Cooking Tips

How to Clean and Reuse Frying or Cooking Oil

Make your frying oil go further.

Published Nov. 29, 2021.

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.

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