Fried food is the most commonly loved cuisine around the world. There are international food chains famous for their special fried chicken or doughnuts. It’s not limited to big food industries but even the street food in almost every other area has its fried food menu. So, whether you own a big restaurant . a food truck, or even a small food stall you will need a deep fryer. Knowing what oil to use in your fryer and how to clean it is the main key to producing high-quality food. Here are some of the tips on how to choose, filter, clean and dispose of deep fryer oil .
Selecting Oil for Frying
There are so many options available in the market for commercial fryer oil and some of them are good for specific cooking methods. You can change the flavor and texture of the dish by choosing the wrong oil so it’s very important to select the right one. These are the main factors you should consider while selecting the oil for your deep-fried menu.
● The flavor of the oil
Some of the oils available for frying have a very strong flavor which can affect the taste of your dish. For example, while frying chicken, you want the flavor of the chicken and the seasoning in the breading to come through, so you should pick an oil that has a neutral taste such as sunflower oil or vegetable oil.
● Smoke Point
The smoke point should be a key factor while selecting your deep fryer oil. It is the temperature at which the oil will start to smoke before it eventually catches fire. When oil begins to smoke, it starts to taste “off” and loses much of its nutritional value. As the cooking temperature is very high so you should select an oil with a higher smoke point. Peanut, avocado, canola, or sesame oil has smoke points of 400F and higher so they should be higher suited for deep frying commercially.
● Flavor Transfer
Flavor transfer is when flavors from your previously fried food stay in the oil and then transfer to the next batch of food that you’re frying, affecting its flavor. While choosing oil for deep frying in a restaurant where there are many food items to be fried in the same fryer you want to choose one that prevents flavor transfer so your chicken retains its flavor and doesn’t end up tasting fish or cheese sticks. Vegetable and peanut oil are really good in this matter, they don’t transfer the flavor of one dish to another.
Reusing Fryer Oil
The amount of times you can reuse oil in your deep fryer depends on what you have been frying and how often you fry. It also depends on the quality of the oil, and how clean your fryer is. No time limit applies to all situations but the main signs you can notice which can tell you it’s time to replace the oil are listed down below.
Smoke point is a critical element while frying and it indicates the quality of your oil. If the oil creates smoke at a lower temperature then it is time to change the oil and clean your fryer. It happens because of constant reheating of the oil and the oil should not be used if it is creating too much smoke.
The color change is a dead giveaway that it is time to change the frying oil. Slight changes are normal but when the color of your oil turns toward a darker side then it is wise to discard the batch as it will taste bad in the food.
When your frying oil starts to smell different than usual then it’s a clear sign that it is stale and not usable. Smelly oil is bad for health and it makes the items fried in it taste off too. So once the oil starts to smell different you should know that it should be replaced.
Change in consistency of your fryer oil should never be ignored. When a batch of oil has gone through many rounds of recycling it becomes thick and should be discarded as it is dangerous to consume. Using stale oil is a violation of the health code so make sure that you are changing the oil on time.
These are all the signs that your oil is stale and no longer usable. It is ideal to not wait for all of these signs to change your oil. Any one of these changes can make your oil difficult or unsafe to work with, so it is best to keep your oil fresh.
Cleaning of fryer oil
The oil in your fryer can be used multiple times but you have to make sure it is clean and safe to use. Before you can clean and filter your deep fryer oil, you must check the temperature and the oil should be cool enough to touch. Hot oil will put you at risk for burns and it will damage your filtering equipment. Once your oil is cool, use a skimmer or a strainer to remove any floating food debris from the oil’s surface. For smaller batches, a cheesecloth over a chinois or just a sieve is enough to remove any impurities through the oil but for large batches, you have to be very careful.
Invest in a filtration system for your oil, it could be manual or electric depending upon your budget and fryer requirement. Electric fryer oil filtration machines are very handy because they filter and return the oil to the fryer automatically so there are fewer chances of a spill accident. They are safe and easy to use for bigger food chains and very efficient in cleaning the oil.
Safe Disposal of Fryer oil
Once your oil is used to its full potency it is time to change it and dispose of the used one. But you cannot just toss the foil in the garbage as even a slow leak in your disposal bags could create a mess in your dumpster. You cannot pour your used oil down your drain, not even with hot water. The fat particles in your oil will solidify and block your pipes which will cause major problems with your plumbing system. It can leave you with a nasty mess and a big repair bill.
Before considering your oil disposal options you should check with your local waste department. Check if they have any waste management programs, guidelines, or protocols for getting rid of cooking grease. Let the oil cool completely before throwing it away, put it in spill-proof containers or sealed bags. You can also use the freezing method in which the oil is frozen before it gets tossed into the garbage.