How to make virgin coconut oil at home

What you need to know:

Virgin coconut oil is unprocessed coconut oil extracted from the white flesh of mature coconuts. It has a lovely aroma and can be used in cooking, baking and beauty products. Use these easy steps to make your own virgin coconut oil at home.

Crack open the coconut

Pierce the weakest of the three circles at the bottom of a brown, mature coconut with a spiral wine opener and drain the coconut water. You can drink this water which is high in electrolytes, so don’t throw it away unless it smells bad. Next, crack open the coconut with a hammer or mallet and detach the coconut flesh from its shell with a knife.

Process the coconut flesh

Peel off the brown covering of the coconut flesh, rinse with cooled, previously boiled water and finely grate the white flesh. Blend in a blender with a cup of cool, previously boiled water, to thick, creamy coconut milk. Line a sieve with cheese cloth over a large glass bowl and strain the coconut milk. Return the dredges to the blender, add a little water and blend again to extract as much coconut milk as possible. Repeat the process until all the coconut flesh has been used.

Chill the coconut milk

Cover the coconut milk with cling film and let it ferment at room temperature for 12 hours. Put the bowl in the fridge without shaking it and chill for six hours. After the curd and oil layer has hardened, put it in a clean bowl and discard the water underneath or use it to cook rice.

Melt and chill

Crush the hardened curd in the bowl, cover it with cling film and set it aside to melt at room temperature. Put the melted curd and oil in the fridge for another six hours.

Separate the curd from the oil

Run a knife around the circumference of the curd and remove it whole from the bowl. Quickly scrap the yellowish curd into another bowl without scrap off the white part, which is the coconut oil. Put the white part into a clean bowl and let it melt at room temperature. Do not discard the curd you scraped off.

Collect the oil

Put a sieve lined with cheese cloth over a small bowl and spoon the melted coconut oil into the sieve using a large tablespoon, being careful not to include any of the curd at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the oil into an airtight container and store in the fridge.

Extract more oil from the curd

Heat the curd scrapings you saved together with the curd left behind after collecting the oil, into a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir continuously until the curd release some oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Put a sieve lined with cheese cloth over a bowl and pour in the oil.