As with many things in the frying world, it depends. Whilst your average Great British Chippy will change frying oil once a week, the frequency varies from restaurant to restaurant. In this post, we take a look at the factors influencing oil reuse, as well as how to tell when it’s time to fill up with a new batch.
Reusing frying oil
The aim with deep fat frying is to give a perfectly crisp, dry texture to your foods. Whether your restaurant is serving up chips or exploring with some more unusual fried foods, it’s more than possible to reuse frying oil. Just how many times you can reuse it, however, depends on quite a few factors. Here are the main ones:
- Type of oil – Some types of oil are more stable than others, with higher smoking points. Sustainable palm oil, for instance, has a smoking point of 230C and can be used repeatedly without losing quality. Less stable oils, like soybean and rapeseed oil, on the other hand, will degrade faster and give your food a soggy, greasy texture.
- Types of food fried – What you fry has an impact on how many times you can use frying oil. As a rule of thumb, oil used for frying plain chips can be recycled more than for battered or breaded foods. This is because the latter can leave behind small bits and pieces which are continually cooked in the oil, leading to its degradation.
Fryer cleaning habits – How clean you keep your fryer can have an impact on the lifespan of your oil. A deep clean ‘boil out’ is only necessary every 3-6 months, but filtering your oil should be a daily activity. When the oil has cooled down after a shift, use a skimmer to remove any floating debris, before filtering into an airtight container to be stored in a cool, dark place ready to be used again.
When to replace your frying oil
Although there are various tips on how to extend the life of your frying oil, there comes a time when it needs to be replaced. Here are the tell-tale signs that you need to substitute it for fresher oil:
- There’s more foam on the surface of the oil.
- The oil takes on a darker colour.
- There’s a slightly rancid smell to the oil.
- Fried foods are less crispy and more soggy.