What is the easiest way to strain fry oil?

I strain fry oil so it can be reused.

I've been using cheesecloth put inside a funnel.

It works but it's a bit messy and a hassle. Is there a better way?

Can you use a coffee filter or something like that?

11 Answers 11


You can buy really large filters for this purpose. It's how some restaurants filter their fry oil on the cheap. We had two conical strainers and put the huge coffee-like filter between the two so it wouldn't slip down as much, also so we could skim out the large bits easier. If you have a laddle you can sorta force it through faster by agitating in a plunger like motion but be careful the oil isn't too hot because it will splash at you.

Places that do alot of frying have a machine that will filter the oil while still really hot and pump it back into the fryer.

For home use I use coffee filters, the biggest I can find, and have a plastic 4 litre storage tub for holding the oil. It takes awhile for it to pass but it keeps it cleaner than a cheese cloth I find.

The more particals you filter out the longer the oil will last before you have to toss it in your diesel truck ;-).

  • This is accurate as to the best known practices (improvement: could suggest to filter hot oil, not cold). Unfortunately state of the art easiest as well stated here is not easy at all.
    – Paulb
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 22:00

Try straining it through tights. That's what my dad used to do when he ran a chip van.

  • This should work - I strain my craft paint with nylons/stockings.
    – user25349
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 0:38
  • Usually, clean up happens soon after cooking.. meaning hot oil. Wouldn't that melt tights?
    – Paulb
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 22:03
  • The melting point of nylon is 428°F, how hot is your oil exactly?
    – awiebe
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 2:23

just take a netted cloth with small pores and strain the oil


Put an ankle high white cotton sock in a bowl with water and microwave to a boil to sanitize. Carefully remove sock and hang to air dry completely. Stretch the DRY sock over a gallon jar (4"+- mason jar type) and secure with a couple of rubber bands around the rim. Yep, strains it in no time. I use an old coffee can for the paper towels, sock etc. Put on the top and throw away. Say "yuk" if you want but it works, it's sanitary and most importantly for me, SIMPLE.

  • 1
    Is that simpler than a cheescloth or paper in a funnel/colander? I think not!
    – Marc Luxen
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 16:20
  • Bud, welcome to Seasoned Advice! As for all new users, let me recommend our tour and our help center as a good place to get started and learn more about this site. And reading your answer, I guess you might also like our sister site Lifehacks, which also appreciates the kind of lateral thinking you showed here.
    – Stephie
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 17:59

I use a cheesecloth and a mesh strainer on top of the funnel, and just pour slowly to avoid messes.


Carbon Range Hood Filter $10-$15.00. I drain my 2 gallon deep fryer into original oil bottles. Next I rinse and wash the deep fryer with hot water.Then I place a metal mesh/carbon filter on the fryer and pour the oil through it quickly and easily. Then wash the grease filter in my dishwasher after rinsing with hot water.


I bought the Chef's Planet Multipurpose Filter Funnel. It is the best filtering system I have ever used. Will clean over 1 gal of oil in less than 5 minutes with no mess. When finished, throw it in dishwasher and it's done. Is also great for straining stocks. http://www.chefsplanet.com/multipurpose-filter-funnel-set.html


I use a fine mesh metal sieve with a paper towel lining it. I pour into a gallon glass measuring bowl to cool and then into mason jars. In a pinch, I have also used a clean flour sifter. Mine almost fits in the mouth of the mason jar, so I have to be careful not to make a mess.

For some reason, Sunflower oil behaves really well when handled this way, and resists going rancid when I am frying vegetable chips and french fries. It seems to last longer than Soy oil. Maybe it's just me


I filter oil through a piece of paper kitchen roll. It's much finer than a strainer and cheaper than a coffee filter (or my wife's tights!). Place the kitchen roll in a mesh strainer to support it and prevent tearing when you pour on the oil.


I use a nylon cloth meant to go over pool skimmer baskets. They are called "Filter Savers" They are strong, reusable, and can be purchased in most swimming pool equipment stores or online.


I know the question is old. But I don't see this answer there. I recently bought a deep fryer, and wanted to strain & reuse oil after cooking chicken with flour breading. To strain it, I used a simple funnel, cheese cloth, and binder clips. The binder clips secured the cheese cloth to the top of the funnel. I doubled the cheese cloth. The outcome? The strained oil had a used appearance (Not crystal clear) but there was no sediment in the strained oil. And it was fast. My first attempt was with paper filtering in the funnel. Which was not exactly fast. A high capacity fryer was completed in less than five minutes.

Four yards of cheese cloth cost less than seven dollars.

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