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Old 02-10-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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Measuring Coconut Oil

What is the best way to measure coconut oil for recipes as its so hard the container and will break my measuring spoon trying to get it out of container
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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For precise measurement I find some way to melt it... if I'm making a recipe hours after I've fired my woodstove it's usually OK as I store it on a shelf 2/3rds up near the ceiling where it's warmer, so it's often liquified or semi-liquid. Storing it above your refrigerator towards the back, or in a cabinet above the fridge might achieve that since the heat from the coils will help keep it melted.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
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I keep a firm metal spoon stuck down inside the container (once there is a little room), use that spoon to scoop it into the measuring cup. This probably will only help you if you buy your CO in the larger containers.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
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Make sure it's in a glass or plastic container, then nuke it for a minute. That should liquefy some, pour it off, nuke again. It's either that or wait until summer! Oh, I know...if you have a big yogurt maker, put the jar inside the yogurt maker (turned on) for an hour or two.

Coconut oil is very stable. From all I hear, there is no damage from heating and reheating.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:28 PM   #5
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weigh it. a tablespoon is 14 grams or a half ounce. if you have an accurate digital scale, this makes the whole thing easy...
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gharkness View Post
Make sure it's in a glass or plastic container, then nuke it for a minute. That should liquefy some, pour it off, nuke again. It's either that or wait until summer! Oh, I know...if you have a big yogurt maker, put the jar inside the yogurt maker (turned on) for an hour or two.

Coconut oil is very stable. From all I hear, there is no damage from heating and reheating.
personally I am totally phobic about plastic, especially heating anything in it. I am convinced that the BpA that's in so many types and migrates to food easily had a big hand in causing and worsening my diabetes. I use coconut oil in a plastic jar when it's the only one I find, but I try to get the glass ones.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:32 PM   #7
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Could be the BPA! For me, I am 100% convinced that Dean Ornish is the cause of my diabetes.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:56 PM   #8
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Could be the BPA! For me, I am 100% convinced that Dean Ornish is the cause of my diabetes.
Yeah, that!(except I think I was diabetic before I even heard about him :blush: )

For the question- you can place the jar of coconut oil in warm water till it becomes softer, then you can measure like you would shortening: "smooshing" it down in a measuring cup to get the air out, or water displacement using very cold tap water.

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Old 02-10-2011, 06:19 PM   #9
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Adding to what the others have said. If you do decide to nuke it to heat it, I have found that it is better to place the container of oil in another container of water to nuke it. I have found coconut oil is very hard on a microwave. But if you place it in water, then you are heating the water as well as the oil, which makes it actually faster to melt the oil, and easier on the micro.
I "dig" the hard oil out of the original container with a heavy metal spoon, and put what looks about the amount I want into a glass measuring cup. Place that cup in a dish of water to nuke. If I have a little too much, I pour some back into the CO container, not enough, just add a little to it. By then it will adjust itself so you can see where you need it. (Or if you have scales, like Raven said, you can weigh the cup, & then put the oil in to the correct weight.)
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:48 PM   #10
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I have found coconut oil is very hard on a microwave.
I am curious about this. How is it hard on a microwave?
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:57 PM   #11
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It takes it much longer to melt coconut oil that would be expected. Anything else in the same amounts will heat up much quicker than coconut oil. It seems for a while like it is almost like running it without anything in it. That is hard/bad on one. Coconut oil over hear, in hot water, or even just in you hand (body heat) will melt it much faster.
That's just my experience. I feel it is close to like heating a plate in the microwave with out anything in it. (One should never do this!!!!! Yet, I have read of people doing just that, and no amount of telling them it is hurting the micro will convince them they shouldn't. If they want to shorten the life of their microwave, then it is them who have to buy a new one, or do without. )
Again, just my observation. Nothing I've read anywhere to prove it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:07 PM   #12
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Thank you so much everyone for your help Its greatly appreciated

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Old 02-10-2011, 07:11 PM   #13
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my glass measuring cup blew up while I was trying to warm coconut oil for a short time. It never blew up with anything else... Even when I melted chocolate in it.

I keep my oil in the cabinet, and it's soft enough to scoop even when solid.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
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my glass measuring cup blew up while I was trying to warm coconut oil for a short time. It never blew up with anything else... Even when I melted chocolate in it.

I keep my oil in the cabinet, and it's soft enough to scoop even when solid.
Wow!!! ... Hmmmm,,,,, I think that convinces me even more about the coconut oil being hard on a microwave. Again, that's me!

I don't think that would be as likely if you have the cup in a dish of water. But if you heat it too long, the oil could definitely explode, as can a cup/dish of water!!! Be Careful heating liquids & oil of any kind.

