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What to do with leftover deep fry oil

Okay, we just made french fries last night in my barely broken in cast iron skillet. They were outstanding and I will never bake them in the oven again. My quesstion, what do I do with the oil? Leave it in the skillet? I hate to toss it since I've only used it once. I just hate throwing it away in the garbage and I don't have a can to put it in.

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  1. Pour it through a fine strainer or cheesecloth to remove all the bits and pieces and refrigrerate it. It can be used a few times, as long as you're using it for similar things. I wouldn't, for instance, use oil in which I'd fried chicken wings to make doughnuts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JoanN

      Thanks! I am going to sacrifice a plastic storage container just for french fry oil.

    2. I also strain and re-use a couple of times, although if you are frying fish that one needs to be kept separate otherwise the next time you use it your food will stink of fish.

      Once the oil is past it's prime, then I never know what to do with it, the waste disposal does not seem like a good idea, neither does the sink. I usually dig a hole in the garden and bury it!

      1 Reply
      1. re: smartie

        Most small restaurants that use oil will take it if you call and ask, since they have to dispose of large quantities.

      2. Locally, we're supposed to put cooking oil in a closed container, and put it out with the "hazardous" waste. I don't think too many people DO that, but I put it in a used margarine tub, peanut butter jar, or some other such item, and toss it that way. I know in some areas, such as colleges, someone converts used cooking oil for fuel in things like lawn mowers...I don't ask how. Maybe you have something in your area that does that, provided you have the room to collect it and save enough to make it worth while for them.


        1 Reply
        1. re: violabratsche

          I put mine in a 1/2 gallon plastic milk/juice jug. I just save it under the sink until I fill it up.

        2. I pour my oil into wine bottles using a funnel. It gets corked and goes out with the glass recycling.

          1. I save sturdy, wide-mouth large plastic containers for this purpose. (Mayonnaise, Vigo bread crumbs, etc.
            I recently did a "blind test" with dinner guests with 4 batches of shrimp fried in the same oil in order to detect whether the residual flavor from one batch adds a positive flavor increment to the next, and it certainly does. No contest. How long can I now keep my-field tested "shrimpy" oil, refrigerated, for what may be a superlative batch #5?

            1. I like to use Crisco for frying for its taste (or lack thereof). If you let it sit in the pan over night to cool, it will solidify again by morning and then you can easily scrape it out of the pan into the garbage. Much easier that dealing with a batch of used oil.

              1. The best way to dispose of your leftover cooking oil, is to contact your local fast food places (the ones that use oil daily, and have to dispose of it properly, and in accordance with local regulations) and ask them if you can drop yours off, for them to add to theirs. I've done this for several years now (when we've deep fried a turkey, for thanksgiving, the Super Bowl, etc.), and am surprised about two things. 1) How positively responsive they are in allowing me to do so. And 2) That they tell me I'm still the only one that has made this request... Hopefully this suggestion will help you and others, and thus help save our environment as well...

                1. I reuse the oil, especially if I made a vegetable. Then store the used oil in the plastic jugs that the oil originally came from. Once a year, Mr. Sam, a local trumpet player who converted his car to use cooking oil, comes by and picks up our containers. See if you can find a converted vehicle owner so that the oil gets one final use.

                  1. Where I live, the county hazardous waste disposal takes cooking oil. You might have a similar service in your area.