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confused about when to use all the oils and fats

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

I am new to the paleo/primal/dino-chow/... lifestyle diets. I've been hearing about and own and use many of the fats and oils recommended by paleo chefs. The problem is that I don't know how often to use the coconut oil, the grass-fed butter, the ghee, the bacon/sausage fat, etc. Basically I only know that olive oil should never be used for cooking because it gets damaged, therefore I only use it for cold dressings. And butter should be used at medium temperatures- not for sauteeing, otherwise it will also become damaged. Coconut oil is supposed to be great for high heat cooking...right?? But what about bacon fat? What I'm most concerned about is if I'm using bacon fat too often. Also, butter! I love butter, but because bacon fat is cheaper/somewhat free, I use my pricey Irish butter seldomly. Ghee, is just another expense I haven't dealt with.. mostly because I haven't found it locally, even though I've heard it's the healthier alternative to butter. I'm going to stop ranting and just let everyone HELP ME. Thanks!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 12, 2012
at 09:58 PM

Hey, PaleoGran! How's it going? I haven't tried making soap but it's an intriguing thought. I seem to be eating butter less and less over time but I just had some bacon and eggs.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:43 PM

When Kerrygold hits the dollar a pound mark that suet is at, maybe!

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6 Answers

5
361bc16cfdad25411a6f93e10c45aadc

on January 12, 2012
at 08:23 PM

Coconut Oil - on everything including you

Butter - on everything but you

Bacon Grease - on anything that needs to taste more like bacon

Olive - in a shot glass, dressings, etc. just not for high heat cooking

3
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:17 PM

First, unless you have lactose intolerance there is not likley to be a great benefit to using ghee over butter.

Second, you're essentially looking at the division between saturated and (mono-)unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are the ones that are stable at high heat. Any oil is a mix of fats so have different properties but the rule of thumb is that if it's solid at room temperature, it's ok to cook with. I wouldn't worry too much beyond that. Animal fat and coconut oil should therefore be first choice cooking oils. The only problem with overusing bacon fat is the source - were these good healthy pigs?

A cheaper, better and more traditional option may be to render your own. Getting suet (or lard etc.) from healthy animals should be cheap if you have access to the butcher, and it's really easy to render to get a pot of tasty, healthy, cheap grease.

1
93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:33 PM

Make your own ghee. It's just clarified butter. Put a couple pounds of butter in your crock pot, after it melts and has time to separate, put the crock pot in the fridge. Use a knife to cut it out when it's solid. Shave the crusty white butter solids off the top, drain and dry the water off the bottom (let it sit exposed for a while so it really dries), and what you're left with is ghee. That's it.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:43 PM

When Kerrygold hits the dollar a pound mark that suet is at, maybe!

1
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on January 12, 2012
at 08:31 PM

Hi, Rose.

Here is how I use various fats:

Fat from cooking beef as a sauce on whatever meat I eat or for warming up cooked meat, or braising eggs or parsnips. I also put dabs of it into my tea.

I save the fat from beef bacon for braising eggs or for anything which I wish to have the flavor of beef bacon.

I rarely use cream to cook with, but it is especially nice in eggs. I make it into yoghurt, or put it in tea. Cream can be used to make mascarpone cheese, as well.

Grass-fed butter is for my tea, or for eggs, or parsnips, or anything which would benefit from a delicate flavor.

I try to eat at least one egg yolk per day, usually softly braised, sometimes raw or hard-boiled.


Fats I don't use for food:

Ghee, as it is expensive, and as I seem to tolerate the cream and some cheese, I see no need to use clarified butter. Making one's own is especially nice though.

Coconut oil. I do use it on my skin and hair, though.

I only use lard to make soap, not for food.

Hope this helps some. :)

I wish you much joy finding the fats which suit you the best.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 12, 2012
at 09:58 PM

Hey, PaleoGran! How's it going? I haven't tried making soap but it's an intriguing thought. I seem to be eating butter less and less over time but I just had some bacon and eggs.

1
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:27 PM

As a newbie, if bacon calls to you and you're reaching your goals, keep using it. I use bacon grease sparingly since it has loads of omega-6, but I do buy a pound of bacon every few weeks and enjoy starting bitter veggies like kale and Brussels sprouts with a few diced slices and the grease.

I tens to use butter with my morning eggs, as well as potatoes. Coconut oil is my typical saut??ing oil at night.

I have bought ghee, but find it easier to make my own by clarifying butter: melt butter on stovetop, wait for it to froth and settle down, watch it like a hawk until the solids fall to the bottom and just start to color, and pour off just the oil to save. Voila-ghee! Since it no has no proteins, it's suitable for higher heat cooking (and non-problematic for those with a dairy allergy). 98% of my cooking is butter or coconut oil (or grass fed beef tallow from US wellness meats, but I don't want to add another expense to you right now).

1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on January 12, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Best uses for oil:

Coconut Oil - Cooking anything on the stove.

Olive - Dressing.

Bacon Grease - In a can in the garbage.

Butter - On something like a sweet potato.

Ghee - with your eggs, yummy!

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