In the summer, my coconut oil stays liquid, but it doesn't usually in the winter. Don't keep my house that warm as a general rule in the winter. It is usually solid. (And it is in the cabinet next to the stove!. That being said, when I have the oven on for quite a while, it does sometimes soften up.)
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:53 PM   #15
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i regularly heat water in my nuker to steam clean it. Usually 15 minutes. the water only boils never explodes. I think the coconut oil lacks any water molecules to heat so the microwaves are reflected to more conductive surfaces like the glass it contained. In effect, it was like nuking an empty glass. I don't think it's hard on the microwave, just hard to microwave unlike butter which has LOTS of water content.

I keep two squirt bottles ( craft size) in a basket shelf on my stove ledge where the control panel is. The warmth from regular cooking keeps them semi solid to melted at all times. the one in the cabinet was solid. So when I cook I can always count on at least 4 oz each of liquid refined and liquid virgin oil to choose from.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:38 AM   #16
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Well, thank you all for your comments on microwaving coconut oil. I have not had any of the results that you have, but nevertheless I understand your concern, especially if you had a glass bowl or cup explode. It possibly was just ready to go and the coconut oil was the unlucky candidate, but maybe not, too. Maybe it was the coconut oil and microwave combination.

Generally 30 seconds or less does what I need in the microwave, but once I heated a one-gallon bucket (that it came from TT) in for about 3 minutes and there was no apparent harm. Still, I definitely appreciate your input.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:53 AM   #17
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Well, it was a new measuring glass so it was not cracked or anything.
I think plastic can hold heat much better than glass in the case of microwaving, and if it did get a hotspot, more likely to melt than shatter. so nuking it in a bucket is something I'd not be concerned about.

I've been told that if I wanted to melt glass in the microwave I had to super heat one spot so the energy could all flow into that one area, otherwise it could shatter. That's why I mentioned the coconut oil incident. I think it had melted before I thought it would and just rejected the extra heat into the glass. I have a 30 second button on my nuker I use, but I watch the coconut oil more closely now and only nuke it till some of it turns liquid and let the remaining solid pieces melt from conductive heat of the already melted liquid.

Then I just got lazy ( or smart) and started to keep a small bottle above the stove. always melted and ready to use.

ETA: I missed Crazywomans suggestion to put it in another container of water. That would definitely be a safe idea cause any extra energy could go into the water and the water can vaporize more easily than the oil , releasing any extra energy before anything bad happened... I think I'll keep the stovetop idea, though. With the litte squirt bottles, I can measure directly into a measuring spoon, glass, or drizzle it directly into a pan, or over popcorn or other foods without messy drips down the side from pouring from a jar. The bottom of the measuring spoon stays clean from not having been dipped so I can set it down wit little to no mess. and I use the coconut oil more often since it's so handy and right there.

Last edited by metqa; 02-11-2011 at 05:59 AM..
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:19 PM   #18
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I have a very close friend who is the chairman of the chemistry dept at a major university... he assures me there is nothing special about the molecular structure of coconut oil that makes it hard on a microwave. it's true it takes longer to melt than you would expect, but that's not because the microwaves are just bouncing around not doing anything like when it's empty.

I microwave the coconut oil to melt it every morning for muffins, and my machine is just fine, year after year.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:58 PM   #19
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I don't see why microwaving coconut oil should be any different than microwaving butter or chocolate or any other fat.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:07 AM   #20
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It takes no time on the stove to melt in a small metal pot on the stove (I avoid the microwave). I find it stays soft enough to scoop out of the jar with a metal spoon and I measure it from there (and it is very cold here). In fact, I made two recipes this morning, healthy grain free whoopie pies and Lauren's red velvet cake and I just whizzed the coconut oil I measured out with the eggs in the magic bullet for a few seconds and it was smooth as could be.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:53 AM   #21
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I think it depends on the microwave!

My last microwave's inverter burned out while melting a tablespoon of coconut oil in a coffee cup. I purchased a new microwave, and tried melting a tablespoon of coconut oil in a coffee cup- zapping noises... I open the door, and part of the enamel has burned off on the edge!

I put a piece of plastic from the microwave safe bags over it to shield it, and it worked fine cooking other items.

Just tried melting coconut oil... zapping noises- a NEW place has burned off the enamel!

I don't think it's just a coincidence! Everything else cooks fine in it (even a 1min. muffin WITH Coconut oil)... but not just plain coconut oil.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:06 AM   #22
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I don't think it's just a coincidence! Everything else cooks fine in it (even a 1min. muffin WITH Coconut oil)... but not just plain coconut oil.
Well, I am certainly not discounting your experience, but I have never, ever, ever had such a thing happen. No noises, no zapping...nothing, with plain coconut oil.

