Can I Leave the Oil in My Deep Fryer?

My wife and I love to cook, and we love homemade fried foods. But being new to deep fryers, we’ve wondered can I leave the oil in my deep fryer?

I decided to look into it, and here’s what I learned:

Yes, you can leave the oil in your deep fryer for up to a month. You can extend the life of the oil in your fryer by using high-quality oil, filtering the oil after each use, keeping the fryer lid on tight when not in use, and storing the fryer in a cool, dark place.

Deep-fried foods have been an option on restaurant menus just about everywhere.

Nowadays, you can even deep fry foods from the comfort of your own home! Using deep fryers is a journey all on its own that comes with its own set of questions, which leads us to the topic of this article.

We’ve compiled all the information you need to know about leaving the oil in your deep fryer, from how long the oil can stay in your deep fryer, to how to actually store the oil in your deep fryer, to how to properly dispose of frying oil.

Let’s get started!

If you’re looking to buy any small kitchen appliance, don’t forget to check out my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page) which breaks down all my best picks by category.

I always hand-select items that I either own, have used, or have researched well to ensure they are great items. I also give not only top of the line as well as inexpensive alternatives so my choices work for any budget.

Leaving the Oil in Your Deep Fryer

If you’ve got a deep fryer, chances are you’ve thought of leaving the oil in your deep fryer to save it and use it again.

It can be pricey and seem wasteful to get rid of the oil in your deep fryer after every time you use it, especially if you aren’t using it much.

The good news is, regardless of the reasoning, you CAN leave the oil in your deep fryer. You just need to make sure to do it right!

To get down to the specifics, let’s take a look at:

  • The benefits of leaving the oil in your deep fryer
  • Just how long you can leave the oil in your deep fryer
  • How to actually store the oil in your deep fryer

Confused about all the different types of oils you can use in your fryer?

I have a recent article which breaks down the different kinds of oils, and especially what the best oil is to make those french fries extra crispy!

So just click the link to read that on my site.

The Benefits of Leaving the Oil in Your Deep Fryer

The benefits of leaving the oil in your deep fryer can differ from person to person as each deep fryer owner may have a different reason for leaving the oil in their fryer.

However, there are two main benefits that we can say for certain come with leaving the oil in your deep fryer.

First, it’s a money saver! Leaving the oil in your deep fryer to reuse again results in using less oil, which means not having to purchase as much oil. You’ll save money on the oil itself and the travel expenses to and from the store.

Leaving the oil in your deep fryer can also help save time. You won’t have to go to the store as often to get more oil, and you can start using your deep fryer right away since it’s already got the oil in it.

Of course, there are times when you don’t want the mess or the smell of a deep fryer (and sometimes we don’t need the calories or fat either).

So if you’ve never checked out an air fryer, take a moment and read my recent article which breaks down all the advantages of air fryers.  What really surprised me was how crispy food can get with a surpringly small amount of oil.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How to Store the Oil in Your Deep Fryer

You know now that you can store the oil in your deep fryer, and you know some of the benefits of doing so. Now, it’s time to get to the important stuff: how to store the oil in your deep fryer.

Let’s walk through this step by step.

Step 1: Filter the Oil (Optional)

Many people choose to filter the oil that’s already in their deep fryer before leaving it in the deep fryer to be stored.

This is beneficial because it will allow you to remove any food debris that was left in the oil, which prevents the leftover food from spoiling (and therefore spoiling your oil).

Filtering the oil before storing it in your deep fryer is optional, but it is recommended. If you don’t want to filter the oil before storing it, move on to step 2.

To filter the oil in your deep fryer, you’ll need the following materials:

  • A skimmer
  • A cheesecloth
  • A chinois
  • A funnel
  • A storage container

Before getting ready to filter the oil in your deep fryer, first make sure the oil is completely cooled off. Not only can warm or hot oil injure you, but it can damage your filtering equipment. Cool oil is safe oil!

