Is there anything coconut oil can't do?! We cook with it, bake with it, and even use it as a skin and hair moisturizer. In the kitchen, it turns out coconut oil is an excellent medium for seasoning cast iron pans and wooden cutting boards, too. We started using coconut oil to care for wood cutting boards after looking for an alternative to petroleum-based mineral oil. Unlike many plant-based oils, coconut oil has a stable shelf life and is not prone to rancidity. Plus it's nut-free for those who can't use the often-recommended walnut, almond, tung, or flaxseed oils. Rubbing coconut oil onto our wooden cutting boards has kept them nicely protected and we haven't had any problems with unwanted coconut flavor.
After discovering the benefits of coconut oil on wood, we turned to our cast iron cookware. Properly cleaning and seasoning cast iron involves applying oil (such as vegetable oil, animal fat, or shortening) to the pan, which protects it from moisture and reinforces the non-stick coating. We've been really impressed with coconut oil as a vegetarian-friendly, non-sticky, and high-temperature-stable seasoning oil.
Do you use coconut oil in the kitchen or around the house?
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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