Next time you fry a turkey, instead of throwing out the oil afterward, you may be able to reuse it. A few simple ideas will allow you to fry another turkey soon without needing new oil.
You can use different types of oil in a turkey fryer, but peanut oil is typically recommended because it is a healthier option and has a high flash point, which means it can reach a higher temperature without burning. Try different types of oil to test the flavors and choose your personal preference.
While cooking, keep temperatures under 375 degrees as most oils tend to break down around 400 degrees. Peanut oil will not break down until closer to 450 degrees. If the oil has exceeded these high temperatures, then reusing it will affect the taste of your food. Cooking oil turns rancid as it breaks down. If your oil has become rancid, dispose of it and start with fresh oil. To prevent this effect, closely watch the temperature of your oil while cooking. If the oil starts to smoke, that is an indicator of overheating so recheck your temperature.
If you intend to reuse your turkey fryer oil, you must store it properly. Let the oil cool completely, then filter the oil using a piece of cheesecloth or funnel system. Basically, you need to remove any particles or turkey residue that mingled with the oil during cooking. Then pour the oil back into its original container and store in a cool, dark place making sure the container is sealed tightly. You can reuse this oil for up to six months.
When your turkey fryer oil is old or rancid, the best way to dispose of it is to recycle it. Contact a local restaurant or a rendering company as many may recycle old oil for you. Some companies will take your used oil for free, while others may charge a small fee for disposal. Call ahead so you know what to expect.
Follow the instructions on your turkey fryer exactly, as well as the instructions with the oil. Always cool the oil completely before handling it after use, and never drop a frozen turkey into the fryer.