It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. And it can act as a non-dairy alternative if your recipe calls for butter. But can you freeze coconut oil, or will that harm its taste and texture?
Coconut oil can be a healthy alternative to ingredients like shortening and vegetable oil in all sorts of dishes, from coconut curry shrimp to healthy peanut butter cups. Plus, it’s vegan and has a range of potential health benefits, including being a good source of antioxidants, and promoting healthy skin.
But what if you need to store some for later? Can you freeze coconut oil?
Yes, you can freeze coconut oil without affecting its taste or texture. And it can keep for up to 5 years. The key to getting the best results is how you prep it first before freezing.
Keep reading to find out how to store coconut oil in your freezer — and the best ways to thaw it out.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil comes from coconuts that grow on coconut palm trees. And it’s high in saturated fat. In fact, it makes up about 90% of the oil itself. This gives it a solid texture at room temperature or below, rather than being in liquid form like most cooking oils. When you heat up coconut oil, it will start to liquefy.
The two main types of coconut oil are copra oil (or refined oil) and virgin coconut oil. The latter has a much more pronounced coconut flavor and aroma. Refined coconut oil has a much milder taste and a high smoke point, which makes it a good choice for cooking and baking.
In terms of potential health benefits of coconut oil, it’s rich in fatty acids that can help improve brain function and it may help with weight loss. Plus, virgin coconut oil has higher amounts of nutrients like vitamin E and polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties.
Why would you freeze coconut oil?
The shelf life of coconut oil can stretch up to 2 years if stored properly at room temperature. And you can extend that for up to 5 years by freezing it.
But apart from making it last longer, freezing coconut oil can help you save time when it comes to your cooking and baking. Since the oil is solid at room temp, it can be difficult to separate and work with, especially if you need very precise amounts.
By melting it first, you can measure out specific amounts in teaspoons, tablespoons, or any amounts you wish, then freeze them in those sizes. When you’re ready to use the oil in recipes, you simply thaw out the right amount and you’re ready to go. No mess or fuss!
How to freeze coconut oil
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to freeze coconut oil.
Step 1 – Start by melting your coconut milk. You can do this in the microwave by scooping it from your jar of coconut oil into a bowl and microwaving for about 15 seconds. Or you can warm it up on the stovetop on low heat in a pan. You just want it to start melting into a liquid state.
Step 2- Measure out your portions. Once it’s melted, immediately pour your coconut oil into your specific measurements before its starts to reharden. A great way is to use an ice cube tray or silicone molds with lids.
Step 3 – Let the oil resolidify. Before you freeze it, allow the oil to return to solid form at room temperature. If you freeze the oil while it’s still liquefied or too warm, condensation could form on it.
Step 4 – Add your containers to the freezer. Place your containers in the freezer in a single layer and seal tightly. If you use ice cube trays, you can transfer the frozen coconut oil cubes to a freezer bag or another freezer-safe, airtight container after a couple of hours. That will free up your trays for other uses and help prevent freezer burn.
👉🏼 Your coconut oil should keep for up to 5 years in the freezer, but if you notice any signs of spoilage like cracking, freezer burn, or if your oil looks as though it’s dried out, it’s a good idea to simply discard it.
How to defrost coconut oil
If you have frozen coconut oil cubes, the best way to defrost them is to simply add them to a bowl and thaw in the microwave. Just check them every 10 seconds or so and give them a good stir until the oil is defrosted. You could also use a small saucepan on the stovetop.
If you used a glass jar or dish for freezing, let the oil come to room temperature first, then you can scoop it out and warm up what you need. Then simply add it to whatever you’re cooking or baking.
How to store coconut oil
Keep coconut oil in a sealed container in a cool, dark place like a pantry or kitchen cupboard. You don’t need to refrigerate it. Refined coconut oil should last for 18-24 months. Unrefined coconut oil can keep for up to 3 years if kept away from heat and direct sunlight.
Your jar of coconut oil from the grocery store will have a specific expiration date. But if you notice any signs of spoilage, like mold, off odors, or a yellow discoloration, it’s best to throw it out.
Since coconut oil is high very high in saturated fats, you should use about 25% when substituting it for butter or shortening. Using the same amount can leave your foods overly greasy or crumbly, and result in a more pronounced coconut flavor.
It is possible to freeze coconut milk for up to 3 months, but it can affect its texture, leaving you with grainy milk once you thaw it out again. To help make this less noticeable, it’s best to defrost it slowly, and to use it in things like smoothies or in baking where other textures feature more prominently.
More answers about freezing foods
Find out how to freeze other foods and drinks. Tap the posts below.