How Often Should You Change Your Deep Fat Fryer Oil?

Deep fat fryers are great for cooking a number of foods from vegetables breaded items and fish. Though after some time the oil should be changed, this helps keep the taste fresh, keeps the food clean and stops any contamination between foods such as fish to vegetables.

You should change the oil in your deep fat fryer after 6-8 successive uses for non-breaded vegetables. Oil replacement mostly depends on what type of oil is used, what you’re frying and a couple of other factors. You would have to change it to 2-4 uses for fatty meats and fish.

In this article, I am going to talk about how often you should change your deep fat fryer oil, how to change it and what you should know before changing your oil.

How Often Should You Change Your Deep Fat Fryer Oil?

You should change your oil after 6-8 successive uses for non-breaded vegetables. Oil replacement mostly depends on what type of oil is used, what you’re frying and a couple of other factors. You would have to change it to 2-4 uses for fatty meats and fish. Once you’re done cooking and the oil has cooled, filter it through a sieve to remove any food residue, such as breadcrumbs.

After filtering it, store it in a sealed jar till you’ll need it again, unless the instruction manual says otherwise. For certain fryers, changing the oil may be difficult because you may require raising the whole fryer to pour the oil out.

Here are some factors you need to consider that generally affect when you change your deep fat fryer oil:

  • Frequency in use: Do you use it weekly or perhaps daily?
  • What do you fry with the oil? Plantain and meat will have very different effects on your oil.
  • Are you frying lots of bready items? This will leave crumbs scattered around in the oil.
  • Types of oil you use: this actually influences how much time it can be used for.

Below is a table you can use as a guide you should however still perceive and use your judgment to decide when your oil needs a change.

Food type you fry the most Estimated number of uses before replacement (uses)
Fish (Breaded)2-3
Meat and poultry (non breaded) 3-4
Crumbly and breaded food 3-4
Fries and other non-breaded items6-8
Vegetables (non breaded)6-8

Does It Go Bad Over Time?

Yes, your deep fat fryer oil goes bad over time. It starts to change taste and can go rancid. You’ll know your oil is going bad when it starts to foam and get darker. Oil, just like many other cooking ingredients, goes from good to bad, hence the degradation in appearance, taste and even smell.

If you leave the oil unchanged for a long time, even when its overall outlook has changed, then it could go rancid. 

Rancidity, also known as “hydrolytic rancidity,” is a state in which oil tends to break down due to oxidation. This breaks down the oil into fatty acids, which have a foul odor. Oil types like coconut oil and lard are less likely to go rancid unlike other types since they solidify at room temperature.

Oil types with the highest possibility of going rancid are those that have been heated during their packaging process. Oil like these bear the label “toasted,” They can go rancid easily.

Would Changing The Oil Change The Taste Of My Food?

Changing your oil would definitely change your food taste. Replacing a bad oil with a good one would surely have a change in effect. Remember that when your oil is going bad, it starts to taste bad and smell. Replacing it with a newer and fresher one, which is the right thing to do would have its effect on your food.

Below are signs that indicate that your oil needs replacement:

  • The colour becomes significantly darker than it normally was 
  • Smelly becomes fishy even if its never been used to frying fish.
  • Oil surface foams when oil is hot. 
  • OIl becomes more smokey than before.
  • Feels sticky when touched, it becomes very thick.
  • chemical taste or could taste soapy or bitter.

Commercial test kits are available to decide whether the oil needs to be changed. These kits are especially helpful in operations where fried foods are a large part of the menu mix or where volume variations cause uneven fryer use. Big restaurants use this since they deal with large amounts of oil with varying use cases. 

How To Change The Oil In A Deep Fat Fryer?

Allow the deep fryer oil to cool and solidify before discarding it. After that, put the oil in a box or a double-layered plastic bag and dump it in the bin. Do not spill it down the drain or into your yard when it is wet, as it will destroy the grass. This is important because there are certain things you should never do with fryer oil.

Restaurants have a grease trap, which is simply a bin for holding used cooking oil. When the vessel is filled, they call a service to come pick up the oil. You should also clean your deep fryer once in a while after removing the oil.

Since it uses oil to cook, a deep-fat fryer is partly difficult to clean. Some models have dishwasher-safe baskets, lids, or handles that can also be hand-washed in wet, soapy water. Deep-fat fryers with non-removable bowls must be washed in soapy water in the sink.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep the cable and plug away from the sink. Taking out the used oil is the most difficult aspect of cleaning a deep-fat fryer. This can only be done after the oil has cooled; never remove hot oil. 

Once the old oil is removed and you’ve cleaned the deep fryer, you can add a new oil to your fryer.

Follow these strategies for handling your old oil and disposing of it:

  1. Don’t pour them directly into a bin or trash pile.
    Instead, allow the oil to cool and solidify, then pour in a container or bag with seal.
    You can now proceed with disposing it in the trash.
  2. Never flush them down the drain, they can lead to drain clogs
  3. Don’t pour the oil in the yard, it will mess up the greens.
  4. After cooling the oil, you can pour it in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to allow it to solidify, then you can scoop it in the trash when it’s hard.

Keep your deep oil fryer clean, filter your oil regularly (or during each meal service), keep your oil cool and sealed while not in use, keep the oil temperature at 375 F or below, replace all the oil at once rather than occasionally topping off, salting food only after frying, and using deep-frying oils are all beneficial in improving the life of the oil.