can i re-use old cooking oil

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Joined Jul 8, 2008
hi can anyone tell me is it possible to clean and re-use cooking oil so that i can use it for longer or does it have to be thrown out once dirty regards nightrider
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2006
If I may ask.....in what capacity are you wanting to clean and reuse the oil? At Home? In the restaurant? If the oil is old oil from the resturant you work at and has been discarded is that what you are thinking if using? Personally I'd think twice. It can be contaminated or cause you issues in your home. It's best use at that point is bio-diesel.

It's been my experience that people store the oil in most home fryers for 3-4 uses or until it looks too dark. You can always let it cool and strain it through a coffee filter or cheese cloth. I'm not sure if they sell filter paper for the home but it may be worth checking into if you like.

As far as for a restaurant, in my kitchens we filtered oil nightly (sometimes after lunch shift too) and rotated oil from one fryer to the next and so on only adding new oil to one fryer and completely emptying old oil twice a week from another. The oil that was discarded was not suitable for any type of consumption.
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2009
I don't use my deepfrier very often, maybe once a month, but last night I fried Lake Erie perch and French (Belgian?) fries.

My deepfryer holds 2 gallons of oil, which is great for holding temp, but not terribly economical. 

I intend to strain the used oil through cheesecloth and back into the plastic jugs.  (It was too hot to deal with last night.)

Does it make a difference how the oil is stored?  Refrigerate?  Freeze?

Any help appreciated.
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
In theory, cool and dark makes the most sense. But I just strain it, and leave the jug where it always sits, in a corner of the kitchen.

I appreciate the reason for not dealing with hot oil. But you should be sure and cover the fryer while you wait for it to cool, because oxidation reduces the number of times you can recycle it.

Typically, I get four-five uses out of a fryer load of oil.
 
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Joined Mar 21, 2008
Oil strains faster when warm so I would heat it a bit to get it to flow better. I put it back in the jug and into the fridge if I need to store it longer than a week or so.
 
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Joined Nov 4, 2010
When looking at reusing oil you need to look at what you want to use the oil for. If you want a clean taste and a golden brown when cooking for longer periods of time, clean oil is the best.  Old oil can affect the taste of the product and the color, if there are particles in the oil, they can stick to other products. Make sure when you are frying, you shake off excessive bread crumbs, flour, etc, so that it does not fall off and have a chance to burn when it stays in the oil. Covering the oil can certainly extend the life.

Freezing the oil can have consequences when brought back, moisture that is given off from products in the hot oil can condense in to water droplets and mix in the oil. When the oil is heated it can sputter and pop, creating a dangerous situation for burns and floor slippage. Water and hot oil do not mix well, even in small amounts.
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Have to disagree, ChefBradley,

If you add water to hot oil it will definately spatter and spit, because the water instantly vaporizes on contact.

However, if you have water mixed in cold oil, the water heats slowly, and evaporates as the oil heats. There will be no spatter.

if there are particles in the oil, they can stick to other products.

The whole idea of straining the oil is to remove any solids that were left behind during the frying process. Food particulates left behind not only spoil, they lead to rancidity in the oil as well. Fryer oil should always be strained before storing.
 
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Joined Nov 9, 2010
Personally, I'd say bin (or send for recyling) cooking oil looses much of its unsturated beta bonds during heating, so become less oil like and more saturated fat - I could put up with this, but I would be more worried about the increase in free radicals and the potential harm they might do.

If you want to be green, why not bottle up and pass on for recyling into vehicle fule - smells kinda funny - but it ups your eco warrior credentials for your kids.

Babs.
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
One way I use old oil is pretty good, but I only go through a cup or so a year that way.  When starting charcoal in my chimney starter, I put about a tablespoon of old oil on the newspaper before lighting it up.  It would be great if I only generated a cup or so of used oil a year!

mjb.
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
I generally cool off my oil, strain it, then keep in a sealed jar in the pantry for about 4 to 5 uses.  Home cook.

Oil used at least once strangely gives a better flavour - don't know why that is, fresh oil does not give the same result,  I prefer the second, 3rd 4th, 5th use.  It gives better browning.

One way to recylce oil at home, if you have a garden with birds, is to put that oil onto some cooked leftover starch, maybe rice, burghul, couscous etc. Let it get soaked up.  Just not too much at a time.  Then sprinkle it over your lawn and watch 'em go /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif   Squirrels would probably like it too - dunno, don't have then here.
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
One way I use old oil is pretty good, but I only go through a cup or so a year that way.  When starting charcoal in my chimney starter, I put about a tablespoon of old oil on the newspaper before lighting it up.  It would be great if I only generated a cup or so of used oil a year!

mjb.
Hi Teamfat - does it give a different flavour to the food using it that way?  Or does it just help get the fire going?

DC
 
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Joined Mar 21, 2008
Great firestarter, I give mine to friends who have bonfires every weekend. The pork fat from the BBQ pit works well too.
 
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