I have seen some recipes saying you can cook fries with coconut oil. The temperature for fries seems to be 350f however this is also the smoking point for unrefined coconut oil.

Does this mean you cannot cook fries with unrefined coconut oil and perhaps these recipes are referring to the refined type?

  • 3
    Why would you assume that the recipes refer to unrefined coconut oil?
    – Catija
    Mar 1 '18 at 18:56
  • @Catija because according to various websites, the smoking point for refined coconut oil is 450f whereas for unrefined it's 350f, the latter being at or below the frying temperature for fries. Mar 1 '18 at 20:44
  • 3
    That's not what I asked. If a recipe called for "coconut oil", why would you assume that it means "unrefined coconut oil"... why (in your mind) is "unrefined" the default rather than refined?
    – Catija
    Mar 1 '18 at 20:50
  • 2
    Potatoes fried or sauteed in unrefined coconut oil? Sounds like you would end up with something tasting more like an indonesian or south indian side dish than fries :) Mar 1 '18 at 22:21
  • @catija well it wasn't initially the default, however seeing that the frying temp for chips is the same as the frying point for unrefined coconut oil, i assumed it's not appropriate to use the unrefined version and so they are maybe referring to the refined version? Mar 2 '18 at 17:35

Use the refined coconut oil. And not only for temperature reasons...

I admit to not liking the taste of coconut in many cases... but I particularly don't want my french fries tasting like them. That may not be universally the case for all people, but if you want a neutral-flavored oil, unrefined coconut oil is not that. You will end up tasting only coconut, not french fry.

This site seems to agree:

Don’t get me wrong: I really dig the occasional coconut macaroon or coconut cream pudding. But I don’t want coconut flavor invading my scrambled eggs, fresh popcorn or homemade chicken broth. And neither does the rest of my family.

We tend to eat more coconut oil when it’s refined and flavorless, because it’s so much easier to blend into any kind of dish.

If you love coconut-flavored anything, then this probably isn’t a big deal. But if you’re like me, refined coconut oil simply fits into your life more seamlessly. Frankly, we’d barely touch our coconut oil if it was the unrefined variety. So I choose refined because I know we’ll actually use it.

Extra virgin coconut oil has a relatively low smoking point of 350 degrees F. This is pretty low as far as a cooking temperature goes. If you’re eating your oil raw or using it mostly for baking, this is probably not an issue. But for stovetop cooking, this is generally too low of a smoking point.

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