Can You Reuse Frying Oil?

Last updated on September 19th, 2022 at 05:30 am

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Fried food is filling and delicious. When you fry something, hot oil is used to cook the food. Usually, this is done in a shallow pan or deep-frying is when the food is completely immersed in a deep pan. 

There are so many foods that can be fried, and the result is a crispy outside and juicy inside. Sometimes, you may have to use a lot of oil and if it is expensive oil, this can prompt you to ask the question, can you reuse frying oil?

If you don’t want to throw away leftover frying oil, you can reuse it. If you want to reuse frying oil, choose canola, peanut, or vegetable oils. Olive oil won’t work well for deep-frying and won’t be reusable. 

Make sure you are frying correctly at the right temperatures. This can help the oil to last longer and be reused more as well. 

After you are done frying, you will need to drain the oil to get any unwanted food or batter out that could ruin it. Separate and label what the frying oil was used for and use it for the same thing again so they don’t end up tasting bad. 

If you use frying oil for fish and then for cheese sticks the next time then the cheese sticks will taste like fish! So only reuse oil for the same type of food. 

Every time you reuse the oil it will decompose. You will notice when it needs to be thrown out, so don’t overuse the frying oil as it will only last for a few frys. When it’s time to dump, throw the oil in the trash and not down the drain. 

Also, you don’t have to limit the frying oil to be reused for deep-frying only. You can use a little at a time for other frying needs as well.

How Many Times Can Oil Be Reused For Frying?

After cooking a big batch of fried chicken. You have leftover frying oil. Wanting to save it for cooking later on, you wonder, how many times the oil can be reused for frying?

It is recommended to only reuse oil 3 or 4 times for breaded or battered foods. For cleaner-frying food items, you can reuse the oil up to 8 times. If you keep replenishing the oil with fresh oil you can keep reusing it.

So, when you are reusing frying oil, only use it a few times in most cases. When you start to notice the oil getting cloudy or foam forming then you should get rid of it. Also, the smell will be a dead giveaway since bad oil smells very strong and rancid. 

While you can reuse frying oil only reuse it a few times and then in a close timeframe to when you first used it. 

Is It Unhealthy To Reuse Frying Oil?

Fried food sure is good, but it isn’t healthy to eat all of the time. If you are saving and reusing the oil that it is cooked in, is this unhealthy?

It is safe to reuse frying oil. Just properly clean and store it to keep using it for more frying. It isn’t unhealthy to reuse the frying oil but after several frying sessions you will want to replace it with fresh oil.

The Hazards of Reusing Cooking Oil “For safety and quality, use fresh cooking oil each time you fry. However, if you deep-fry large amounts of food frequently, it is not always practical from an economic standpoint. By choosing oils with a high smoke point, preparing food for minimal contamination of the oil and straining the oil to get out any food particles left over, you can reuse most oils as long as they are properly stored.” 

If you store extra oil properly then you can reuse it safely without worrying if it is unhealthy to do so. Saving and reusing oil is for deep frying since regular frying should be done with fresh oil every time.

What Do You Do With Leftover Oil After Deep Frying?

After you are finished deep frying some food and have a lot of leftover oil, you can save it. But, what do you do with the oil after that?

When you have extra frying oil and don’t want to toss it, save it. Leftover frying oil can be saved and reused. Follow some important tips on how to properly store the oil so you can use it again later.

The Spruce Eats mentions,  “If you plan to deep-fry soon or fry foods on a regular basis, you can save the cooking oil to use again. First, strain the oil through a coffee filter or several layers of cheesecloth to remove any particles and crumbs. Then, pour it into an airtight container and store in a dark place until ready to use.” 

You can then use the clean leftover frying oil for frying again. When reusing the oil, you will want to use it for food that is similar to what you used it for before. 

So, don’t fry doughnuts in oil that you used for frying chicken or catfish because this can cause bad flavor to be passed on to them.

Final Thoughts

Leftover frying oil can be reused. It is safe to reuse frying oil if you store and use it properly. 

To save the leftover frying oil, let it cool and remove any pieces of crumbs or batter left in it. Then strain and transfer to a glass jar or the bottle it came in and store in a cool dry place. 

Label the frying oil so you know what you used it for. It can also be helpful to mark how many times you reuse it on the container as well. It is recommended to use fresh oil every time you fry but when deep-frying, you may have a lot of leftover frying oil that could have been expensive. 

It is not unhealthy to reuse frying oil, but it shouldn’t be used too many times. Only reuse the oil a few times and when it starts to look to smell bad, throw it away. 

All that to say, you can keep frying oil and reuse it later.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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