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Jan 9, 2011 05:13 PM

How long can I keep oil and duck fat used for deep frying?

I don't deep fry very often, maybe once every 2 weeks if i get on a fried chicken kick. When I do, it always seems like such a waste of oil ( generally i use canola oil) since I only use it once. I'm wondering if I strain it well if it will last long enough for me to get multiple uses. Also how should i store it?

I was also wondering how long duck fat would last if used for deep frying?


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  1. You can absolutely reuse frying oil, incld. duck fat.

    The biggest thing you have to guard against is rancidity.

    To prevent your oil from going rancid, follow these guidelines:

    - Strain it with cheesecloth or a strainer to catch any leftover food particles
    - Shake off excess batter from food before frying it.
    - Fry foods only at 190°C.
    - Turn off the heat after you are done cooking. Exposing oil to prolonged heat accelerates rancidity.
    - Don't mix different frying oils (e.g. duck fat and vegetable)
    - Store leftover oil in a cool, dark place.
    - Avoid using iron or cooper cookware for frying oil that is going to be reused. Copper and iron tend to accelerate rancidity.

    All of that said, the most times of frying I've gotten out of one batch oil is about 5 or 6 uses.

    Hope that helps and enjoy your duck fat. Yum x2.

    1. I agree with ipse's points. Consistent straining out of breading/food particles after a frying session is one of the best ways to prolong your oil's lifespan. Double ply cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter does a good straining job, and a fine mesh sieve is acceptable. I do fry chicken in a cast iron skillet, but use a smaller amount of oil, not near enough to call it deep frying, and generally don't save it past one frying session.

      Your oil's frying days will be well over and the time to toss or recycle it has come when the oil appears dark in color and starts to foam, rather than bubble, when you attempt to fry something, like chicken, in it.

      2 Replies
        1. re: shaharidan

          By the way, don't forget that the French use duck fat to "confit" the duck, which makes duck fat an excellent preservative. Cooked duck meat covered with its own fat lasts months. Don't toss any "leftover" duck fat. It makes the most wonderful fried potatoes, and just about anything else!