Can You Reuse Cooking Oil That Was Left Out Overnight?

Do you enjoy eating fried chicken, doughnuts, and French fries? Of course, the answer should be yes for most people. By the way, these foods have one particular thing in common. They are deep-fried. 

A plate of rice served with fried chicken can be the perfect meal at any time of the day. Most people fancy eating fried chicken and other comfort foods daily. But when you consider how much cooking oil you’ll need in a month and the cost, you may want to seek other alternatives.

Most people prefer storing used cooking oil and using it the next day. For some, it is unhealthy and not worth the risk. But the question is, can you reuse cooking oil that was left out overnight? Is it safe?

You’ll find all the answers in this post and know what to do with your used cooking oils. Keep reading to learn more.  

Can You Reuse Frying Oil That Sat Out Overnight?

The answer is yes! You can reuse that cooking oil that you left in your kitchen overnight. But please, you have to be cautious when storing used oils. You don’t have to be careless about it. Otherwise, they’ll become unusable or unsafe to use. 

The best thing to do after cooking is to allow your cooking oil to cool down before storing. Once it cools down to a safe temperature, get those large batters out and strain them before pouring them into the container. 

The thing is, failure to remove leftover foods in the cooking oil will give room for bacteria to thrive. Your oil could develop an unpleasant smell that will change the taste of your foods.

Finally, make sure you pour the oil into a neat airtight container, one you can close properly. Shut the container tight and keep it in a dry and cool place. 

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Don’t leave your cooking oil open for long after use. Keep an eye on it the moment you finish cooking. Once it cools down, filter, pour it into an airtight container and store it. 

Can You Store Used Cooking Oil at Room Temperature?

The straightforward answer is yes. Even though storing your used frying oil (poured into an airtight container) in a freezer will increase its lifespan, you can preserve it at room temperature too. 

Just do the right thing when storing cooking oil at room temperature. Pour the used oil into a neat airtight container. 

Additionally, protect the used frying oil from heat and sunlight. Exposing it to sunlight or heat will speed up the oxidation process and cause the oil to become unusable.  

How Long Can You Reuse Frying Oil?

You can reuse your used cooking oil multiple times, but let it be within the period of 1 to 2 months. 

However, if you notice that the cooking oil has started showing signs of rancidity, throw it away so that someone else won’t use it in your absence.

How Many Times Can You Fry With the Same Oil?

The number of times you can reuse the same cooking oil depends on the food you want to cook. 

For instance, if you use the oil to fry cleaner foods, such as potato chips, you can reuse it up to 8 – 10 times within a month or two. 

If you add some fresh oil to the old one, you can even use it to fry potato chips and other cleaner foods more than eight times. 

The situation is entirely different for bread and battered foods. You can only use the cooking oil for such foods three to four times before discarding it. 

Does Cooking Oil Go Bad If Left Out?

Yes, it can. You’ll surely leave some food particles in the frying oil when used to fry. And while filtering may help to remove some of the particles that can cause spoilage, it can’t remove everything.

So, cooking oil left out can go bad. Over time, the oil will become rancid, making it unsafe for cooking.

Cooking with oils that have become rancid isn’t advisable. Why? They’ll change your food’s taste and pose a serious health risk.

You can prevent your used oils from going rancid by storing them properly. Proper storage can also enable you to reuse your cooking oils multiple times before disposing of the oils.

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Can You Reuse Frying Oil After Frying Chicken?

The straightforward answer is yes. You can reuse your frying oil after using it to fry chicken. Just store your oil properly to prevent it from going bad. 

Remove the food particles from your frying oil and store it properly. Store in a neat airtight container and away from sunlight.

So, in a nutshell, you can use cooking oil to fry raw chicken, battered foods, and even vegetables. And here is how to handle the cooking oil after frying. 

Allow the oil to cool down to avoid hurting yourself. Now remove any large piece of food or fried batter in the oil, then drain and strain the oil into an airtight container and store. 

Remember to reuse oils used in frying chicken the first time for only chicken. Note that the oils have already taken the flavor of the chicken and therefore, it won’t make sense to use it for other foods.

How To Store Used Cooking Oil?

Understanding how to store used cooking oil properly is essential. Used oils will only be safe and reusable when stored properly. 

You have to allow the oil to cool down, strain, and store to prevent it from getting free radicals. 

Note that free radicals consist of atoms considered bad for one’s health. They are responsible for causing heart diseases and cancer. 

So, use the tips below to store your cooking oil properly. 

Step 1: Allow the cooking oil to cool down

Don’t be in haste to store your used cooking oil when you finish cooking. Give it some time to cool down before you proceed. 

Why is this necessary? One of the reasons is to avoid oil burns. This is an avoidable injury, which can leave a scar on your skin. 

The second reason is to avoid messing up your kitchen. Cleaning oil stains from your countertop and floor isn’t something you would like to do before consuming your delicious meal or going to bed. 

The hot oil can also distort the plastic container if poured directly. So, turn off the heat source and let the oil cool down to room temperature before proceeding to the next stage.

Step 2: Strain the used cooking oil

Strain the oil once it cools down to room temperature. Just place a fine-meshed sieve on a clean container (sieve should be lined with cheesecloth), and pour the used oil onto the mesh. 

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You have to sieve the used oil to remove food particles left behind after cooking. Those particles could get burnt when heated and may change your food’s taste.

 A Handy Tip: Remember to clean up or wash the sieve before use. This is necessary to ensure you don’t contaminate the used oil or introduce dirt to it. 

Step 3: Store your strained oil

How you store used oil after straining is very important. It would determine how long the oil would last before you consider discarding it. 

Now move your strained used oil into the airtight container. You can use a glass jar for this. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry. You can use the plastic container the oil came in, but if you have already discarded it, get something else.

Ensure the container you’re using is neat and airtight. And use a funnel to pour the strained oil into the container to make the process less messy. 

Where you keep your used oils is another important thing to consider. You have to store used oil in a cool and dry place. 

Don’t place used oil near the microwave, oven, or refrigerator. Why? These appliances generate heat, making it unsafe to store oils. 

A Handy Tip: Note that your used oil will take the flavor of the food you’re frying. It will take the flavor of the first food you fried in the oil. 

For example, your used oil will take the chicken flavor if that is the first thing you friend in it. 

So, avoid reusing oil used in frying chicken for potato chips and vice versa. You should only consider such if changing the flavor of whatever you want to fry isn’t an issue for you. 

Conclusion: Can you reuse cooking oil that was left out overnight?

Yes, you can. You can even reuse your cooking oils multiple times. 

You can reuse cooking oil stored overnight for 1 to 2 months. The first food fried in the oil will determine how many times you can use it before discarding it. 

You can reuse cooking oil used in frying cleaner foods like potato chips eight times or more. But you can only reuse oil used in bread and battered foods three to four times.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)