Reusing Cooking Oil
There are a number of factors one must consider before reusing cooking oil that has been used to deep fry food.
Firstly, you should never mix used cooking oil with new cooking oil. Used cooking oil should be stored in a clean unused container that seals well. Used cooking oil should also be stored at room temperature and away from direct sunlight until you plan to reuse it. One must also remember that used cooking oil will go rancid far quicker than unused cooling oil.
Before storing used cooking oil, you must make sure that the oil has cooled properly. Hot oil is very dangerous and can cause severe burns. Cooled used cooking oil should then be strained to remove any small food particles that may still be present in the oil. One way to do this is to slowly pour the used cooking oil through a mutton cloth into the new clean container. The mutton cloth will trap all small food particles.
Once cooking oil has been used it starts to break down and the used cooking oil’s smoke point is lowered. As different cooking oils have different smoke points, this is another characteristic one must consider when reusing oil. The amount of times cooking oil can be reused also depends on the type of foodstuffs that were prepared with it previously. Protein rich foods such as meat will cause the used cooking oil’s quality to deteriorate faster than if vegetables were cooked with it. Every time used cooking oil is reused it picks up impurities from the food cooked or fried with it. Cooking oil used to fry fish for example should also not then be used to fry vegetables, as the oil will now carry a fish flavour.
As cooking oil is reused it darkens in colour and if food cooked with reused oil darkens in colour before it it’s cooked, it is probably time to dispose of the used cooking oil.