Cooking oil is a key driver of food prices in restaurants that do a lot of frying. It is therefore a key component of profits. In the past couple of years oil prices have doubled or tripled. How can you keep your costs down by reusing cooking oil without sacrificing food quality?
Buy High Stability Oil
One way to reduce the cost of cooking oil is to change the cooking oil you use. If you are using a basic canola or soybean oil, probably because of the price, you may want to consider high-oleic oils with higher stability. Higher stability oils have a longer shelf life and can stay in your fryer longer. Longer shelf life means you can order in larger quantities and reduce shipping expenses. Less heat is required to maintain optimal frying temperatures in the frying process.
Filter Your Oil
The most effective method to reduce the cost of cooking oil is to filter your oil. Restaurateurs report 40 to 50% increase in oil life by regular filtering. Numerous devices exist to filter your oil. There are paper filters, steel filters and chemical filters. Some filter machines, like the one shown below, remove the oil from your fryer, filter it and return it.
Others filter it right in the fryer. Some fryers are self filtering, which means the filter is built into the fryer.
Active filtering uses a chemical filter which polishes the oil by removing protein, blood and other impurities. This method is used for fryers which cook meat, fish and chicken.
Knowing when to change your fryer oil
Knowing when to change the fryer oil is critical. Changing too soon wastes money and changing too late adversely affects the quality of the food. The solution is testing the oil. Numerous products exist from chemicals to paper strips to digital devices.
Best frying practices to extend the life of cooking oil
Utilizing best practices will extend the life of your oil. Don’t fry over 360 degrees. Oil breaks down quickly at that temperature. Don’t fill fry baskets over the oil. Crumbs and salt dropping in contaminates the oil.
Cover the fryers and reduce the temperature of oil when the fryer is idle. Clean the fryers according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
What you should do to lower the cost of cooking oil
Employing all of these practices will dramatically lengthen the life of your cooking oil and reduce your cooking oil costs by at least 50%. Without a doubt the most important factor is filtering and polishing your oil. Call ReGrease to learn about our fresh oil program.