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Frying oil change
Image Credit: Seafish Asset Bank

There are varying opinions about how frequently the oil in your fryers should be changed. When and how often an operator changes their oil is a decision that every operator must decide on their own.

There is a rule of thumb when it comes to replenishing oil, but sometimes it is inevitable, and you have to change your oil completely. This could be because or water or detergent degradation. 

What to look out for with oil breakdown

This decision should be based on the quality of the food being fried;

How does the food taste?  

Is the colour acceptable? 

Is the oil foaming?

Is the food too oily? 

Does the oil feel thin on the food, almost like watery oil?

Are there larger than usual fluctuations in oil temperature?

Is the oil smoking?

Intuition is essential; it could be that these signs have been present for some time which means it should be your immediate concern to get them oils changed as fast as you can.

If you wait too long, the fish & chips will be of poor quality which could impact customer satisfaction and end up costing you money. 

It is not such a big issue, if the oil is changed too early, the result is wasted oil and a waste of money, but it was done in the spirit of keeping customers happy. Ideally, you need to learn to judge the above and change oil at the right time. 

Another reason why the decision as to when to change the oil falls to the operator is that they know their products better than anyone. How long the frying oil in a fryer will last depends upon several factors, including the type and mix of food being fried, the size of the pan, the amount of food being fried and if the company filters and how often.

For example, the oil used to produce batter and breaded foods will break down more quickly than one used to fry chips Ideally.

If you have looked at the above and you think it is time to change your oil, then we recommend a thorough pan boil out. It’s a bit like having a bath and fresh bedsheets. 

If you want to get the best out of your oil, we cannot recommend following some basics enough. for example, regular skimming, a regular boil out schedule, and filtering oils twice a day.

Digital Oil Monitoring

If you want to up your game in oil monitoring then we suggest you invest in a digital oil tester, the two that come highly recommended are EBRO FOM 330 or the TESTO 270.  However, they do not perform miracles, you need to follow basic oil management techniques, and these will help you monitor the Total polar materials. You cannot use while frying, it is best to use before a frying shift and after filtering. 


You can purchase these used, but they may need calibration. 

Have you just bought the shop?

If you have just bought the fish & chip shop, I would have a boil out and start with fresh oils right away. The only exception to this is if you have worked with the previous owner and you saw first-hand their oil management and filtering schedule. 

Bear in mind oil management is a job in itself; it pays to get good at it. Some real training could come in handy here. It is essential also to note that it is not ideal for you to fry in brand new oil, we will talk about this a little more in the future. 

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