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Cooking with oil

by (220)
Updated October 20, 2014 at 3:45 AM
Created October 12, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Hi, New to Paleo and I have a question about cooking oils. I am wondering when I make a meat with oils in it I ususlly just cook the other stuff in the meat fat. Egg scrable in the bacon or sasuage fat ect. If I cook something like chicken breast I use coconut oil as it needs extra oil.

Should I be adding additional oil in the case of my eggs ect or is the meat fat sufficent?

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220 · October 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

thanks! I will check whole foods or order some with my next amazon order

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26172 · October 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

I like palm oil because it's more assertive than olive oil so it holds up really well to strong spices.

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26172 · October 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

All the places BJ mentioned. you can also get it online. I use Tropical Traditions, I am not sure if that's available online, but they have it at the "Fresh Mart" out here. This one at amazon gets good reviews: http://www.amazon.com/OKONATUR-100-Organic-Extra-Virgin/dp/B0012XKO00/ref=pd_sim_hpc_1

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427 · October 12, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I have seen it at Whole Foods (in LA). Also, if you have a Brazilian grocery store nearby it's called Azeite de Dendê. It's a common ingredient in Afro-Brazilian cooking. It's also available in SE Asian and African grocery stores.

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220 · October 12, 2012 at 5:16 PM

I have heard a lot of mention of palm oil. Where do you get this at?

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427 · October 12, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Yes, that's a good point. The right cookware makes all the difference! Also, eggs can require a certain touch to get right - for a lot of people it'd be worth watching a Jacques Pepin video or two. Nothing turns me off like dry, rubbery, or gummy eggs.

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26172 · October 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

BJ, I would add, if your eggs are sticking, then you need a better pan OR you need to heat the pan more before cracking the eggs rather than more fat. I can cook my eggs on my cast iron skillet with no added fat and they don't stick.

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4 Answers

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26172 · October 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM

the meat fat is sufficient. although you can get more complex flavor profiles if you mix the two.

For example, when I make a roast I typically will put the meat on a rack above a pan of vegetables. As the meat cooks, the fat drips down onto the vegetables and flavors them. However before I put the vegetables on the pan I will toss them in palm oil and herbs. The palm oil and the fat play nicely against each other.

When I make a carbonara I typically add olive oil and butter to the bacon fat before sauteing the vegetables. Again, for flavor profile rather than for added fat.

C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad
220 · October 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

thanks! I will check whole foods or order some with my next amazon order

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26172 · October 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

I like palm oil because it's more assertive than olive oil so it holds up really well to strong spices.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26172 · October 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

All the places BJ mentioned. you can also get it online. I use Tropical Traditions, I am not sure if that's available online, but they have it at the "Fresh Mart" out here. This one at amazon gets good reviews: http://www.amazon.com/OKONATUR-100-Organic-Extra-Virgin/dp/B0012XKO00/ref=pd_sim_hpc_1

E2d885a66875eb01e931d369fac7353c
427 · October 12, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I have seen it at Whole Foods (in LA). Also, if you have a Brazilian grocery store nearby it's called Azeite de Dendê. It's a common ingredient in Afro-Brazilian cooking. It's also available in SE Asian and African grocery stores.

C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad
220 · October 12, 2012 at 5:16 PM

I have heard a lot of mention of palm oil. Where do you get this at?

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1
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15385 · October 13, 2012 at 2:34 AM

I rarely even buy any cooking oils now. I cook occasionally in olive oil, though i am cautious with it because the smoke point is not very high. I cook bacon with no cooking oil (put it in a dry pan), then collect the rendered fat and then keep it in the fridge and use that for cooking.

Every now and then i cook a duck. I trim the extra fat and render the uncooked fat, and put that in the fridge. That is one of the best cooking fats, especially delicious with potatoes and root vegetables. When i roast the duck, i can collect the rendered fat from that, but that seems to be more brown and cooked, and doesn't keep as well and is more strongly flavored.

I bought some lard from free range pigs, and rendered that, and use that for cooking. It works well, kind of tricky because of high water content, duck fat is better. But a few pounds of lard go a long way.

When i cook sausage, i find the resulting rendered fat to break down a bit and be thin and somewhat burnt, so i don't use that for cooking.

The ground beef i get is about 20-25% fat and i can put that in a dry pan and it cooks great. However, like the sausage, that rendered fat gets thin and burnt, i think it is breaking down, so i don't use that for cooking. I find that rendered beef tallow is not very good for cooking.

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427 · October 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM

What you're doing sounds fine. Animal fats have a high smoking point, so they're great for frying and sauteeing, etc. You only need to add extra oil if the eggs (or whatever) are sticking, aren't frying properly, etc. The amount of oil required really depends on the technique (frying, sauteeing, etc) so it's hard to make a blanket statement.

If you want to learn about how to properly use oil/etc, check out this book by Michael Ruhlman:

http://www.amazon.com/Ruhlmans-Twenty-Techniques-Recipes-Manifesto/dp/0811876438

I guarantee it'll drastically improve your cooking (paleo or not).

E2d885a66875eb01e931d369fac7353c
427 · October 12, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Yes, that's a good point. The right cookware makes all the difference! Also, eggs can require a certain touch to get right - for a lot of people it'd be worth watching a Jacques Pepin video or two. Nothing turns me off like dry, rubbery, or gummy eggs.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26172 · October 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

BJ, I would add, if your eggs are sticking, then you need a better pan OR you need to heat the pan more before cracking the eggs rather than more fat. I can cook my eggs on my cast iron skillet with no added fat and they don't stick.

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4218 · October 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Sounds like exactly what I do! I'll add a little extra butter sometimes if necessary, I also keep the lard I get when I make bone broth and use that to cook vegetables and meats in, it keeps very well in the fridge.

I personally try to keep the seed and vegetable oils to a bare minimum and use coconut oil only very rarely to cook in, but you'll probably see a lot of varying advice from other paleohackers. I'd say you're off to a good start, and as you move deeper into this way of eating you'll discover through your own results how much or little fat works for you, depending on your personal goals.

Best of luck!

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