Used oil storage and re use

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by redvan, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. redvan

    redvan

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    Greetings,
    I use vegetable oil for frying small batches of food in a frying pan rather than break out my table top deep fryer. Afterwards, I dispose of the oil.

    Recently, a guest told me to strain and save the oil instead. She said she uses a store bought steel can with a built in strainer and lid designed for this purpose.

    I assumed she then kept this can in her fridge but she said no. She keeps it on the counter next to her stove for reuse.

    Is this a good practice, wouldn't the oil go rancid sitting at room temperature?

    Regards,
    Red
     
  2. halb

    halb

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    For the small quantity that you use in a pan it makes no sense to save it. For larger quantities like with a fryer there are filters (they look like coffee filters). Filter while hot, let cool and put in a container in the cooler. Oil doesn't last for ever either and gradually deteriorates/gets contaminated. You will notice old oil doesn't cook as well or as fast. There are test strips that you use to test your oil to see when it's no longer usable. Depending on what you are frying, you can get a sense of when to change your oil without the testing. It can look pretty bad even after filtering. Oil isn't that expensive and unless you have big fryers it's probably better to dump it after a few uses.
     
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  3. dectra

    dectra

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    Wouldn't keep oil of any quantity on the counter for a length of time. Strain it, pop it in the walk in.
     
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  4. redvan

    redvan

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    Thank you dectra and halb.
    I knew there was something fishy with what she was saying.

    Thanks again,
    Red
     
  5. someday

    someday

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    Um, I disagree. It absolutely makes sense to save it. Oil is fine if it is strained a few times and reused. This is common practice in any restaurant that has a deep fryer.

    Do you all think that a restaurant would take gallons and gallons of oil from the deep fryer, strain it and keep it in the fridge every night? Where do you think the oil sits when the fryer isn't turned on? They don't wheel the fryer into the walk in every night at the end of service. It is strained, the fryer is cleaned, and the oil is placed back into the fryer. After a few days the oil is changed.

    There is nothing wrong with straining your fryer oil and re-using it. You can't do it indefinitely but you can get a few uses out of it.

    There is nothing fishy about what your guest told you.


    If you go to the grocery store or any restaurant, the oil is all stored at room temp. Do you seriously believe that all oil should be stored in the fridge? If I came over to your house right now and opened up your refrigerator door I'd find a bunch of oil in your fridge?

    What are you basing this stuff on?
     
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It depends on what I'm frying. If I fry chicken or fish then I toss the oil. But I keep a container of oil that I fry potatoes in. I just strain it and store it.
     
    halb likes this.
  7. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Hi redvan,

    Here's my two cents!

    Use your nose and eyes. Is there an offensive odor? Is the oil dark brown? Sure, throw it away!

    Did you just make one or two dozen cake donuts? Don't throw it away! Wasteful...

    I recommend that you strain all but the last few ounces, when you finish frying, into a container that can withstand the heat. The last few ounces contain loose breading/small chunks/excess batter that has fallen to the bottom and you don't need to clog the strainer with those particles. For the quantity you described, I would use a coffee filter set in a small strainer. I actually bought a steel strainer a little bigger than a coffee filter to use when I fry small amounts you describe. The strainer rests on a steel mixing bowl. Leave the hot oil on the stove or in the oven till cool, not a counter top. Pour back into the oil bottle, refrigeration will slow spoilage or turning rancid. But use your nose and eyes!

    How long you can use oil for deep frying depends on WHAT you are frying. I am frying food doesn't really help us help you. Are you frying fish or onion rings or deep fried Snickers, Funnel cakes, Tempura Veggies?

    Once you fry fish, I would not use it for anything other than frying more fish, and only a few more times.
    Apple fritters in fish oil? NO...

    I can't help myself. Science to aid understanding.

    Anything that contains water, when submerged in oil that is over 212F/100C, will cause the cell walls that contain water to rupture because the water becomes steam! (Water transforms into steam at 212F or 100C at sea level)

    How to make roasted garlic oil? Raw garlic in oil, when heated above 212F (I like 300F for 30 minutes) and the oil now tastes like roasted garlic! The water in the garlic turns into steam and ruptures the structure of the garlic making the garlic soft. So between rupturing cell walls and the steam percolating up through the oil on it's way to freedom you end up with garlic flavored oil!

    This exact same process happens anytime you deep fry anything that has water, which is almost everything! The water in the fish, flavors the frying oil with a fish flavor. Basically...

    God luck with whatever you decide!
     
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  8. halb

    halb

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    OP was asking about saving the small quantity of oil used in a frying pan. Not worth the trouble and because it is a small quantity vs the amount of food being fried, likely it won't be any good when you are done with it anyway.

    I did agree with you about larger quantities such as with fryers.

    As for refrigerating used oil, it depends on how long you are going to let it sit. With fryers that are used every day nobody is going to suggest that they be drained every night. But if you are a casual user and the used oil can sit for weeks it's best to refrigerate it. From the FDA:

    With unused oil all you have to worry about is it turning rancid in storage and most oils have a very long shelf life if kept in a cool dark location. But with used oil, no matter how you filter it, it's still going to have some food particles in it and that is what hastens it going bad. Refrigeration can slow that process.
     
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  9. french fries

    french fries

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    OP was asking about FRYING in a pan (as opposed to using a deep fryer). We can assume he's using a fair amount of oil, therefore it makes total sense to strain it, save it, and re-use it a couple of times before tossing it.
     
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  10. toddhicks209

    toddhicks209

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    In our family, we only use leftover vegetable oil to cook French fries and only if it wasn't previously cooked with spices in it.
     
  11. redvan

    redvan

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    Wow, I LOVE this site!
    You never let me down and never leave me guessing. Clear concise and precise. You cover all bases.
    Thank you all!

    Red.
     
  12. dectra

    dectra

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    Yes, you would.... 5 gallons of Peanut Oil and about a gallon of Duck Fat.

    I have worked in a few restaurants where it's not uncommon to keep used oil in the deep fryer. Granted, some of those fryers were so black that Jimmy Hoffa could have been at the bottom.

    That being said, the original question was about "vegetable oil for frying small batches of food in a frying pan" Straining it and storing it removes quite a bit of crap that sits at the bottom; all those burnt bits do affect flavor.

    I find (where practicable) that straining it and storing it in the walk (or fridge in this case) in extends its useful life span. I have oil that I've reused over and over, after straining and generally keep it in the walk in / fridge. Oil can't be reused forever; each time oil is reused oxidation occurs, eventually it'll start entering the food too rapidly, causing food to turn greasy, ruining its crispness and smelling quite rancid.
     
  13. someday

    someday

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    I don't need an oil storage/cleaning lesson from you. If you really want to keep 5 gallons(?!) of oil in your fridge that is your business. There isn't really much cause to do that unless somehow you don't expect to use the oil again for several months.
     
  14. dectra

    dectra

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    someday,

    Hey, buddy....YOU asked a question.

    YOU got my reply.

    At NO TIME did I, or anyone else propose to give 'oil storage/cleaning lessons'.


    You don't know how often I cook with that oil, if I keep it a week between uses or if I use it every six weeks, what of it? It's simply not cost effective to throw out something that continues to have value.

    If you don't want an answer to a question, don't ask for one; clearly you can't manage a conversation for the back and forth exchange of ideas that it is.