These options combine quality and flavor
Because of its versatility and health benefits, coconut oil is quickly becoming one of the most popular cooking oils out there. Even though it’s high in saturated fat, most of those fats (about 45 to 65 percent) are in the form of medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs—a type of fat that’s been linked to weight loss, improved cholesterol (and lower risk of heart disease), and balanced blood sugar levels. MCTs have also been shown to serve as an instant and long-lasting form of energy for your body and brain.
But not all coconut oils are created equally. In addition to their taste, they differ in the way they’re made. The best coconut oils are those that are as close to their natural form as possible, without the use of chemicals, solvents, or additives. Here are all of the best-tasting coconut oils that make the cut.
Best Overall: Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Value Size
It’s hard to find coconut oil that can top Thrive Market’s product. It’s organic, cold-pressed, unrefined, virgin, and, like all Thrive Market goods, priced considerably fairer than many other coconut oils of the same quality. To make things even sweeter, it’s ethically sourced from a small farm in the Philippines where farmers are treated fairly and only the highest quality coconuts make the cut. In other words, it checks all the boxes of what makes a coconut oil great and that’s why it earned the spot of best coconut oil overall.
Best Organic: Dr. Bronner's Regenerative Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Like others on this list, Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil is organic, unrefined, and freshly expeller-pressed, but this coconut oil takes sustainability up a notch. Dr. Bronner’s works with farmers in Sri Lanka who utilize regenerative farming practices that help enrich soil and reduce the carbon footprint, decreasing the impact on climate change. The regenerative organic certification also ensures that farmers, animals, and workers are all treated fairly during the entire process.
There are also two options to choose from: white kernel and whole kernel. The white kernel is made without the inner skin of the coconut for a milder taste, while the whole kernel includes the skin for a nuttier taste.
Best Cold-Pressed: Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Garden of Life uses cold-pressing, an extraction technique that relies on pressure rather than heat, oxygen, or chemical additives to turn raw organic coconuts into coconut oil with all of the flavor and nutrition locked in. With organic, vegan, and non-GMO certifications, it’s one of the highest quality coconut oils you can buy. And it comes in three sizes—14, 29, and 56 ounces—so you can purchase as much, or as little, as you want.
Best Liquid: Nutiva Organic Unrefined Liquid Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has become a go-to source of healthy fat to add to smoothies or baked goods, but since it’s solid at room temperature, it can be difficult to incorporate into frozen drinks or batter without melting it first. That’s where Nutiva’s Organic Liquid Coconut Oil comes in. Using a proprietary extraction technique that doesn’t involve chemicals or filler oils, Nutiva separates the fats from virgin coconut oil and turns them into an oil that remains liquid, even at cooler temperatures. The end result is a pure coconut oil that’s organic, unrefined, and easy to use.
Best Refined: Wildly Organic Refined Organic Coconut Oil
If you want to add the health benefits of coconut oil to your life but don’t really like the tropical taste, refined coconut oils, like this one from Wildly Organic, are a good compromise. Unlike other companies that use potentially harmful chemicals, additives, and solvents as part of the refining process, Wildly Organic relies only on steam. This steam-refining creates a coconut oil with a milder taste and a higher smoke point that’s ideal for high-heat cooking, like sauteing and stir-frying.
Best Virgin: BetterBody Foods Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Unlike other types of coconut oil that are made from dried coconuts, virgin coconut oil is made from raw, fresh coconut meat in its most natural state. In addition to being virgin, BetterBody Foods coconut oil is organic, cold-pressed, and non-GMO. Because it undergoes less processing than other types of coconut oil, the smoke point isn’t as high—350 degrees Farehnheit instead of 425 degrees —but it’s still an excellent choice for medium-heat cooking and baking. The coconuts are sourced from the Philippines and Sri Lanka, but BetterBody Foods packages it in the United States at its headquarters in Utah.
Best for Cooking: Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil with Butter Flavor
If you’re not a fan of coconut flavor in your savory dishes, like chicken or beef, this refined butter-flavored oil from Nutiva is a lifesaver. It has all of the benefits of coconut oil without the coconut taste. It tastes just like a rich, creamy butter, also making it a great butter substitute for baking, spreading on toast, and drizzling on top of popcorn.
The butter flavor itself is made from a combination of vegan-friendly natural ingredients, so it’s completely dairy-free and without any harmful chemicals or additives.
Best Budget: Happy Belly Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
This high-quality coconut oil is organic, unrefined, and virgin, but the cost per ounce is considerably less expensive than others on the list. You can choose from three sizes—15, 30, and 54 ounces—so if you use coconut oil a lot, you can buy it in bulk and keep some money in your pocket.
Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is a versatile, high-quality option that’s ideal for any kitchen job. If you don’t love the tropical flavor of coconut but want to reap its health benefits, try Wildly Organic Refined Coconut Oil. The brand relies only on steam to refine the oil, creating a milder taste and a higher smoke point.
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage-testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best- tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.