Can I Reuse My Frying Oil?

April 23, 2020

The amount of frying oil needed to cook often leads people to bemoan the waste. However, this does not have to be an issue. Knowing how many times you can reuse cooking oil in New Orleans, LA is often all the reassurance necessary to expand a restaurant menu into fried foods or enjoy eating them more often at home. Here are five factors to consider when determining whether you can reuse cooking oil:

  • Straining: Straining oil after each fry removes elements that can affect the taste of food. Even if you are frying cleaner foods, it is better to keep straining the oil to get the maximum use out of it. Otherwise, you risk customers tasting nothing but the grease.
  • Breading: If you are frying something like chicken nuggets, the number of potential uses for your oil is reduced. That is because breaded food is considered less clean, and each dunk into the oil releases debris into it. Eventually, the ingredients will lead to fryer oil degradation and food that will taste extra greasy and “off.” However, un-breaded foods, like potato chips, can use the same cooking oil up to eight times without any sign of degradation. Basically, if you add breading or extra flavor to food, limit oil reuse to no more than five times.
  • Color: Degraded oil turns nearly greenish or cloudy. This will occur even with good straining. Check out the color of the oil before you start frying, and after a few rounds, check it again. If it starts to look a bit rough, it may be time to replace your oil.
  • Rate of replenishment: With some recipes, adding fresh cooking oil can extend reuse of the original oil. This is especially true with cleaner frying items, like potato chips. Fresh oil can allow you to use the original batch up to eight times. However, this is unlikely to make a difference with food that is breaded or heavily spiced. In those cases, do not waste oil by replenishing with new oil. Deposit old oil into a container for recycling or disposal and start fresh again.
  • Number of dishes: If you are using cooking oil at home and frying multiple servings, you may want to use fresh oil for each new dish. This will not make a big difference if you start with the clean frying items and then end with the messier ones. However, unless you want the flavor from the messier items to transfer to the clean ones, it is best to switch out oil between the dishes.

Cooking oils degrade and lose flavor. Sometimes, knowing how many times you can reuse cooking oil is merely knowing when it is time to dispose of it—and how to do so safely. Otherwise, you risk clogging your grease trap or plumbing and causing serious problems.

Fortunately, there are services available that help you dispose of and recycle cooking oil. Safeway Used Oil and Grease performs this service throughout New Orleans, LA. Contact us today to help you with your oil disposal needs.

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