Coconut oil is all the rage right now. But what if you don’t like the taste or you’re allergic? Read on to discover the best coconut oil substitute ideas for cooking and baking.
Coconut oil is a popular cooking oil derived from coconut fruit. It has a unique flavor and texture that many people enjoy, and it comes with health benefits.
Nevertheless, coconut oil isn’t for everyone, particularly in cooking and baking. Or maybe you run out of this ingredient.
This article describes the 10 best alternatives so that you can easily find a substitute for coconut oil in the kitchen.
Our list has something for everyone. So, whether you have no dietary preference, or are on a keto, vegan, or paleo diet, read on!
Let’s start by understanding the differences between refined and unrefined coconut oil.
Refined vs Unrefined Coconut Oil
Based on the processing method, there are two types of coconut oil: refined coconut oil and unrefined (virgin) coconut oil:
- Refined coconut oil comes from mature coconut fruit and is most likely the type of coconut oil you find at your local store. It’s cheaper, considered of lower quality, and has a more toned-down taste and flavor than virgin coconut oil. Plus, refined coconut oil has a shelf life of 18 – 36 months.
- Unrefined coconut oil also comes from coconut fruit but goes through a less rigorous processing method than refined coconut oil. It’s more expensive, purer, considered of higher quality, and has a distinct coconut taste and scent. Furthermore, virgin coconut oil has a shelf life of 3 – 5 years.
Both types of coconut oil are white and solid at room temperature and below. When heated, they melt and form a thin, clear oil that can be used in cooking, baking, and beauty products for hair and skin.
In the next section, find out more about the coconut oil smoke point.
Coconut Oil Smoke Point
The smoke point is the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil will start to produce smoke, affecting the taste of your food. It varies by the type of fat or oil used.
Refined coconut oil has a high smoke point of 400 degrees F (205 degrees C), so you can use it for any form of cooking, including deep-frying. Meanwhile, virgin coconut oil has a lower smoke point of 350 degrees F (177 degrees C), so it’s suitable for dishes that need less or no heat.
When looking for a coconut oil substitute, it’s essential to take into account the type of coconut oil called by the recipe, so that you can compare the smoke point to that of the alternate ingredient. If the coconut oil type is unspecified in the recipe, take a cue from the cooking technique to get a better idea of the required temperature.
For instance, deep-frying requires a high temperature of 350 – 375 degrees F (117 – 191 degrees C), so it’s safer to use refined coconut oil than the virgin kind. In this case, you need a coconut oil substitute with a high smoking point, such as grapeseed oil.
In the next section, let’s discover the best substitutes for coconut oil.
Substitute for Coconut Oil: 10 Fantastic Alternatives
This section describes the 10 best substitutes for coconut oil: grapeseed oil, butter, beef tallow, applesauce, extra-virgin olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, hazelnut oil, and hempseed oil. You can learn about their flavors, smoking points, substitution suggestions, and where to buy them.
Let’s start with grapeseed oil.
1. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is an excellent coconut oil substitute since it has a neutral flavor, a high smoking point of 420 degrees F (215 degrees C), and plenty of health benefits.
You can use grapeseed oil for any cooking method, from salad dressings and sauteeing to stir-frying and deep-frying. And it won’t change your dish’s flavor, so you don’t have to adapt the other ingredients.
When replacing coconut oil with grapeseed oil, apply the 1:1 ratio.
You can buy grapeseed oil from Amazon.
In the next section, check out butter.
Butter is a dairy substitute for coconut oil that adds a rich taste, oomph, and chewiness to baked goods like cookies. It has a high smoking temperature of 350 degrees F (177 degrees C), so you can use it for any cooking technique like sautéing, stir-frying, or deep-frying.
Just like coconut oil, butter is solid at room temperature and melts when heated. However, since butter is high in saturated fats, it’s best to not overindulge. For example, you can use butter for cookies.
When replacing coconut oil with butter, stick to the 1:1 ratio.
In the next section, check out beef tallow.
3. Beef Tallow
Beef tallow comes from rendering fat off any cut of meat from a cow. It’s excellent for diets that require fat, such as keto and paleo.
As far as health benefits are concerned, beef tallow is a rich source of stearic acid, which lowers cholesterol.
Tallow behaves like coconut oil: solid as soft butter at room temperature and liquid when heated. Moreover, it has a high smoke point of 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
You can use beef tallow to deep-fry French fries, shallow-fry, sauté, and roast vegetables. It’s also a coconut oil substitute in baking since it works exceptionally well with flaky baked goods like pies.
When replacing coconut oil with beef tallow, use the 1:1 ratio.
You can buy beef tallow from Amazon.
In the next section, check out applesauce.
4. Unsweetened Applesauce
Unsweetened applesauce is a fantastic vegan substitute for coconut oil in baking since it adds moisture. Evidently, it adds an apple flavor to your meals.
Regarding health benefits, applesauce is rich in antioxidants and nutrients, supporting digestion and reducing the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
When replacing coconut oil with unsweetened applesauce, you should combine the applesauce with a neutral-flavored oil and then use the 1:1 ratio. So use 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 1/2 cup of oil for every required cup of coconut oil. That’s because cakes may become spongy due to excessive liquid from the applesauce.
