We pour in so much oil in a deep fryer that throwing it away once you are done seems like a waste. In that case, is reusing the oil in a deep fryer safe? If yes, up to how many times?
Can you reuse oil in a deep fryer?
You can assuredly reuse oil in a deep fryer depending on what you are frying and what oil you are using. The safest way to reuse deep fryer oil is to filter the oil completely before using it again. Using the oil too many times can cause health issues such as acidity and cholesterol.
If you are keeping the oil in the fryer, you should filter it out before use and not use it more than 3 to 4 months after. With the right techniques, using the oil 3 to 4 times is safer.
However, there are health risks involved in reheating oil as well. In case you want to dispose of it, you would also have to be wary of the right techniques.
Advantages of reusing deep fryer oil:
The advantages of reusing deep fryer oil are:
Saves you a lot of costs:
To begin with, oil can be expensive, no matter where you live. And we already know that deep-frying requires a tub full of oil.
If you own a small business, selling French fries, how many tons of oil would you need? Reusing the same oil by filtering it out before each use can save you a bit of cash.
You would have to keep in mind that each oil can be used safely up to a certain time only. How many times you can use an oil again will also depend on the cooking temperature and what you are frying.
Leave in the fragrance:
Have you ever used your deep fryer to fry chicken fry marinated in great spices? If you might have noticed how the oil is left with a great fragrance afterward.
Some people, even small restaurants, prefer to use that fragrant oil to fry their chips or French fries, just to add that little bit of extra flavor. Reusing oil can also change the savors of your food.
If done right, it would enhance the taste of certain fried items. If you use peanut oil, frying it for the second time usually makes the nutty flavor stronger.
Reduce waste and protect the environment:
This is a little-known fact that the oil that you throw out is often responsible for clogging your kitchen drain pipes. This is because the temperature of the oil reduces the form of solid lumps of fat.
By reusing the oil in a deep fryer for a safe number of times, you help to reduce this waste. Nevertheless, disposal should be done properly to benefit the environment.
Disadvantages of reusing deep fryer oil:
Despite the few advantages we have mentioned above, the disadvantages of reusing deep fryer oil do outweigh the advantages. Oil can be reused but only in the right way. Otherwise, the following problems may occur:
Increases production of cancerogenic:
When oil is reheated, free radicals and aldehydes are produced in the oil. These are chemicals that are potentially cancer-causing when consumed over a long time.
The possibility of such elements being produced doubles when the right techniques of reusing oil are not used. Filtering the oil and using it only up to a certain time is important.
Higher chances of acidity:
There is no debate that eating fried food causes acidity. However, you would notice a lot more acid reflux in your body when you are in the habit of using oil again and again.
We’re not saying that’s the only cause of your acidity, but eating food that has been fried in reused oil makes you feel a burning sensation immediately after.
Other health risks involved:
Cancer is not the only health issue that might be involved with reusing oil for deep frying.
The free radicals can cause heart issues, diabetes, and cause obesity if you consume reused oil regularly. If you use the oil till it turns dark, your body might intake bad cholesterol in the process.
What to do with leftover deep fryer oil?
With the leftover deep fry oil, you can either reuse it, recycle it or dispose of it. If you want to reuse the cooking oil, you would have to cool it down, filter it and store the oil, either In a container or the fryer itself
Never dispose of the deep fryer oil down the sink, and instead, you want to solidify the oil and throw it into a disposable container and the trash.
How many times can you use deep fryer oil?
You cannot use the same oil over and over again without potential health risks and a change of flavor. However, how many times you can use deep fryer oil depends on a number of factors.
These are: what you are cooking, what oil you are using and more precisely these determine what temperature you are using.
If you are using canola, peanut, or vegetable oil, you can use it 3 to 4 times. But you would need to filter out the food debris every time you reuse it, especially if you are frying cheese, chicken, or bread items. It is not wise to reuse oil more than 4 times.
If you are using corn or grapeseed oil to fry seafood or French fries, some experts say it is safe up to 5 or 7 times, since the temperature is not too high for these dishes.
How long can you use deep fryer oil?
Whether you keep it for a month or more, you would have to filter out every last charred or food remaining before keeping it in the deep fryer.
If you have kept oil in the fryer for more than 4 months, and 5 to 6 uses, the oil potentially loses its effects and can cause issues instead.
How long should you keep oil in a deep fryer?
Typically, the best practice when it comes to storing or reusing oil is to keep it in a moisture-free, air-tight container outside of the deep fryer.
However, you can generally keep the oil inside the deep fryer for up to 1 month without any issue. Sometimes, if you are using oils such as corn oil to fry French fries or shrimp, you can keep the oil in the deep fryer for up to 3 months.
How to store deep fryer oil?
Suppose you want to reuse your deep fryer oil some other day. In that case, you’ll want to store it. For that you have to:
Let the oil cool:
Let the oil cool completely and come to a temperature that you can touch easily. Next, you want to use a large strainer to take away any large food pieces.
Filter it properly:
You would now have to filter it properly. Use a very fine sieve, along with cheesecloth to filter out the oil. Make sure there is no burnt or food debris.
Pour in an air-tight container:
Pour the filtered oil into an air-tight container and store it in a cool place, away from moisture contact.
How do you dispose of deep fat fryer oil?
You can’t use the same deep fat fryer oil more than 3 to 4 times as it is not safe for your health. Here is how to safely deploy the reused oil so you don’t cause environmental harm:
Cool the oil:
Whether you wish to reuse the oil or dispose of it, cooling the oil completely is mandatory. After cooling, never pour the oil down the kitchen sink.
Some people even pour it down the toilet or bathroom sink thinking it would all be flushed away. This could cause your plumbing lines to clog.
Freeze the oil:
After the cooking oil is cooled, you would want to freeze the oil into solid chunks of fat. This makes it easier to throw away.
Put it into a disposable container:
Once frozen, scrape it all up and put it into a disposable container. You can find these containers everywhere or use your milk cartons if you have none. You can also put the solid oil into a plastic trash bag.
Dispose of it:
Now, take the container to a trash can and dispose of it.
Can you get sick from old deep fryer oil?
If you have used the deep fryer oil a couple of times, and use it again without filtering, you can certainly feel sick from consuming that oil.
Free radicals produced from constantly reheating the oil can cause heartburn and cholesterol. In the long run, cancer-causing chemicals are also produced if deep fryer oil is used too many times.
What is the healthiest oil for deep-fat frying?
Oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, and canola oil are comparatively healthier options for deep-fat frying than vegetable oil or sunflower oil.
Fats like coconut oil tend to become solidified quickly and the fat incorporated in the healthier oils is considered to be safe for both shallow and deep-frying.
If you wish to reuse the oil in a deep fryer, make sure to filter out the food debris every time. Since reheating oil can cause major and minor health issues, we recommend you only reuse the oil 3 to 4 times. When you want to dispose of or recycle it, find a suitable collector for better use.