I love cooking, baking, and frying but I don’t like the price of cooking oils. There is no way I can survive with excluding it in my cooking though, I must say. I buy cooking oils at least twice a year and if I bought it in bulk, I would probably buy it once. I found ways to make my oils last the longest time with these few tricks.
I usually buy 1-liter extra virgin olive oil, 1-liter odorless coconut oil that I use for cooking, and some baking. These oils are pricey, yes but I use them in moderation. As a result, they last longer because of the many other options from my easy, cheap homemade cooking oils.
Use Tallow or Lard as cooking oil
In isiZulu, we call this Amaxhonxo or Ushaqa. This is the hard and fatty substance made from the rendered (melted down) fat from beef, mutton, or pork. You can make your own by cutting off the fatty parts of beef when cooking or purchase it at local butcheries. I have seen some pick n pay supermarkets stocking it as well. It is packaged to look more like ‘white’ mince. This can be melted down and used for cooking stews, bean curries, and gives your vegetable dishes a meaty taste too.
Chicken skins to render fat
Did you know that you can purchase chicken skins, including chicken butts? Yep, available at most Spar supermarkets and butcheries. You just heat a pan with a little water, add you chicken skins and butts, and let them cook till the water burns and will start to release fat. Strain and keep the oil in the fridge for use when cooking your favorite chicken dishes. Don’t throw away the chicken skins, eat them as a snack instead of crisps.
Animal fat drippings
Most if not all the meat that I buy has fat. This is something that has been engraved in me because of the Banting (Keto) lifestyle. Animal fat dripping is a fat produced from fatty or otherwise unusable parts of meat like beef and pork. Next time your grill boerewors, pork or fatty beef steak, strain, and keep the fat that dripped from the meat in a container and use for cooking stews.
Another cooking fat that I find very cheap is the brand called Holsum. It is a hard Malaysian palm oil-based fat that has been used for generations in many South African households. It is available in all supermarkets. Holsum is ideal for cooking, baking, and frying because it is unsalted and unflavoured. It contains no animal fat, therefore it is suitable for vegetarians.
These fats/oils can be used and stored in your fridge for months on end. For more information on how to render animal fats, I found another blog you can visit https://www.daringgourmet.com/how-to-render-lard-and-why-you-should-use-it/ which also explains in detail the many benefits of these fats compared to the likes of canola and sunflower oil.
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Blessings to you