You can buy unsweetened applesauce from Amazon or make it at home by boiling and blending various types of apples mixed with water and lemon juice (no sweetener). Besides, it’s possible to freeze applesauce so that you can use it for up to 1 year.
In the next section, check out extra-virgin olive oil.
5. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is a staple ingredient in any kitchen and happens to be the best coconut oil substitute for dishes that don’t require cooking or baking, like salads, pesto, and marinade. That’s because extra-virgin olive oil has a low smoke point of 350 degrees F (177 degrees C), so you can use it when the recipe calls for unrefined coconut oil.
Compared to coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil is healthier since it has a high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids that are good for your heart. However, it has a slightly bitter, peppery taste.
When replacing coconut oil with extra-virgin olive oil, use the 1:1 ratio.
You can buy extra-virgin olive oil from Amazon.
In the next section, check out almond oil.
6. Almond Oil
Almond oil is another healthy oil you can substitute for coconut oil with many positive effects.
Almond oil has a high smoke point of 430 degrees F (221 degrees C), making it suitable for high-heat cooking like roasting and frying. However, since it has a mild, nutty flavor, it’s best to use almond oil in baking recipes.
When replacing coconut oil with almond oil, apply the 1:1 ratio.
You can buy almond oil from Amazon.
In the next section, check out avocado oil.
7. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is an excellent coconut oil substitute. It has numerous health benefits since it’s high in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants that promote heart health.
Thanks to its neutral flavor, avocado oil won’t change the flavor or aroma of your dishes, so it’s excellent for baking. Besides, avocado oil has a very high smoke point of 520 degrees F (271 degrees C), so it works for any cooking method, including frying, grilling, and baking. Try it in this vegetable paella recipe.
When replacing coconut oil with avocado oil, use the 1:1 ratio.
You can buy avocado oil from Amazon.
In the next section, check out sunflower oil.
8. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is another plant-based oil with positive health effects, proving to be a decent coconut oil substitute. It has a high smoke point of 450 degrees F (232 degrees C), making it ideal for deep-frying chicken, roasting potatoes, grilling meat, making dips, and baking cakes.
As far as taste is concerned, sunflower oil is nutty, but it’s barely noticeable, so you won’t feel it in any dishes.
When replacing coconut oil with sunflower oil, use the 1:1 ratio.
You can buy sunflower oil from Amazon.
In the next section, check out hazelnut oil.
9. Hazelnut Oil
Hazelnut oil is an excellent coconut oil substitute if you prefer an intense aroma with a sweet, roast, and nutty scent in your cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.
Similar to almond oil, hazelnut oil has a high smoke point of 430 degrees F (221 degrees C), so it’s suitable for any cooking technique and for any dish where you don’t mind the nutty flavor. For example, you can pour it over a salad or roasted vegetables, as well as make spreads and sauces.
Regarding health benefits, hazelnut oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help with weight loss, lower the risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, improve brain function, and encourage cell growth.
When replacing coconut oil with hazelnut oil, stick to the 1:1 ratio.
You can buy hazelnut oil from Amazon.
In the next section, check out hempseed oil.
10. Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is a plant-based oil with outstanding nutritional value since it’s high in protein, vitamin E, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and other minerals needed to keep you healthy. It has all nine essential amino acids and is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Although not so popular in cooking, hemp oil is an excellent coconut oil substitute and one to watch for a healthier lifestyle. It has a low smoking point of 330 degrees F (165 degrees C), so you can’t use it for roasting or deep-frying. In fact, it works best as a finishing oil.
Remember that hemp seed oil has a strong aroma resembling walnuts and sunflower seeds, so it’s not suitable for delicate flavors.
When replacing coconut oil with hemp oil, stick to the 1:1 ratio.
You can buy hemp oil from Amazon.
In the next section, discover more useful information about coconut oil.
This section gives you simple answers to common questions about coconut oil.
Is coconut oil good for your hair?
Yes, coconut oil is good for your hair. According to a study, coconut oil strongly encourages hair growth by significantly reducing protein loss in damaged and undamaged hair. You can easily make a coconut oil hair mask at home.
Is coconut oil good for dogs?
It’s unclear whether or not coconut oil is good for dogs since there are conflicting studies on the topic. It’s best to stay away until new, positive research emerges.
Does coconut oil go bad?
Yes, coconut oil eventually goes bad. Refined coconut oil lasts for 18 to 36 months, while unrefined (virgin) coconut oil lasts for 3 to 5 years, depending on the storage conditions.
The next and final section summarizes the entire article on coconut oil substitute ideas.
There are many substitutes for coconut oil for cooking and baking. In fact, you can use any vegetable oil as an alternative to coconut oil.
Some replacements work better than others when cooking or baking because of their smoke points. In addition, consider the impact on the aroma and flavor of the overall dish.
What’s your favorite coconut oil substitute? Share your tips in the comments below!