Everything tastes better fried. Well, that’s not exactly true . . . I’m not a fan of deep fried pickles and the thought of a deep fried Twinky makes me want to hurl . . . but generally speaking, if you fry it then it’s good. Not necessarily good FOR you but tasty.
If you plan on filtering and reusing frying oil, knowing the smoke point is really important. Different oils have different smoke points – the temperature that oil begins to break down and give off fumes (smoke). Every time you deep fry you lower the smoke point of the oil permanently. So if you plan to reuse your oil make sure that you pick one with a high smoke point.
Approximate Smoke Points for common oils
Sunflower 475 Degrees F
Soybean 465 Degrees F
Canola 460 Degrees F
Corn 455 Degrees F
Peanut 445 Degrees F
Sesame 420 Degrees F
Olive 375 Degrees F
Lards 360 – 400 Degrees F
(Always use a quality deep-fat frying thermometer to determine temperature.)
When recycled oil starts to deteriorate it will start to darken and become more viscous. When smoke appears on the oils' surface before the temperature reaches 375 degrees F your oil is no longer any good for deep-frying.
It should go without saying that if the oil smells bad you shouldn’t cook with it and throw it away.
To filter the oil, make sure it has cooled. Once it is safe enough to handle, strain it through paper towels, coffee filters or cheesecloth into its original empty container or a clear glass jar. Do not mix it with unused oil.
Store the oil, tightly sealed, in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator. The oil may cloud in the refrigerator, but it should become clear again at room temperature with no ill effects.
Use common sense when reusing cooking oil. Saving a few dollars isn’t worth getting sick over.