Coconut oil is known to be versatile and is mainly used for cooking. It’s also used for personal and pet care.
Most commercially made coconut oil comes from copra, which is the dried coconut meat. The initial extraction of oil from the coconut meat yields what we call, ‘virgin coconut oil.’
The classification of coconut oil usually depends on its preparation. RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized) oil is the most common commercial grade coconut oil available on the market.
Coconut oil making may be time-consuming, but it isn’t a super tedious task.
We’re going to present three methods on how coconut oil is made. Make your own coconut oil at home using the boiling method, the cold process method, and the wet milling method.
This is the most widely recognized method of making coconut oil. It involves the use of heat to separate the oil from its coconut meat. Lightly heating the oil ensures it doesn’t become rancid. However, a drawback of this procedure is that heat destroys nutrients. Using this method would likely make you lose some beneficial nutrients.
What you’ll need:
- Spatula or ladle
- Coconut grater
- 2 large Coconut
- 4 cups Water
- Crack the 2 coconuts open. You can use a cleaver to do this.
- Grate the coconut meat into a bowl using a hand or an electric coconut grater.
- Place the 4 cups of water in a saucepan and put it on a stove. You can now set your stove to medium heat and wait until it starts steaming.
- Blend the grated coconut and hot water. Try not to fill the blender up with the hot water and grated coconut mixture. You don’t want the lid to fly off the blender! Do this procedure in batches if it isn’t possible to do it all at once.
- Once you’ve got the coconut puree, use a cheesecloth to strain the coconut milk. Pour the puree over the cheesecloth so that the coconut milk filters into the bowl. After filtering the coconut puree, wrap the cheesecloth with the clumps and squeeze it hard to extract more coconut milk.
- In a saucepan, put the drained coconut milk and place it on a stove. Set the heat to medium-high. Bring it to boiling with constant stirring until the water evaporates. After some time, the cream separates from the oil and turns brown. This can be time-consuming as it would reach an hour to achieve this state. But don’t stress! Stir it like you’re waving a wand while doing magic!
- You’re almost done making your coconut oil! Strain the oil again to remove residues made during the process. Then, it’s all ready to use.
Cold Process Method
This method uses absolutely no heat, so it retains most of the nutrients found in coconut oil. It may produce less oil. But if you’re after high-quality oil with the most nutrients in it, try this method.
What you’ll need:
- Dehydrated coconut or coconut flakes
- Wide-mouthed container
- Begin with the dried or dehydrated coconut. You can purchase dried coconut flakes from the market. Make sure that coconut is the only ingredient in the pack. It’s advisable to choose coconut flakes over desiccated coconut. Take note that you’re going to use a juicer in this process, and you don’t want to clog your juicer.
- You can use the oven at its most reduced temperature to dry coconut meat. Cut it into small pieces. Then, put the coconut pieces on a baking tray. Cook it for about 8 hours at a low temperature or until it’s dry completely.
- Extract the coconut milk by using the juicer. Try not to put all of the coconut flakes in the juicer at once so that it won’t clog up. Repeat the process until you’ve put all the coconut flakes in the juicer. You can repeat the process to ensure that you extract all the milk from the flakes.
- Now, get a wide-mouthed container and put the coconut oil in it.
- Store it in a warm place and let it sit for 24 hours so that the coconut cream will settle at the base of the container. You’ll observe that the coconut oil will rise to the top of the container.
- Once the oil has separated from the coconut cream, scoop the oil out using a spoon and transfer it into another container. You can also use a cheesecloth to separate the oil from the cream completely. Just get another wide-mouthed container and put the cheesecloth over it. Decant the oil slowly so not to disturb the coconut cream.
Your coconut oil is now ready to use!
Wet Milling Method – Refrigeration
With this method, the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without either drying or heating it first. “Coconut milk” is expressed first by pressing. Refrigeration is done to separate the oil from the water.
What you’ll need:
- 1 Fresh, mature coconut
- Coconut grater
- Food processor
- Wide-mouth glass container
- Use a coconut grater to remove the coconut meat from its shell.
- In a food processor, place the grated coconut and add a little water. Blend it on medium speed until you come up with a coconut puree.
- Now, get a cheesecloth. Then, put this in a wide-mouth container.
- You can now filter the coconut milk by pouring it gradually on the cheesecloth. Once done, pull out the cheesecloth. Wrap and squeeze it hard to extract more coconut milk.
- Leave the container unattended for no less than 24 hours. As it settles, the coconut milk separates from the oil. You’ll observe a layer of curd at the top of the container.
- Refrigerate the container so that the curd quickly solidifies.
- Scoop out the curd with a spoon. You can either discard it or use it as a whip cream substitute.
- Liquefy the coconut oil by putting it in a warm place. When it’s completely liquefied, you can strain the oil using a cheesecloth to remove residual curd from the container.
Yay! You’ve got your own homemade coconut oil!
Here are some useful tips about making a homemade coconut oil:
- It’s best to use a fully developed brown coconut instead of the green young ones. This makes you can get more coconut meat, and that means more coconut oil!
- It’s advisable to lightly heat the oil to ensure that the oil doesn’t become rancid. Coconut oil needs to reduce its final moisture content to 0.25% or less. If this isn’t done, your coconut oil won’t have a longer shelf life and will likely smell.