Bleached Palm oil is a unique tasting oil made by bleaching red palm oil for a few minutes till it looks somewhat like vegetable oil. Learning how to bleach Palm oil without smoking up your home is a needed skill if you are a fan of Ayamase stew, Ofada stew and many other delicious delicacies made with Bleached Palm oil.
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Bleaching Palm oil
Bleaching Palm oil? You may wonder if this is a necessary post. The first time I tried to bleach Palm oil, I nearly burnt down my house. That was back when I was living in Nigeria. It was my baby’s nanny that saved the day.
If she didn't walk in when she did, it would have been a different story. When I look back I can’t help but thank God for her. So you see, that is the reason this post is very necessary. Kindly bear with me.
[bctt tweet="If you want to bleach your palm oil for the first time, then you MUST read this." username="mydiasporakitch"]
My Bleached Palm Oil Story and How I learnt how to do it right.
I think that day I wanted to make ayamase stew ( green bell peppers stew) or some other thing for which I needed to bleach palm oil. I put the pot over the lit stove, poured in the palm oil and it started heating it up.
Within minutes the pot caught fire. I was shocked and confused. I screamed, turned the burner off and rushed towards the sink to get some water.
Just then my nanny walked in and screamed 'Aunty COVER the pot' and that was it. I covered the pot and that contained the flame as it eventually cooled off.
Needless to say my palm oil was burnt and my ayamase experiment was postponed to a later date but at least my family was safe from a fire disaster.
So please COVER your pot when you want to bleach palm oil Please and leave it covered till the oil cools down. Why go through all this just to bleach palm oil right?
Recipes that use Bleached Palm oil.
Bleaching Palm oil is optional but the reason it is done is because Bleached palm oil has a unique taste and lends that flavor to any dish.
It is used for a variety of dishes like the Ayamase stew, Ofada Stew or my 5 ingredient Onion rice and many others.
To be honest, you can use it for pretty much any recipe that requires vegetable oil especially if you like it's distinctive taste.
Other uses of Bleached Palm oil.
Besides cooking, it is used in soap making but this is beyond the scope of this blog post.
Ingredients and tools needed
- Good quality Palm oil
- Stainless steel Pot (Preferably with a tight fitting see through lid)
- A storage container
How to bleach Palm oil without smoking up the house.
*This is an overview of this tutorial with step by step photos. Full tutorial can be found in the printable recipe card below. Make sure to watch the video as well for further guidance.
Pic 1-3; Pour Palm oil into a clean dry pot, cover pot, and turn on the heat.
Pic 4-6; after bleaching the oil, let it cool completely then transfer cooled oil into a clean dry container for storage.
How to store and for how long.
Let bleached palm oil cool completely before storage. Store in a glass jar with lid or bottle with a cover.
You can also store in a plastic bottle, provided it's completely cooled. Bleached Palm oil can be stored for up to 6 months in a cool dry place.
Quick Recipe notes and tips to keep you 'safe' during this process.
- Because palm oil has the tendency to smoke up the house and make you cough, bleach Palm oil in a well ventilated kitchen.
- Also make sure to bleach a substantial amount so you can store it for the next recipe that needs it. .
- Please COVER your pot while the Palm oil is cooking to prevent a fire hazard. If the lid of your pot has a steam vent, consider sealing it off with a bit of paper towel to prevent smoke from escaping while bleaching the oil (please watch video to see how i do it)
- Bleach for only 10 mins and turn off heat. The residual heat from the pot will continue to work on the oil till it cools completely.
- Leave the pot covered till the oil cools down completely. Depending on the quantity, it takes up to 20 mins for the oil to cool down completely.
Do you have additional tips to help everyone? Please share in the comments below. Thank you for being awesome
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How to bleach palm oil
- 2 cups fresh palm oil
- 1.Pour Palm oil in a clean and dry sauce pan, 2. Cover sauce pan with lid,3. Turn on the stove and cook palm oil in the covered pot for 10 minutes. DO NOT OPEN POT.
