NEVER use cooking oil more than once unless you do this
My grandmother and I always have this discussion: she loves to save the oil she uses for plátanos fritos (fried plantains) to reuse over and over again. While I'd be happy to throw it out whenever I cook an egg. Let's see, who's right? I assure you that you are going to be surprised with the truths we found.
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I admit it, for me reusing oil is one of the worst things you can do in the kitchen. First, because the taste and smell are transmitted from food to food, and second, isn't it true that oil oxidizes every time it's heated? Apparently there is no exact answer. According to experts from Serious Eat, reusing oil is neither good nor bad, there are just ways to extend its life and make the process more hygienic.
Although it is a very typical Latino custom--sorry, abuelita--I dare say you're not doing it the right way. It's not frying, saving, frying, saving. It has its trick! The first thing you should consider is the kind of oil you're using. Never mix different types of oils, much less if they have already been reheated. The golden rule? Strain the oil to get rid of the bits of food that can alter the taste of other foods. No need to make it complicated. Just run it through a mesh or kitchen washcloth.
Now, I'm not going to become a fan of heating oil 100 times because of this info. However, the subject matter is fascinating to me. Even the Japanese support the technique! They mix old and new oil to give tempura a unique texture and to enhance its flavor. Who would've known? This time, just this time, you won abuelita!
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