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Answers from the BJC Experts

Ask the BJC Expert allows you to get the answers you need about a variety of health, medicine and exercise issues to help you live a more healthy life.

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Is it harmful to reuse cooking oil?

No, but I do not like to fry different types of foods in the same oil. If you are frying meat or protein in oil, use that leftover oil only for meats. Same with starchy items (potatoes, yams, tortillas). Strain leftover oil through cheesecloth to remove the impurities, and keep it refrigerated until time to use it again. The oil may cloud in the refrigerator, but will become clear again as it gets to room temperature.

In general, you can use cooking oil up to five times. Look for these signs that the oil has deteriorated so much that it will no longer cook effectively:

  • Darkening in color
  • Thickening
  • Rancid or off smell
  • Smoking before oil gets to appropriate cooking temperature

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