Frying/Cooking Oil - to save or not to save - what's the verdict?
- grnidkjun Feb 22, 2010 10:42 AM
I have a batch of oil I have fried chicken in.
I'm not sure if it's advisable to filter/save oil after chicken has been fried in it.
My mother says pour it through paper towels or coffee filters into a container..
stick a potato in the oil and refrigerate it labeled - chicken oil and use it again for chicken later.
Anyone here do this? And anyone know the purpose of the potato?
It can be reused if the oil is still in good condition, with a good color, no foaming up when reheated or having an off flavor or rancid, almost stale, smell. Oil can be used more than once and it'll be obvious when the oil's shot.
It's advisable to filter your oil everytime you use it to remove food particles that will burn and break down the oil more rapidly. Reusing it for chicken is fine, it has probably picked up some flavor from the chicken from the initial fry. If you fry other food products in it, they may taste like chicken or more like the seasoning you used with the chicken. Paper towel or coffee filters are fine tools for filtering.
The purpose of the potato is lost on me. There's a general idea in the cooking world that potatoes absorb flavors, salt, burnt taste, too much pepper, so maybe that's where that idea is coming from. It doesn't work so skip the potato.
I don't know about the potato, but I save my frying oil all the time. The only reason I wouldn't save it would be if it had a lot of burnt bits floating/suspended in it, which can make the oil taste burnt. Otherwise, I'd filter and save.
Even if it's got a lot of burnt floaters, I don't toss it...it goes into a jar to be used for starting my charcoal. I drizzle a couple of tablespoons of it on a sheet of newspaper to put in my charcoal chimney.
You can reuse the oil...filtering is a good idea and I actually use oil used for chicken to fry other things like potatoes, caramelized onions, pork chops and fish but I don't use oil previously used for fish on chicken.
I store my oil in clean plastic (once cooled) or glass mayo, peanut butter or jelly jars. I don't know about the potato...seems to me that it would rot and cause the oil to be of no use...but I've never used that method. If you store the oil correctly, you don't need the potato
My mom saved her oil all my life without a problem. However, I did read that used cooking oil--even once--is more "broken down" by the heat and it could explode. supposedly this happened at the CI test kitchens. So there is a risk, although I have never seen it myself.