You’ve probably been advised that you need to fill your fryer to the brim with oil if you want to deep fry anything – from chicken to chips. However, you’d also like to minimize waste after you have deep-fried your chicken. So what can you do with the oil you just used to fry the raw chicken? Should you reuse the oil?
This post will focus on finding an answer for you, whether or not you can reuse frying oil. Besides, I will walk you through some related questions, as well, so that you can take measures and precautions before you do anything. So let’s start with the most important and frequently asked question – can I reuse oil after frying chicken wings?
Can You Reuse Oil After Frying Chicken Wings?
Yes, you can reuse oil after frying chicken wings, but before you do that, it would help if you first let the oil cool. Put the oil in a cool, dry place away from children and let it cool before you can transfer it into a clean container.
Additionally, you should ensure that you have filtered any tiny residues of chicken wings that may remain in the oil. That way, your oil is free from the detritus and ready for reuse.
You also need to know that reusing oil isn’t recommended without a deep fryer. In fact, according to a report, reusing oil without a deep fryer could be harmful to your health. In that same report, it’s said that reused oil increases cholesterol and could contribute to cancer.
How Do You Store Oil After Frying?
Now that you know that you can reuse frying oil, but before you do that, how do you store it after frying chicken wings? Let your frying oil cool for some time, then transfer the oil to a clean container from the fryer. Filter the oil as you transfer it to a clean container to remove any present residues, then store it in a cool, dry place free from children.
It would help if you labeled your used oil to know that it was already used. This way, you can distinguish the already used oil from the fresh oil. This will also be helpful to avoid some flavors left in the oil when you fry some foods. For example, non-bartered vegetables would always leave behind some taste or flavor. Furthermore, the residues may sometimes degrade your oil.
If you want to keep your used oil for a more extended time, then it would help if you refrigerate the used oil and get it out whenever you want to use it. You can store your used oil for just three months at most.
How Many Times Can You Reuse Oil for Deep Frying?
There is no specific amount of times you are free to reuse frying oil. However, you need to note that reusing oil over time will degrade it eventually. For example, frying fresh foods in a degraded oil will result in greasy or soggy food, which again, isn’t good for your health. Below are some estimated periods that should guide you on how many times you can reuse oil for deep frying:
- 3 to 4 times for battered foods
- 8 or more times for fried foods
Now, in cases, where you notice that the oil you are using gets smoky when you are frying something else, please discard the oil and use a new oil. This is just a sign that time is up for the used oil and that you need to get rid of it.
Is It Healthy to Reuse Frying Oil?
Healthwise, reusing oil is a bad practice because it has several dangers. Reusing oil can cause more carcinogens in oil, increase cholesterol, and increase more acidity. Let’s now discuss the hazards in detail, shall we?
Dangers Associated With Reusing Oil
1. More Carcinogen in Oil
Reused oil has more carcinogens, and carcinogens may lead to cancer. That means that reusing oil can expose you to the risk of developing cancer. Additionally, reused cooking oil always has free radicals which can lead to inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of most health complications, such as diabetes, obesity, among others. Even worse, inflammation can reduce your immunity, making you vulnerable to most diseases.
2. Increase of LDL Cholesterol
Reusing or reheating oil increases cholesterol in the oil, which is dangerous to your body. High cholesterol levels can expose you to heart diseases, chest pains, and stroke. If you have any of these complications, reused oil should be a no-no for you.
3. More Acidity
If you are suffering from acidity or stomach burning sensations, it’s essential that you avoid reused oil, by all means, Don’t buy roadside junk as these foods are mostly cooked using reused oils, which are not suitable for your health. Likewise, you should avoid reusing oil if you are undergoing any of these conditions mentioned above.
6 Simple Rules to Reusing Oil After Frying Chicken
1. Choose Your Oil Appropriately
Your fry technique will determine whether or not you’ll reuse the oil after frying chicken. If the technique is off, your oil might not be reusable.
Your choice of oil is essential for an effective frying. And because every oil varies in smoking point, it would be best to choose one with a high smoking point. Oils with high smoking points tend to break down slowly.
Such include vegetable oils, canola, peanut, among other examples. Meanwhile, do not use olive oil for deep frying. Despite being costly, it has a low smoking point and unpleasant flavor, making it a bad choice.
