The down side of freshness

Regular commentator Hans writes in to ask:

So what’s this about food not browning well in really-fresh oil?

I’m glad you asked that, Hans! For indeed people who really know frying will tell you that perfectly clear, fresh oil doesn’t cook food particularly well. That’s very true. The question is: why? The answer, again, is because oil and water don’t mix. Fry oil with no soaps in it is held so far at bay by outrushing a steam that it never comes into contact with the food. That doesn’t mean that the food doesn’t get heated all the way through, but it does mean that it doesn’t get brown and crispy (or at least not very). The solution: add a little soap (and by that I mean old cooking oil) to the pan. It doesn’t take much, just a couple of teaspoons to two or three quarts of oil, to do the job.

2 thoughts on “The down side of freshness”

  1. Learned a lot from your posts on frying oil, Joe. Thank you. And a good laugh always makes things easier. I have always reused my oil at least once because the taste of the second batter was always better. In between, I have been storing it in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar (strained and completely cooled to eliminate any possible condensation), because I suspected it does undergo some partial chemical changes after frying in it once and worried about it going rancid. I was wondering what your advice is – fridge or cupboard? Thank you.

    1. Hey Danie!

      You don’t have to worry at all about rancidity. Even used it will keep for months at room temperature. No need to take up valuable refrigerator space with it. Glad to be of help to you!

      – Joe

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