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Kitchen Smarts: The Easiest Way to Clean and Reuse Frying Oil
Make your frying oil go further.
05-15-2019
America's Test Kitchen

One of the downsides of frying is that each use requires a lot of oil. Luckily, with this efficient method you can make your frying oil go further and get not one, not two, but three uses out of it before you have to replace it.

In this video, part of the “Kitchen Smarts” series on America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel, America’s Test Kitchen books team test cook Joe Gitter demonstrates how you can clean and reuse your frying oil up to three times. By following his instructions you can fry more often, and save money on oil. Here are some of our findings:

  • Forget about the coffee filter: The traditional way of removing impurities from used frying oil includes straining it through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter, which takes a lot of time. We found that a mixture of cornstarch and water in the cooled oil attracts and traps the solids for easier—and faster—straining.
  • Use low heat: Carefully heat up the oil and cornstarch mixture over low heat and make sure it doesn’t simmer. Stir constantly with a heatproof spatula and in about 12 minutes the cornstarch mixture should solidify, then strain.

Watch the Video

Featured Equipment

Featured

The Best Fine-Mesh Strainer Rösle Fine Mesh Strainer, Round Handle, 7.9 inches, 20 cm

With a roomy, medium-depth basket of very fine, tight, stiff mesh, this strainer removed lots of bran from whole-wheat flour and produced silky purees.

 

The Best Dutch Oven Le Creuset 7¼ Quart Round Dutch Oven

It was substantial enough to hold and distribute heat evenly without being unbearably heavy. The light-colored interior combined with low, straight sides gave us good visibility and made it easy to monitor browning and thermometer position. The broad cooking surface saved us time since we could cook more food at once.

 

The Best Silcone Spatula Di Oro Living Seamless Silicone Spatula—Large

This model is firm enough for scraping and scooping but also fit neatly into tight corners. Its straight sides and wide, flat blade ensured that no food was left unmixed. The all-silicone design eliminates any crannies that could trap food. It felt exceptionally comfortable. Its smaller blade fell short in our folding test.

 

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What’s your favorite thing to fry? Let us know in the comments!

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