Deep-frying is a cooking method traditionally used in American cuisine, from down-home Southern recipes to the increasingly popular deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey. Deep-fried foods have an extra dose of flavor that generally makes for a crowd-pleasing dish. Less clear is what to do with the deep fryer's oil after use. The tips below will help you store your deep fryer oil safely and effectively for reuse.
Check the label on your cooking oil container to see whether the manufacturer has included any tips on storing the particular type and brand of oil. Though most food-grade oils are generally stored in the same manner, some may have more specific storage requirements or a longer shelf life than others.
Allow the deep fryer's oil to cool to about room temperature after you've turned off the heat.
Drain the oil through a cheesecloth in order to remove any bacteria so you can safely reuse the oil.
Pour the strained oil into a glass jar with a metal lid or back into its original container, if possible.
Tightly seal the container and store in a cool, dark, dry place at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if you live in an extremely hot climate. Though the oil may appear a bit cloudy after some time in the refrigerator, it should become clear again once it reaches room temperature.
Store the oil to be reused in cooking or deep frying for no longer than three months and avoid re-using the oil for deep frying more than once or twice, as the smoke point of used oil is reduced after multiple uses.
Avoid pouring your used deep fryer oil down the drain or tossing it in the trash. Call your local recycling center and ask if they accept food oils, and donate your used deep fryer oil to be recycled into tallow, which is then used in numerous different forms.