2. Fry Right
Unsteady temperatures might be the cause of most deep frying setbacks. Maintaining the temperature prevents the food from getting mushy, especially when the oil is cold. Steady temperatures will also ensure even cooking when the oil is hot. Not only that, but it also enhances the shelf life of your oil. Remember, your oil will break down if it gets too hot, turning your food greasy.
To control temperatures when frying, place the thermometer’s tip inside your oil and observe the temperature rise. The thermometer in the picture should be able to accommodate high heat for complete effectiveness. The temperature will drop upon adding batches of food, so we’d recommend raising the temperatures in between frying. Meanwhile, keep observing the thermometer for steadiness.
3. Filter the Fat
It will help if you drain the oil and filter after each subsequent fry. Any impurities will interfere with the oil’s cohesion, causing burns in the future. Embrace the culture of draining and filtering your oil after each frying to preserve your oil.
If the particles are too tiny, wrap a few cheesecloth layers around a metal strainer to filter them out. After that, let your oil cool to room temperature and refrigerate in a sealed container.
4. Separate Your Oils
Because deep frying involves food immersion, you may want to separate your oils based on the flavor levels. Oils tend to absorb the flavor of the fried food. For example, the flavor of fried fish may be a turn off to snacks. Therefore, it would be best to separate your oils to prevent the unpleasant flavor from extending over.
5. Don’t Over-Reuse Oil
The more you reuse an oil, the more you’re destabilizing its components. According to Robert Wolke, a scientist, and author of What Einstein, hot oils tend to emulsify, giving it a gummy consistency and a darker color.
More often, you’ll notice some cloudy foam on top of your recycled oil. If this happens, it might be time to replace it with a fresh one. Gauging a rancid oil with your eyes can be a daunting prospect; however, the crude smell is enough to tell. Meanwhile, do not use oil that’s more than two months old, even if the smell is subtle.
6. Talking Trash
Okay, we get it. You’ve carefully used your oil without interfering with its components. As such, your oil still feels fresh and lacks rancid smells. Even so, you still need to toss it away. As a general rule, do not drain grease down the drain as it will cling to your drainage pipes. Instead, wrap it in a sealable bag and toss it to the trash. Alternatively, contact your local disposal authority and inquire if they accept reused cooking oil.
Bonus Tip: Just Avoid Deep Frying
Because you already know that deep-frying and then using the same oil for cooking some oils are okay but could come with some serious health effects, it’s better not to reuse the oil, especially if you are suffering from any health conditions, such as diabetes, heart diseases, stomach ailments and many more. Reused oils will always have more carcinogens, exposing you to even more severe health issues, such as cancer.
Can You Reuse Oil After Frying Shrimp?
You can reuse oil after frying anything, including frying shrimp. Still, you need to note that it is not good healthwise, especially if you have health complications, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases.
It would help if you always strived to use the oil once and after that never use it. In other words, avoid deep frying, which will, in most cases, lead you to think of reusing oil.
Does Used Cooking Oil Need to Be Refrigerated?
Yes, you can store your used oil in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. You can use a cool dark cupboard if you just want to store your used oil for a shorter time. More extended periods require a cooler temperature, which you can always find in refrigerators.
Sure, air will get into your oil bottle when you leave it open, and there’s a possibility that the air can oxidize spoilage reactions. But you don’t need to worry about this because this is a slow process and may not affect you as much.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Many Times Can You Use Oil for Deep Frying?
3 to 4 times if you are frying battered or breaded foods. However, you are free to reuse oil up to eight times if you are frying foods like potato chips. In some cases, you can reuse oil even longer when frying cleaner frying foods such as potato chips, especially when you are adding a little bit of fresh oil.
2. Can You Reuse Olive Oil After Frying?
If you use olive oil at a temperature lower than 200 degrees, it is okay to reuse that oil to cook other food. However, you must note that the food you would want to fry must be as dry as possible to release any water during the frying process. Releasing water in oil makes it break down, making it less effective.
3. Can You Fry Chicken and Fries in the Same Oil?
It depends because this depends on how your body reacts to different foods. Frying foods like chicken will indeed leave some residues in oil, which you can always filter. However, if your body reacts to specific foods like chicken, you might not want to reuse that same oil to cook other foods.
4. Can Old Deep Fry Oil Make You Sick?
Yes, old deep-frying oil can lead to serious health issues and risks. Old deep oils will always contain more carcinogen acids, which can be harmful to your general health. People suffering from different ailments, such as heart diseases, need to avoid reusing oil at all times.