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I want to re-use some peanut oil I used to make wings the following morning. I don't have any cheesecloths for filtering. The used oil will be sitting out on the stove for less than twelve hours from the night before. Is this safe? Any advice on filtering without cheesecloths if it's a must?

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As far as food safety goes, it should be safe to refry food with it (after all, you are heating this up to ~400 F again, bacteria stands no chance)

The filtering helps on the flavor department. As food particles/breadings fall off, they burn and impart a burnt flavor. If you reuse oil with much burnt parts, the burnt flavors will come through lot quicker.

Alternate to cheesecloths: If you notice hardly any food particles in the bottom, you are good to go. if you have food particles, I can suggest either

  1. Pour the oil slowly to another vessel, leaving the last half inches or so, and the food particles will remain in that last bit of oil. Discard that oil and use the remaining oil.
  2. Use paper towel to filter.

Edit: If you want to go deeper in ther knowledge-base, heres an excellent source: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/09/ask-the-food-lab-how-many-times-can-i-reuse-fry-oil.html

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    I tend to decant twice - once warm into a jar for storage, leaving the big particles in the pan, then back into the pan cold the next day. By that time smaller particles have settled out and can be left in the jar
    – Chris H
    Jan 25, 2023 at 13:41
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I would reuse it. IMHO it's more a matter of how many times you reuse it than how you store it in between.

You can filter through a paper towel if you want to.

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I reuse mine. Save an empty oil bottle to save used oil in separate from your unused oil. I use a large funnel and a coffee filter. Poor the oil into the filter lined funnel (line the inside of the funnel with the filter), and let it sit u til it all drips through.. wastes less oil than a paper towel... Paper towels soak up a lot more of the oil and can become a real mess depending on how much oil you are trying to put back in the bottle. I have seen a paper towel get completely soaked using a really large funnel and a paper towel... It completely saturated the paper towel and was dripping off the edge of the soaked paper towel that was hanging off the outside of the funnel. Coffee filter is definitely the better way to go.

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As you mention that your oil was left in the pot and not filtered:

The easiest (although not necessarily best) way to deal with this sort of situation is a fine mesh spider, also called a fine mesh or wire mesh skimmer.

It’s a long handled tool that allows you to scoop debris out of liquids. In the case of cooking oil, you will likely want it still warm when doing this.

You may not remove all of the small bits that come off while deep frying, but it will let you get out much of them to keep the oil relatively fresh. And you can do this in between batches while you’re cooking. They can also be used to remove your fried foods, but I find a regular (non-fine mesh) spider works better as it’s less likely to bring lots of oil with it.

It’s also worth noting that used oil will brown things faster than fresh oil. I’ve heard that some places will intentionally reserve some of the old oil when replacing their oil, as completely fresh oil can make it difficult to brown food.

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