Olive oil is the oil most highly recommended by all experts when it comes to cooking, either using it raw for sauces or dressings, to sauté foods or even for frying. However, sometimes we find people who, when frying foods, opt for other varieties of oil whose price is lower because they usually throw it away after using it only once, without realizing that oil olive can be reused more times.
In fact, as sources from Olive Oils from Spain state, this is the only oil that can stand up to high temperatures (200°C) without breaking down and it thereby maintains all its properties. We could reuse the olive oil used for frying or cooking food up to five timesby following some simple tips.
First, when we are going to use it to fry foods, it is advisable to use deep fryers rather than normal frying pans, due to the way they heat food. The type of food we are going to cook is also a big factor. For example, if it is breaded with flour or breadcrumbs, it will release more particles that remain at the bottom, staining the oil, than if we are talking about produce that is fried without breading. Nor isfrying vegetables the same as frying meat, because with the increased temperature the actual fat from the meat will be liquefied and blended with the olive oil, meaning it cannot be reused so many times. The ideal way to reuse it is to filter it after each use. As recommended in “Olive Oil from Spain”, the best method is to use a strainer made of 100% cotton or a natural fibrefabric to perform this filtering.
When we are going to cook or fry food we must ensure that it is as dry as possible to ensure it does not release water in the oil. Water promotes the decomposition of oil. For the same reason, it is preferable not to cover the container we are using for frying, in order to prevent condensation on the lid which, again, can fall into the oil.
The way reused olive oil is stored is also very important. As far as possible, we should keep it in opaque glasscontainers (to avoid receiving light directly and accelerating oxidation) or stainless steel containers with lids. Avoid copper, iron or plasticcontainers and, as we do when the product is unused, it should be kept in cool, dark places.
Experts recommend that the reused oil be utilised for cooking or frying and not for marinades, dressings or seasonings. They also say that it is not advisable to mix used oil with new oil and, of course, never mix it with other oil, because not all of them withstand the same temperatures.
After several uses, when we see that the oil is becoming denser and its colour is quite dark, this is the time to throw it away, at least for culinary uses, as we always have the option of mixing it with distilled water and caustic soda to produce homemade soap.