How to Make Virgin Coconut Oil at Home
Making coconut oil at home is easy and inexpensive. In fact, it can save you quite a lot of money over buying coconut oil at the store. There are several methods of making your own virgin coconut oil at home: cold pressing, wet milling, and boiling. In this guide we will look at all three methods of making your own virgin coconut oil.
The cold pressed method for extracting virgin coconut oil is my favorite. In this method, the coconut meat is gently dried, then pressed, and no heat is applied to the oil.
- The nutmeat of 3 mature, brown coconuts
- A multi-purpose low-speed juicer (auger style)
- A food dehydrator
- Using the blank attachment on your juicer, process small chunks of the coconut meat, a little at a time, to produce flaked coconut.
- Place flaked coconut onto the solid nonstick sheets that came with your dehydrator.
- Place sheets in the dehydrator and set the heat to a gentle 118°F, or less.
- Allow coconut to dehydrate for 12 to 24 hours (depending on the humidity where you live). When done, the flakes will be pliable and you will see a little bit of oil has accumulated on the sheets.
- Remove the blank attachment from your juicer and reassemble it with the juicing attachment.
- Process the flaked dried coconut, a little at a time, through your juicer. Don’t rush this or you may jam and stall your machine. You will end up with a very creamy oil in one container and the pulp in the other.
- When all flakes have been processed, repeat Step 6 once or twice more to make sure all of the oil has been extracted.
- Place oil in a covered container in a warm place for 24 to 36 hours. The coconut cream will, in time, settle to the bottom of the container and the coconut oil will rise to the top.
- When the container cools, the oil will solidify. It will be white at the top and the cream will be brownish at the bottom. Scoop out your oil and store it in it’s own container for future use.
As in the cold-pressed method, no heat is used in the wet-milling processes.
- The nutmeat of 3 mature, brown coconuts
- A food processor or blender
- A cheesecloth, clean cotton pillow case, or a nut-milk bag
- Break the coconut meat into chucks that your food processor or blender can handle.
- Place the nutmeat into the processor along with a small amount of water (just enough to process the coconut without straining your machine.)
- Process coconut and water until it is mostly fluid, thick and smooth, adding a little water when necessary.
- Place strainer cloth in a bowl and fill cloth with the processed coconut.
- Twist the cloth tightly to force as much fluid as possible out of the cloth and into the bowl.
- Pour liquid into a clear container and place in the refrigerator.
- When the cream has risen to the top of the container, scoop it out into another jar and allow it to sit in a warm place to ferment for 24 to 36 hours.
- When you see that the coconut oil has risen to the top of the jar, move the jar back to the refrigerator and chill until the oil has become a white solid layer on top of the semi-solid liquid at the bottom.
- Take the jar out of the refrigerator and remove the solid chuck of coconut oil. Store oil in a covered container for future use.
Boiling is a third option for making coconut oil, but this method obviously employs heat.
- 2 cups distilled water
- Small saucepan
- Nutmeat of a mature, brown coconut
- Kitchen sieve
- Medium-size saucepan
- Heat water in small saucepan over medium heat.
- Grate coconut meat into a bowl.
- Place coconut and hot water in blender and cover securely. Allow to sit for a few minutes before blending so the liquid does not overflow the blender and burn your hands.
- Puree coconut and water in the blender.
- Line the sieve with a layer or two of cheesecloth and place in a medium sized bowl.
- Pour the coconut puree into the sieve and press the liquid into the bowl using a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon. When the pulp has been pressed dry, add a little more water to the pulp and press again.
- Place liquid in a medium-size saucepan and bring up to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. The coconut oil will separate from the cream and the water will evaporate.
- When the separated and curdled cream has browned, strain the liquid oil through the kitchen sieve into a container. Cover and store for future use.
Between the ease of processing and the cost savings of making your own, there is no reason to deny yourself the many health benefits coconut oil provides!
No matter which method you choose, making your own virgin coconut oil is easy, fun, and inexpensive. Have fun!
by Maria Blanco, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Coconut Oil Diet