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I am making macaroni and I need 4 tablespoons of butter, but I don't have any butter. I am going to use coconut oil as a substitute but do I use the same amount of oil as butter? Or should I use something else as a substitute?

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I knew there was a very close question already.... now I found it. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 18 '13 at 19:39
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I'm tempted to close as a duplicate of that, but the other question is referring specifically to brownies, and macaroni isn't a baked good. If this is a dupe, can we generalize the original question? –  Aaronut Jul 18 '13 at 23:26
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2 Answers 2

In almost all contexts, you can substitute these items on equal amounts, by weight or volume, and be well within the tolerance of the recipe.

This is true for almost all baked goods, for example.

If you want to be absolutely accurate, butter is only about 80% fat, and 20% water (this is an approximation), so you would use 4/5 the amount of coconut oil as butter.

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thanks for the help:) –  Makena Jul 18 '13 at 19:24
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Coconut oil is very similar to butter in fat content so I would stick to a 1:1 conversion ratio.

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While the 1:1 ratio is within the tolerance of most recipes, coconut oil is 100% fat; butter is approximately 80% fat, the rest being milk solids and water. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 20 '13 at 0:37
    
When I said similar I meant the makeup of saturated vs unsaturated fat. For baking you need to take into account exact amounts but for macaroni you only need to add it to taste. Anything besides 1:1 is unnecessarily complicating the recipe. –  cspirou Jul 20 '13 at 0:56
    
The ratio is approximately 1:1 for most purposes, even when using vegetable oil, which is usually completely unsaturated. The main issue with saturation is melting temperature, as saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature, while unsaturated tend to be liquid. For macaroni, this is not relevant; in many baking recipes, it is in the noise. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 20 '13 at 1:16
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