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Cooking with oil

by 220 · October 13, 2012 at 02:34 AM

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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26083 · October 12, 2012 at 05:06 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.

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15261 · October 13, 2012 at 02:34 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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426 · October 12, 2012 at 05:05 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).

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4232 · October 12, 2012 at 05:05 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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