What’s With the Rising Price of Cooking Oil?

The current supply chain shortages have been well documented, as well as the subsequent rates of inflation that are driving up prices in all sectors of the economy. Foodservice isn’t immune, as we’ve seen increases in the costs of raw materials, manufacturing, and even the food supply.

Whether it’s greater expenses or the decreased supply, we’re in a chicken/egg type of scenario, in some cases quite literally. Yes, there’s even a shortage and higher cost for the beloved chicken wing, but those higher costs go well beyond the items getting mainstream press. In fact, there’s even rising prices for the oil used to cook those wings.

Tell me more.

There’s no easier way to say it. Cooking oil and vegetable oils have become so valuable that people are diving into dumpsters to steal used oil, making as much as $1,500 a day.

According to Business Insider, the value of cooking oil has increased so much that restaurants and other types of foodservice operations are stockpiling oil to buy it at cheaper prices. Some are stretching the use of their existing oil so it lasts longer with more frequent filtration becoming a tactic used to extend the life of frying oil. This is what happens inside the kitchen, though, and we’ll circle back to this in a minute.

Outside the restaurant, near the dumpster next to the parking lot, thieves are stealing used frying oil receptacles and are reselling it to be recycled into diesel fuel. Because the price of oil has increased 80 percent over the last year, this is a very lucrative transaction with some restaurants losing tens of thousands of dollars while thieves make around $1,500 per day.

How can we mitigate oil cost increases?

As we mentioned, there are certainly hacks like buying at lower costs and stockpiling, or even using oil longer than one might normally use it. Filtration is a key component to maintaining oil quality, as well. We’re in the fryer business, and we’ve created model after model with oil management in mind. Now, it just so happens, we’re living in a world where that oil is so valuable. So here’s our advice.

1). Reconsider how much oil you use.

The reality is there are fryers that use a reduced oil volume (ROV) to achieve even greater results. ROV fryers use technology that replenishes oil faster than other options, reducing the chance for full oxidation and ultimately extending the life of frying oil

2). Keep out unwanted elements.

There are six main enemies of frying oil. That’s the bad news. The good news is there are ways to combat them, as well. Instead of allowing common kitchen items like water, salt, and air to enter a frying chamber, operators can use fryer accessories like fryer tank covers when units are not in use to ensure those unwanted elements are kept out of the frying oil overnight. This will help increase its shelflife.

3). Consider an integrated oil management system.

A final way to help mitigate the rising price of frying oil is to use an integrated, holistic oil management system to help reduce oil use, extend the life of existing oil, and improve food quality in the process. When fryers incorporate different areas of technological innovations and integrate them together in a single unit, it allows operators to make the most of their fryers and lower the impacts of rising oil prices.


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Topics: Fryers, Oil, Filtration, ROV, Management, Quality