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Store Your Frying Oil Like This and You Can Reuse It Over and Over Again

Did you know you could reuse frying oil, several times even? Here's how!

© Thinkstock - yokeetod

One of the hardest things to do at the end of a delicious homemade fried meal is to throw away all that oil... It's expensive, troublesome, and just downright wasteful. But did you know that you can actually minimize that waste by reusing it?

That's right: frying oil can be reused more than once, many times even! The key is in treating and storing it properly.

First, let the used oil cool down completely. You really don't want to end up burning yourself with hot oil – trust us!

Then filter it through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter to get rid of any food particles left from the food you just fried. This is extremely important, as those particles could contaminate your next meal – although keep in mind that the oil could still retain some flavor of the last food it's come in contact with, so it's best to separate used oil based on food tastes. (For example, keep the oil you used for fried shrimp separate from the oil you used for that batch of homemade donuts.)

Once your oil is cooled and strained, store it in a clean glass jar that seals well and keep it in a cool, dark place for best results (the latter applies to fresh oil, too). If the oil isn't well strained or sealed, bacteria could grow and feed on leftover food bits, so take care in each step to help preserve the longevity of the oil.

How many times can you reuse it? There's no precise number, but generally you can get several uses out of a batch. As soon as you notice it seeming a bit cloudy, foamy, or changing color, it's definitely time to go. It should also never smell bad or "off", so look out for that as a sign to throw it out.

That's all it takes! Now you'll never have to waste batches of once-used frying oil again.

Here's how to tell when your oil is hot enough to start frying.

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VIDEO: Spanish Empanadas

These Spanish empanadas are little hot pockets of delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2.25 Cups of flour
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 3 Tsp. of lard
  • 1/5 Cup of warm water
  • 5 Tsp. of olive oil
  • 1 Onion, minced
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 Tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 Tsp. of cumin
  • 2 Garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 Can of diced tomatoes

METHOD

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, beaten egg, lard, warm water, and olive oil, and mix thoroughly. 
  2. In a hot pan, pour a little olive oil and sautée the onions, until tender. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic and diced tomatoes. Cook until beef is no longer pink, and the flavors have incorporated well. 
  3. Roll out the empanada dough, and cut out circles with a ramekin. 
  4. Cover a baking tray with a piece of parchment paper, and place the dough circles on top. 
  5. Fill with meat mixture, fold in half and press with the edge of a fork. Brush with egg yolk to glaze.
  6. Cook at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
  7. Remove from oven... and enjoy!

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