk out of coconut paste
Pour the ground paste onto a sieve to separate coconut milk from the chaff.
You can use a cheesecloth or a muslin cloth for this purpose as well. Press with your hands to squeeze the milk out. Put the chaff into the blender and grind it into a smoother paste.
Again, separate the coconut milk with a finer sieve to remove any small particles from it.
Step 5: Separate cream from the water
Leave the coconut milk in the fridge overnight or for a couple of hours.
This separates coconut oil from the water and it settles at the top in the form of caked cream.
You can skip this step but then it will take longer to cook.
Step 6: Cook the coconut oil
Now, remove the top white layer of coconut cream and pour it into a cooking pot. It is advisable to use original stainless-steel pots instead of nonstick or coated pot.
Make sure to heat it on a moderate flame. A high flame will burn the oil and it will turn dark and will have a burnt taste.
Cook it slowly on low to medium flame until the water is evaporated and thick coconut chunks are left swimming in the oil. This will take at least 1.5 hours to 3. The color of cooked coconut changes from white to brown over this time.
Coconut oil is very sensitive to high heat due to its delicate texture. If you catch it burning or if there is any smell of the sort then reduce the flame to a minimum. Moreover, make sure to stir periodically.
Step 7: Cool and filter the oil
After this, remove the cooking pot containing coconut oil from flame and let it cool down.
Once it has cooled down, use cheesecloth as a sieve to separate the oil from the charred bits.
To get even finer results, filter again to remove the tiny particles that may have crossed the cheesecloth earlier. A paper towel may be used to remove the final sediments.
After removing impurities, store the oil in a jar, can or plastic bottles for later use.
This coconut can be used for all purposes i.e. cooking, to be applied to the body or hair. The coconut water separated in step 4 can be utilized for a number of things. So instead of wasting it, pass it through a sieve of finer mesh and store it for later use. It can be used in cooking for all the recipes that call for coconut milk as the taste of it remains. Similarly, do not discard the coconut water from step 1.
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With its high smoke point and composition of 90% saturated fat (about half of which is made up of healthful medium-chain triglycerides), this popular oil is shelf stable.