Why is Coconut Oil solid?
By Joan McDaniel July 5, 2012
This information comes from in part from a recent newsletter form the Coconut Research Center and
Ask Dr. Coconut TM
Dr. Bruce Fife a.k.a. “Dr. Coconut” answers two of the most often asked questions about coconut oil.
One of the characteristics of coconut oil is its high melting point. At temperatures above 76 degrees F (24 C) coconut oil is a liquid. At temperatures below this it becomes a solid. The oil will be either liquid or solid depending on the temperature of the room. There is nothing wrong or unusual about this. Butter for instance, does the same thing. In the refrigerator it is solid, but take it out on a hot day and let it sit on the counter and it melts. If you refrigerate olive oil it becomes solid as well, but out of the refrigerator it is liquid.
Like butter, you can eat coconut oil whether it is liquid or solid. There is no difference in nutritional value or chemical makeup. You don’t need to liquefy the oil before you use it. Solid coconut oil melts very quickly when put in a hot pan. Personally, I like to keep the coconut oil I use solid. I use a knife to spoon it out. When I pour liquid oil, it often drips down the side of the bottle, making a mess. Using the solidified oil prevents this problem.
If your kitchen is kept under 76 degrees F, coconut oil will always be solid. On a hot day it may melt. You can keep it in the refrigerator if you like. However, it isn’t necessary. Coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated. It is very stable and has a long shelf life so it can be kept on the kitchen counter or in a cupboard.”
Now if you can handle some of my humor. I have often said, “If you want to know what the temperature is, just look at the size of the cat.” Now I can also add, “Just look at the coconut oil jar on the counter. Solid its cold, liquid it’s hot.”
Get my point?