Maybe it's a brand-of-microwave issue. Just trying to come up with a good reason.

But there really isn't anything IN coconut oil to cause these issues, if it is just plain. Too bad, though, because just a few seconds in the microwave can make it scoopable and easy to use.

In a couple months, it will be a non-issue for me, because I'll be struggling to keep my storage somewhat below 90+ degrees
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:22 PM   #23
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A little gob of something to absorb heat and make the glass an ionic conductor...
Melting glass in the microwave is cool...IF that's what you want to happen...

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Old 03-02-2011, 06:30 PM   #24
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Great video! Loved it!

I've had my microwave for, well, roughly 8 to 10 years. I've been melting coconut oil in it ever since I began using coconut oil, about 4 years ago. I've never had it make any strange noises or be damaged in any way. It's not a fancy or expensive thing, just a little Sharp countertop model that I bought new for around $99.

One thing, though, is that I never melt just 1 Tablespoonful of coconut oil. I use a soup spoon to scoop a big dollop into the measuring cup, run it just long enough to mostly melt it. I take it out when there are still a few bits of unmelted oil in the cup. I stir it to complete the melting process. After I measure what I need into my recipe ingredients, I pour the rest of the melted oil back into the jar. I wonder if the volume of the oil makes a difference? Since coconut oil melts at a very low temperature, somewhere around 75º as I recall, microwaving a single tablespoon of it for more than a second or two would tend to superheat it, I would think. Just some musings on the subject.

I, too, don't mean to discount your experience with your microwaves and coconut oil. I'd just love to hear an explanation of why it's happening, so I can be sure to avoid doing whatever it is that's causing the problem!
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:45 AM   #25
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Scale?

Am thrilled to find this website and it answered all my questions about how to dispense coconut oil--have been puzzled for months. So helpful. Can anyone recommend a good scale to weigh out the portion of oil I need for a recipe? I'm looking at a Weighmax one on Amazon for $16 or so. My little old Weight Watcher one does have ounces and grams, but it's not digital so wonder if 3 tablespoons (for example) of oil for a recipe would be close enough. Any comments would be helpful.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:20 AM   #26
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I keep my coconut oil in a stainless steel lidded container right by the rear of my stove. Every time I cook or bake, the nearby warmth keeps it looser for me. Even in winter it stays only semi-hard.

My Walmart sells a cool little stainless steel measuring spoon that has 1Tbsp. on one end and 1tsp. on the other end. I like it so much I went back and bought a second one for my baking drawer as well!! I keep one of these handy devices stuck right down into my CO can and just dip out the amount I need in measured tablespoons/teaspoons (raking the tops level with my finger). The residue on my finger then goes on my elbows for softening those up. Waste not want not
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:46 AM   #27
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I've never had a problem in my ancient microwave either (it's about 12-13 years old).

But I also don't melt small amounts. I buy the 5 gallon bucket from Tropical Traditions when it's on sale as it's much cheaper than smaller containers. Since that is inconvenient to use, I transfer CO from it to clean pint-sized mason jars (using an ice cream scoop). I do 4-6 jars at once to have on hand in my kitchen.

What I melt is the entire pint-sized jar, just removing the top before nuking. It *just* fits in my tiny microwave. When I only need a TB or so, I just stop melting it when it looks like I have enough to pour off. But I don't believe there's a problem melting and remelting it either.

Other advantage of what I do is... cause it's so much cheaper to buy in bulk, I feel freer to give it away to people to try for whatever... sister who lost weight and had saggy skin, friend who burnt her hand, friend of friend who has GI yeast, etc.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:40 PM   #28
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I take the whole container without the top, place it in the microwave, put it on defrost, then melt it for x amount of minutes, keeping watch on it and stop it when melted. It is not hot to handle and measure out just what is needed. As an added bonus, the smell is heavenly! Yes, like someone mentioned above, in summer it will sit as a liquid without having to do a thing to it!
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:51 PM   #29
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But I also don't melt small amounts. I buy the 5 gallon bucket from Tropical Traditions when it's on sale as it's much cheaper than smaller containers. Since that is inconvenient to use, I transfer CO from it to clean pint-sized mason jars (using an ice cream scoop). I do 4-6 jars at once to have on hand in my kitchen.
For a minute I thought *I* wrote that! Then I realized I didn't write the rest of it. Anyway, that is exactly what I do.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:50 AM   #30
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This is exactly the info I was looking for. Thanks so much.
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