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How I discovered coconut oil is flammable

Thursday, February 16, 2012 Leave a Comment

I made the perfect chicken parm.

I kept hearing all the great things about cooking with coconut oil: better at high heat, full of good fats and brain nutrients, touted by athletes, and apparently can cure Alzheimer's and diabetes. (Yes, google it.) So imagine what it could do for us normal folks!

It was amazing to cook my chicken parmesan in: it came out PERFECTLY crispy, not an iota of mush. And the chicken was not dry but perfectly juicy. I love this stuff, I said.

Emboldened, the next night I decided to make The Pioneer Woman's onion rings. I mean, frying things is an art, and one I have never mastered, and coconut oil was showing promise.

So I put a few dollops of coconut oil - which is a solid, like Crisco - in a pan and let 'er heat up. For good measure, I added a splash of olive oil for extra flavor.

Then I took a bunch of buttermilk soaked onion slices, dragged them through the flour, put them in the pan, and...

WHOOSH!

A really huge scary fire flared up in the pan. I screamed, my kids screamed, and the fire burned for a bit, then flickered out. It left a nice blackened char on my wall.

And that's how I discovered that coconut oil is flammable.

P.S. The onion rings turned out divine, so I guess the little fire was worth it. If you try this at home, use a dutch oven.

6 comments »

  • Anonymous said:  

    Scary hilarious. I'm glad you are all okay.

    I think all oils are flammable but olive oil more so. If you are so brave to repeat the experiment without the olive oil you might have better luck.

  • Liz said:  

    I thought it was maybe the combination of oils - I will try again with just coconut oil

  • Anonymous said:  

    Fantastic work man, keep your heads high you did it.

    coconut oil

  • Anonymous said:  

    Baking kale chips in coconut oil at high heat (550+) in the oven caused full oven full of flames for a minute or two. 911 called. 4 firetrucks arrived. No damage. Deo Gratias!

  • Anonymous said:  

    I have cooked with coconut oil in a cast-iron pan several times without a problem today after somebody had use the cast-iron pan with olive oil and butter I had wiped it clean added coconut oil and turned it up to high so I could make corn taco shells I stepped out of the room for A few minutes waiting for their coconut oil to heat up upon returning there were flames about a foot and a half to 2 feet high in the pan and so I am uncertain as to whether or not it had something to do with all of oil and/or better previously in the cast-iron pan and mixing it with the coconut oil and a high temperature but it definitely is a danger to cook with coconut oil and a high temperature and leave unattended

  • Barbara Wesley said:  

    Omg, so glad u r OK. Just be careful when mixing oils. It's kinda like when u mix chemicals, same reaction.