- 4. Turn off heat after 10 mins. LEAVE POT CLOSED till oil cools down completely which takes about 25 to 30 mins 5. Use immediately or pour into a clean dry jar6. store in a cool dry place for later.
After making my oil, it looks just like yours, however it kinda smells like wax, so I don’t know if I went wrong somewhere or if that’s normal. Thank you for the recipe!
The quality of oil you start with determines how the bleached palm oil turns out. Check the oil. Did it have an odor? That’s only thing I can think of that could cause it. Hope that helps.
Well, I don't cover my pot. How will I know it has bleached? lol. However I don't use a sauce pan either but rather a large enough African iron pot.
Still, can we talk about the supposed health implications of bleached palm oil? Some are saying it could cause cancer. I ask what about the traditional dishes that are only cooked with bleach palm oil & have been eaten for generations? Do these communities really have a higher cancer rate?
Since my experience of nearly setting my house on fire, I haven’t tried bleaching palm oil without covering the pot. Besides the fact there it can catch fire, it also prevents every one coughing while bleaching palm oil.
If you have been bleaching yours without covering your pot and you haven’t had a fire issue that’s good to know and could probably be due to the large surface area of the pot you use. But how do you take care of the smoke.
About knowing if the palm oil has bleached with a covered pot, there are two ways. Either by using a pot with a transparent lid or by timing the process.
About bleached palm oil being bad for the health I have tried to search the net for a conclusive research on that but didn’t see one. Palm oil is indeed a super food. Will keep the search on. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for this post.My oil caught fire while I was bleaching,it was in my confused state that I checked out your blog.God bless
You are welcome Gloria. It was because of the same experience I wrote this post. Hope no one got hurt? Thanks for taking out time to let me know this post was helpful. You are appreciated ?
hiya i tried bleaching and my oil caught fire and my whole pot went black
is it still safe to use this oil or should I throw it away
So sorry to hear about that. Did you follow my instructions and tips on how to bleach palm oil safely esp covering the pot.
If the oil is burnt I wouldn’t use it. Your best bet is to bleach another oil. Please follow the instructions in the video. Remember to subscribe, like and share too. Thank you.
And also you said turn heat on is this low, medium , medium low or high heat I see different answers everywhere
It should be medium heat not high heat. I will include that in my post. Thank you.
thank you for your reply Chi Chi. I have made ayamase b4 while I was in Nigeria and it came out well. But this time, I got the palm oil here in Canada from a African store and it is made in Ghana. I got my hubby and sister to taste it and they confirmed it tasted bad. I guess it oil was bad from the start. Anyway I have refined the stew and it now tastes nice*winks* . I couldnt afford to let my assorted waste. Thank you so much Chi Chi.
I feel you sis. I thought you were writing from Nigeria. I am now more convinced it’s the oil. Sometimes the Oil we buy from African stores here have a funny taste. It’s a hit or miss situation and it’s pretty frustrating. Thanks so much for your feedback. I am always excited to hear from my readers. Enjoy your ayamase stew dear. ? Hope you get to try more recipes from the blog.
Dear Chi Chi thank God for safety I just prepared my ayamase but d oil tastes somehow in my mouth which has spoilt the stew taste. Is there any remedy I could use to correct it? I spent a whole lot making it.
Hello Faith. Sorry you are having this issue. Let’s see how we can help. When you say tasted somehow, can you please explain more. Bleached palm oil has a unique and different taste from palm oil. If the palm oil you used wasn’t bad from start then the bleached palm oil shouldn’t taste bad. Have you used bleached palm oil before and know the taste. If yes, and this one tastes bad then I strongly believe the palm oil used was probably a bad one. If that is the case, then there may be nothing you can do about it. Also You can ask someone else to give it a taste to see if they notice anything. Let me know how it goes.