Once your oil is completely cooled, follow these steps to filter it:

  1. Use a skimmer to remove any food debris that may be floating on the oil’s surface
  2. Drape your cheesecloth over your chinois to trap small food particles that may have been left behind
  3. Take your chinois and place it over a funnel over the storage container
  4. Slowly pour your oil over the chinois, through the funnel, and into the storage container

Now, you can leave the oil in the storage container if you wish. But you can also put it back in your deep fryer to keep for further use.

Step 2: Tightly Cover Your Deep Fryer

In order to keep your oil from spoiling or going rancid, you’ll need to tightly cover your deep fryer. This can be achieved with a lid, saran wrap, or another suitable cover.

Your deep fryer needs to be sealed airtight.

Step 3: Place Your Deep Fryer in a Cool, Dark Place

Light and heat are two of the biggest factors in making oil spoil. So, to prevent that from happening, you’ll need to place your deep fryer in a cool, dark place.

Some people store their deep fryers in their refrigerators if they have room. If you have another cool, dark place in mind, you can try that out too.

How long can you keep oil in a fryer?

Since you can leave the oil in your deep fryer, many people wonder just how long the oil can stay in your deep fryer.

The answer to that question varies depending on a few factors.

Many people have been able to leave the oil in their deep fryers for a few weeks to over a month with the contents not spoiling. Others have only been able to keep the oil in their deep fryers for several days without it spoiling.

The amount of time the oil can stay in your deep fryer depends largely on how it’s stored. But it can also depend on how clean your fryer is, the quality of oil used, and what you’ve been frying.

If you filter your oil, seal your deep fryer airtight, and store your deep fryer in a cool, dark place, your oil can stay in your deep fryer much longer. 

But there are so many factors in deciding how often you should change the oil in your deep fryer, from what you’re cooking, to the quality of the oil, and how dirty the oil gets from things like breaded items.

I go into much greater detail in a recent article that breaks down exactly how often to change it and how to tell beyond a shadow of a doubt if your oil has gone rancid.

So until you become an expert (which you will), I highly recommend you take a moment and click to see that post on my site.

How to Safely and Properly Dispose of Deep Fryer Oil

Oil can be a harmful cooking substance if not used correctly.

It can also be harmful if it isn’t disposed of correctly. To make sure you know when it’s time to dispose of your deep fryer oil and how to properly dispose of it, we’ve got this entire section devoted to it.

How to Tell if Oil in Your Deep Fryer Has Gone Bad

You’ll want to check the oil that was left in your deep fryer each time before reusing it. That way, you can tell if the oil has gone bad and needs to be disposed of or if it will be good to use again.

That being said, how can you tell if the oil in your deep fryer has gone bad?

It’s time to dispose of and change your deep fryer oil if:

  • It darkens in color
  • The oil’s smell is off-putting
  • It becomes thick
  • The oil is foamy at the surface
  • It smokes at lower temperatures than usual

Keep an eye on your deep fryer oil to make sure it’s all good to reuse. And make sure you know when it’s time to throw it out.

How to Properly Dispose of Deep Fryer Oil

If it’s time to throw out the oil that you’ve left in your deep fryer, follow these methods and tips of disposing of deep fryer oil:

  • Always make sure your oil is completely cooled off before disposing of it
  • NEVER dispose of deep fryer oil down the drain of your sink
  • Find a disposal center that recycles cooking oil
  • Pour your oil into a sealable bag and dispose of it in the trash. Make sure there are no rips, tears or holes in the bag first

Did I cover all you wanted to know about whether or not you can leave the oil in your deep fryer?

In this article, we took a look at the world of deep fryers and cooking oil.

We explored how long the oil stays good, how to clean and filter the oil, and even how to properly dispose of it.

But specifically, we answered the question can I leave the oil in my deep fryer?

The answer to that question is yes. But always use high-quality oil, filter your oil regularly, and if frying things like fish, just know that may shorten the lifespan of the oil.

If you’re looking to buy any small kitchen appliance, don’t forget to check out my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page) which breaks down all my best picks by category.

I always hand-select items that I either own, have used, or have researched well to ensure they are great items. I also give not only top of the line as well as inexpensive alternatives so my choices work for any budget.

 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with his wife & 3 daughters, he can usually be found practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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