There are several ways to manage your oil, and the best technique to use varies from shop to shop as the proportion of each product cooked in the oil makes a difference to the degradation of the frying medium. When the oil breaks down it is more detrimental to the consumers health and it also penetrates the surface of the product easier increasing the fat content of the food. This oil also has an acrid flavour so it can have an adverse effect on the taste of your food too.
The main principle of oil management is running the level of oil down during service, as some of the oil is lost on the product, and replenish the oil lost with fresh oil. You should aim to be replacing 1/3 of the oil each day and if you get it right you should never need to throw any oil away again.
You can either top up each pan each day or, if using a frying range, you can cascade your oil down to one end pan and use this for cooking meat products. This pan may need to be completely changed every so often.
Removing carbon from the pan is very important. Carbon created hot spots and can cause your oil to break down more quickly. The carbon, if left, will also break down and be impossible to remove.
We recommend regular sieving throughout service and filtering with inbuilt filtration or an external filter at least once a day.
Recognising Your Oil Needs Changing
There are several signs that your oil is in poor condition.
- The colour will have changed and it will look very dark, this can be more obvious if using a fat that is solid at room temperature.
- It may begin to smoke, this is because the oil has broken down and the smoke point lowers.
- It may froth when you introduce products, in extreme cases it can bubble over the top of the pan when you put in a batch of chips.
- You get small bubble that float to the outside of the pan.
Alternatively you can test the oil using a TPM reader which will give you a reading for the Total Polar Material in the oil. We suggest an upper limit of 25.
Your waste oil should be collected and recycled.
Water breaks down oil so it is important to remove as much water from your products before you cook them. Ensure there are no ice crystals on the surface and we recommend frying dry chips by using Drywite preservative.
Other Things to Be Aware of
There are many things that can cause your oil to break down:
Transfats – Cook meat products in a separate fryer to keep unrefined animal fats contaminating your oil.
Detergents – Soaps and detergents will break oil down and contaminate your oil.
Salt / Metals – Salt and metals can break your oil down so keep salt away and ensure your metal utensils are in good repair.
Allow Food To Drain – Allow the food to stand to let oil drain out of the food, this will not only make food more healthy but also reduce your oil usage over time.