Can You Reuse Oil After Frying Chicken?

The truth is that baked chicken can be good, but what you can’t beat is fried chicken that’s crunchy and golden brown.

No matter how much work it is, it’s always worth it, but how do you handle the left-over oil?

Can you reuse oil after frying chicken? Almost always, oil can be reused after frying chicken or any other food. The oil should be strained after cooling to remove any food debris, and then properly stored. You can reuse oil up to 10 times under the right circumstances. 

Cooking chicken can be messy and sometimes challenging, but it’s always delicious. Home cooks are usually concerned about the cost of oil (especially if using peanut oil). We have a few tips to help you get the most from your oil. 

You will also learn how to determine when your oil is no longer fresh and how to deal with it properly, as well as tips and tricks for preserving it. 

Reusing Oil After Frying Chicken

Regardless of where you live in America, golden-brown, crispy fried chicken is a comfort food staple.

There may be differences in the recipe, but the pleasure of biting into a juicy, tender piece of chicken with its crunchy skin is the same everywhere.

We tend to order fried chicken from restaurants these days not only to avoid the hassle and cleanup of making it ourselves, but also to avoid spending money on oil just to dispose of it.

You’ll need quite a bit of oil to deep fry a chicken piece, and depending on the quality of the oil you use, it might cost you quite a bit.

After frying, you can reuse oil several times. The key is to understand how it works.

Making your oil preservation plan ahead of time will allow you to take steps that can help you get the most from it.

It is a good idea to pick the right oil and control the temperature during cooking. 

After cleaning and straining your oil, you can store it safely so that it can be reused several times.

Normally, battered items can be fried in oil for 3-4 times. It is possible to reuse non-battered oil anywhere from 8-10 times, sometimes more. 

How Long Can You Keep Oil After Frying Chicken?

In order to determine how long you can keep using frying oil, you can measure either its actual shelf life or the number of times it can be reused.

How and what you fry will greatly influence how long used oil will keep. Cleaning and storing the oil are also important, as is the type of oil. 

Oil that has been used once in a fry can last between one and two months if properly stored and not reused. Eventually, it will deteriorate.

Oil breaks down and goes rancid over time. The more it is used, the faster it breaks down. 

Whenever you heat oil to fry something or even just to cook something other than frying, you alter its chemical composition.

It will eventually become useless and need to be disposed of. Later, we will talk about how to properly dispose of oil. 

What Do You Do With Oil After Frying Chicken?

After you fry chicken, follow these steps to preserve the oil.

The first step in cleaning the oil is to remove any large particles of food. When the oil is still hot, it is best to remove these items as soon as possible so that the items do not continue to break down. Be careful, however. 

The next step is to strain the oil through a fine mesh sieve after allowing it to cool for a bit (but not all the way). For better results, use a fine mesh sieve.

During this step, food particles, such as batter bits that broke off during the cooking process, are removed. 

When you strain your oil, you should do so while it is still warm because once it cools, the fats congeal, becoming more viscous and more likely to leave some food particles behind.

An old aluminum can is recommended to store the oil while it is still too hot to be placed in its final container. The hot oil will not affect aluminum, in fact, it will help it cool down faster since aluminum is easy to clean. 

We recommend keeping a few aluminum cans on hand for straining and disposing, one large one for straining and another or two for disposal. 

The strained oil can now be transferred to a storage container after it has cooled. For best results, use a tight-fitting lid on a well-made plastic container (more details to follow). 

How Many Times Can You Reuse Frying Oil?

When you take the right steps to properly clean and store your used oil, you can expect to be able to use it at least 3-4 more times when frying battered or coated foods.

Your oil can be used up to ten more times if you fry things without batter. 

You do not have to use your oil to fry chicken every time because you used it the first time.

The oil is not suitable for frying lighter fish due to conflicting flavors, but you can use it for cooking and frying anything else. You can find more information about the best fish oils in our other article.

In fact, even if you just stir fry some oil that has been fried with chicken, the flavor from the spices and meat will remain. Your dish will be touched by this subtle flavor.

Don’t forget to use your stored oil when you are cooking, especially if you are using a small amount. You won’t notice any difference in flavor. 

How Should You Store Used Frying Oil?

It is important to store used oil in an airtight container that is kept in a cool, dark place to extend its shelf life.

Light and heat will continue to degrade the oil, while air can let moisture in, which can make your oil go rancid faster. 

It is recommended that you use a clear container, either plastic or glass, and that you store it in the refrigerator. If possible, store the oil at a cooler temperature, but do not freeze it as it will not freeze properly and will degrade more quickly. 

Fresh vegetable oil, however, can be frozen.

What Other Factors Can Prolong the Shelf Life of Used Oil?

In addition to choosing the best oil for frying chicken and controlling the temperature when you fry, you can prolong the shelf life of your oil by cleaning, straining, and storing it properly. 

For frying, it is best to use oils that have higher flashpoints (the temperature at which they will start smoking and eventually burning). In general, soy, peanut, and vegetable oils are the best for frying. 

You need to be aware of the temperature your oil reaches even if you’re using oils with high flashpoints.

You need to preserve the oil, but you also need to make sure that your food is safe, and most importantly, enjoy it. 

Oil thermometers that are designed for oil are ideal for monitoring the temperature of your cooking oil. They often come with clips so they can be attached to the edge of the vessel you are cooking in. Digital options are available as well. 

Fry at a temperature between 300 and 375°F.

How Do You Know Frying Oil Went Bad?

As the first step, this is the easiest one. As a beginning, you’ll notice that the oil has changed color or even separated. You will be able to smell the difference immediately if you are still unsure. 

You should discard your used oil if it has any odor that is off-putting. It will be obvious to you. The other aluminum cans are ideal for this situation.

How Do Dispose of Used Frying Oil?

Oil is sometimes thrown out in yards by some people. There are several reasons why we don’t recommend doing this. In some cases, this is illegal, but in most cases it destroys grass and other vegetation in the area.

There could even be a smell and unwelcome wildlife could be attracted. Even though you may run hot water or pour boiling water down the drain afterward, it is not recommended that you pour it down the drain.

Once the oil cools and thickens, this could turn into a major plumbing problem depending on how old your pipes are. 

In order to properly dispose of used oil, you should place it in an old aluminum can or in any other container you do not mind letting go of.

In a small plastic bag or garbage bag from a store, place the container after it is hardened, and then place it in the freezer. The pet waste bag can also be used. 

If you live in an environmentally friendly city or state, you may be able to dispose of used oil at a facility that recycles used oil or specializes in disposing of it.

Your used oil may even be worth a few cents.

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