Last week I talked about "Deep Frying" food and what all is involved with it. I mentioned about filtering the oil but didn't go into any detail on the process. Well, some of you asked about the filtering process and how to do it. So today I'll talk about how to filter the oil when you're finished using it.
First, the bad news: There is equipment for commercial operations but I have never found anything for home use. The process for filtering oil is fairly simple. You want to strain the oil through cheese cloth or a paper filter from the used vessel to a clean vessel. This straining takes all the crumbs and many impurities out of the oil and extends the life of the oil.
Since there is no filtering system you can buy for your home, try the following method. I use coffee filters and my coffee maker to strain the oil. I take the piece that holds the filter out of the coffee maker and put 1 filter in it. I place this directly on top of the glass coffee pot and slowly pour the oil from the pan I've been using into the filter. It is not a fast process so have patience. Remember to let the oil cool to a temperature between 175 and 225 degrees. I find this to be the best temperature for filtering. It's cool enough to handle safely and not too cool to go through the filter.
Once enough oil has been filtered (pot is 3/4 full), I'll pour it into the container I plan on leaving it in until next use. Most times this means the original container it was purchased in. It makes it easier to store. You could use something large enough to hold the oil until you're finished. Then put it back in the frying vessel. Just remember that it is best to use something that has a tight lid for storage.
Refer back to last week's blog for any other information about storage and life of the oil.
I hope this has helped you better understand how and why we filter the oil after using it. A couple of nice recipes tomorrow and Friday. So be sure to check them out.
Happy St. Patrick's Day this Saturday and remember to wear GREEN.