Monday, 21 May 2012

Re-using old cooking oil

Did you know that you should only re-use cooking oil a few times.  Did you also know that you should store used oil in the fridge, between uses?  If it changes colour, starts to smell different when you heat it up again or has burnt food particles in it, it is past it's time to ditch it as the oil has changed composition and it's molecules have deteriorated.  


But, does anyone have the same problem that I had when it comes to what to do with the old past-it's-prime cooking oil?  You can't just chuck it down the drain - it will clog up the pipes.  And on the farm, especially, I can't chuck it down the drain - it'll land in my grey water reed bed.  Nope - definitely not a good idea!


What I tend to do is use an old 20lt bucket, which I fill with sand.  The old oil gets sieved into this bucket, and I keep my garden tools in it.  The oil in the sand helps to prevent the tools going rusty, especially in our wet winters.


But, prior to chucking the oil into the sand I use the oil to remove sticky labels from re-usable glass jars after we have consumed their contents.
Perfectly good glass jars which are suitable for
re-using - but I hate the labels...
Firstly, make sure your jar is clean.  I pour water into the jars (to weigh them down), place them in a suitable container and then surround them with the old oil.
Submerge the label part of the jar in an oil filled container
If you leave them submerged overnight, removing the labels the the next morning is a breeze.
Pop the now label-less jars through a dishwasher cycle and there you have it - jars waiting patiently for new lids and your preserved goods :)


We only deep fry food (mainly delicious hot chip / fries LOL) about once or twice a month and the amount of used oil we produce doesn't warrant investing in the necessary equipment, nor do we have anything which runs on bio-diesel.  I also am not aware of an oil recycling facility in this country.  So, for me, this method of re-using / disposing of the oil, is the best solution.


What do you do with your old oil?

14 comments:

  1. I pour mine along the fence line to help with the weedeating. It keeps the grass from growing.

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    1. MDR - That's an excellent suggestion - thanks :)

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  2. I make mine into soap! Obviously, nice fresh vegetable oil is for making hand and bath soaps...but old cooking oil's perfectly fine for detergents.

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    1. CB - Welcome :) Doesn't it make the soap smell of old oil? Have you got info on that on your blog? I'll take a look... :)

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    2. Nope! Not at all...the chemical reaction when the oil turns into soap takes away all smells (unfortunately, that also means nice coconut oil soap doesn't smell like nice coconut oil, either; you have to add your own fragrances)....I haven't blogged about soap making yet, but will give it a go some time this week!

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  3. I don't deep fry .. only shallow pan fry and the oil is used as I cook. But, I do like your solution of using oil in the sand. My hubby put petro oil in our sand bucket and I'm abhorred to use it in the garden without wiping it off.

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    1. No hot potato fries in your house? Or do you oven bake them? I don';t use my electric oven, so deep fried fries it is :)

      I had also heard about engine oil, but prefer cooking oil.

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  4. Oh-that is a good idea about the sand. I had always heard to use old motor oil, but, like Mrs Mac wrote--who wants that in the garden????
    But veg oil-yea, that'll work. Thanks!

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  5. Interesting that it takes labels off. I just reuse the little oil I have left for frying eggs and such. But we are in the process of building a veggie oil still for used commercial veggie oil which we can get for free. Our problem is that we have many months of cold weather and that is not good for running engines on veggie oil. It turns to sludge and you need a pre-heating element on the vehicle you convert. So we could only use it for 4 months. But in your area it would work wonderful!

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    Replies
    1. Jane - Lucky you :) What are you going to use the bio oil for?

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    2. We would fuel my Husbands truck and our tractor with the veggie oil.

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  6. You know, my Grandfather used to rub oil under his lawnmower, on the blade and under the deck or housing I guess the call it. He said it prevented grass from sticking to it or at least made it last longer without building up between cleanings. We're lucky, here in the city, there are places we can take it to dispose of it and we always do that...BUT your post reminded me that when we are on the farm, what to do, what to do?

    I love the idea of the fenceline, didn't realize that would work like that. We have plenty of fenceline to try that out.

    I'll be anxious to see what others suggest! Thanks for this post!

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    Replies
    1. 1st Man - Hadn't thought of that - must tell RMan. Yeah, am also going to try the fenceline :)

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