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You can use fats over and over by straining them after each use. Fry slices of potato to remove fish, onion, or other strong flavored food odors.
By duckie-do from Cortez, CO
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What do you keep your oil in after deep frying chicken? I deep fry in a heavy cast iron dutch oven. After I am finished and the oil is cool I transfer the oil to an empty clean milk jug for keeps. However, trying to lift and hold a heavy cast iron dutch oven while pouring the oil out is beginning to hurt my arms and hands. I didn't know if it was okay to just leave the oil in the dutch oven. Do you have a better way of deep frying and storing the oil?
I use a turkey baster to draw up the oil and a hand held strainer over the jar as I squirt it into the jar. Any type of jar will work.
Reusing cooking oil has been done throughout the ages and it's safe if you follow the following tips:
Strain it through a few layers of cheesecloth or mesh strainer to catch any food particles before storing.
Shake off excess batter from food before frying it.
Turn off the heat after you are done cooking. Exposing oil to prolonged heat accelerates rancidity.
Don't mix different types of oil.
Store oil in a cool, dark place.
Avoid iron or copper pots or pans for frying oil that is to be reused. These metals accelerate rancidity.
You might try using a ladle and dip the oil into the selected container until you get the most of it out and then it would not be so heavy, or take so long to lift and pour the last small amount out. I would hesitate to use the plastic milk jug, as it is not a plastic that is made to hold edibles for an extended period of time (it is even recommended that they not be used to store water for any length of time).
If you use a deep fat fryer, you know how smelly your oil can get after just a couple of uses. When this happens, peel a potato and heat up the oil and fry the potato. This removes odors fast and easily. Be sure to change your oil often and wipe clean your fryer. My deep fat fryer was bought in 1984 and is still in excellent working order.
By Gem from VA
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My Mom used to say that frying plain white potatoes in used fryer oil would purify it (take out any previous tastes from frying). Is this true? If not, what else works? It's a big expense and waste of resources if you can't prolong the life of fryer oil.
By Bluey from Laramie, WY
Frying a batch of potatoes just further breaks down the oil. If you want to re-use oil, strain it through a metal strainer lined with a coffee filter. (03/02/2010)
Some people cook a medium onion on the oil, not potatoes, to help. (03/02/2010)
Yes, slice the potato the long way in 1/2 slices. Sort of like putting a slice of bread in your brown sugar to soften it or with cookies that got hard. Not exactly knowing the reason, something passed down for generations of cooks to cooks.
It used to be we only had the lard rendered from animals to use in deep fryers, and I would imagine now days with the availability of peanut oil to safflower/sunflower/canola, it is our choice to use what we want. Making sure it is bottled and refrigerating is a must. Not something our moms did. It was most likely left on the counter. Using the coffee strainer works well for straining the oil. (03/02/2010)
After deep frying wontons in Canola oil, can I reuse the oil later to fry wontons again?
Sheri from Milpitas, CA
Milpitas, hmmm? I grew up in the 'Bay Area'--Menlo Park, Los Altos, etc. ANYway, I don't see why you couldn't save and reuse Canola oil, especially for the same purpose. We used to reuse oils all of the time, and for many foods (I don't 'deep'-fry much anymore). Strain or scoop out any food particles, store in closed container in cool place [even the fridge]. Oh, don't worry if it gets cloudy in the fridge, just bring it back to room temp and it'll be fine. (06/17/2008)
As long as you strain the bit food bits from the oil, everything should be fine and you can certainly re-use it.
The only problem with re-using oil is the taste factor. The oil picks up the flavor of whatever you fry in it. Sometimes it can make food taste better, and sometimes make it taste worse.
If you fried a bunch of fish and garlic in the oil, then later used the oil to fry some chocolate truffles, your chocolate truffles will taste like fish and garlic too. (06/17/2008)
My mom used to fry potatoes of some kind in between batches to avoid flavors between batches of different food. Don't know if it really works or is an old wives tale type of thing. The first link below says to fry parsley.
There have been articles about how reheating oil breaks down the oil into something unsavory and unhealthful. The 2nd and 3rd links for more on that.
Yes, you can reuse Canola oil. You can also freeze the oil to keep it from going bad. (06/18/2008)
By Leslie from Mississippi
Basic rule of thumb. Don't reuse oil if meat was cooked in it but anything else can be put in a jar and put in the fridge for late use. I reuse the oil from scone making all the time.
To help keep the used oil from going rancid, squeeze out a capsule or 2 of Vitamin E in it. This is per Adele Davis' book Let's Cook it Right. (from a SF Bay Area native) (06/18/2008)
I reuse my oil all the time. I use coffee filters to stain the food particles out. it preserves the oil longer. Keep in fridge or cold room. Use old coffee pot with strainer and you won't have to buy new equipment and the coffee pot fits in the frig with a spout to boot. Handy
By Cariboo Lady.
Yes you can but there are some things you need to do. First make sure it's cool. Second strain it with cheese cloth or a coffee filter. Third but into clean bottle (I use the one it came in) with no water in it. Fourth put into fridge for later.
If you use it for more then wontons then throw it away after cooking. If you use oils for cooking remember that if it smelled, you can only use it for the same kind of food, because oil gets rancid after use and left out in the air. (06/18/2008)
Thanks to everyone for the feedback! You were very helpful.(06/25/2008)