We all have some left-over grease from our occasional binge, but as most cooking enthusiasts would know, grease can create a huge mess in your kitchen. Grease is probably the most difficult food item to dispose of in the kitchen. While thinking of how to properly dispose of grease and cooking oil, almost all of us have at least considered pouring it down the drain and forgetting about it. But that actually has a lot of nasty repercussions.
Can You Pour Grease or Cooking Oil Down The Drain?
Never!!! The general consensus is that you should never pour down the grease or cooking oil into drains unless you have a plumber on speed dial. Grease contains fat compounds, which can solidify in your drain and clog them up completely. There have been incidents where the clogged drainage pipes have resulted in people’s basements completely filling with sewage- a less than amiable experience, of course.
Now, you may be curious as to how restaurants get rid of the massive amounts of grease that are generated in their kitchens on a daily basis. Usually, restaurants have a whole system of equipment installed in their plumbing system that catches the grease from the oil that has been washed down the sink. While this may sound like the best way to dispose of grease, it is quite expensive.
So, how do you get rid of grease and cooking oil in your own kitchens then?
This article discusses some of the best ways you can dispose of cooking oil and kitchen grease:
How Do You Dispose of Of Cooking Grease Properly?
Here we will discuss some safest ways to dispose of used cooking oil and grease-
1. Empty Them Into The Trash
The proper way to get rid of oil and grease is in the trashcan. Here is how you should do it:
- Allow the grease to cool down and solidify in the utensils.
- Once solid, scrape it off the pots and pans and collect in in containers which you can throw away easily.
- Once the containers are full, you can throw them in the trash can. Remember to put the containers into a bag made of plastic first- in case the grease melts and leaks from the heat.
If you do get grease down the drain, there are certain tricks you can try to prevent the pipes from clogging.
Use Vinegar and Baking Soda – Pour baking soda and white vinegar down the drain to dissolve some grease from there. Then, use a plunger to dislodge the collected grease from the pipe. However, if none of these work, you will need to call the plumber.
Let it solidify – For cooking oil and fats that solidify over time, it is best to let them do so. You can chill the grease in the refrigerator for it to harden up, and then carry on with your cooking grease disposal in the garbage.
2. You Can Also Reuse Your Cooking Grease After Filtering It
This process involves taking out bits and chunks of food from the grease that has been left in the pan and then using it to cook food again. We suggest that you use a cloth like muslin or a cheesecloth strainer for this process. These are a better option than kitchen towels, as they can be washed and used time and again.
To reduce the production of grease, it is best to use cooking oils that are not as fatty. Use just a little bit of cooking oil – just enough to prevent the food from sticking to the pan. Not only does this reduce greasy messes in your kitchen, but it also contributes to your healthy and active lifestyle.
3. Eco-Friendly Disposal
There is also a really eco-friendly way to dispose of vegetable oil. Vegetable oil can actually make great food for earthworms. So, adding them to your compost is a great way of disposing of cooking oil in the garden. However, you have to be careful with this technique, since too much cooking oil in your compost can actually attract vermin to it, and create barriers between the water and air flow to the roots.
What Can You Do With Used Cooking Oil?
Now, you may not always have to dispose of frying oil– you can also reuse it.
- Store It – A lot of people prefer to store the used cooking oil in containers and use it later as an ingredient in cakes or bread. With this also, you need to be careful. If you have fried fish in the oil, then you might not want to put it in your banana bread. But you can definitely use it to make a delicious chicken dish. Make sure that the oil does not smell bad before you decide to use it next. You can use used cooking oil for a few times before it goes bad, after which you will have to dispose of it.
- Recycle Cooking Oil – Interestingly, in some places, municipalities go around to collect used cooking oil and recycle it. When you use this option of disposing of your cooking oil, you will be able to keep it out of your landfills, turning it into an alternative form of energy. When the oil is recycled in a system, you can actually have the opportunity to mix different forms of fats and oils in a single container, unless there are different specifications for that system. Also, you will not have to keep oil inside the refrigerator before getting it to the facility. If you want to get rid of your cooking oil, here is a great place to actually do it.
- Fry Other Food Stuffs – Some people also save up their bacon grease to fry other things with it.
- Freeze It – You can either freeze the grease in a normal airtight plastic container or even store it in the form of cubes to be used later.
How do You Store Used Cooking Oil?
There are many uses for used cooking oil.
- To reuse cooking oil, you have to first let it cool- do not get hot oil on yourself!
- Once the oil is partially cooled, strain it through a cheesecloth to get rid of any food particles or remains. You can also use coffee filters for the same.
- You can then store it in a container and place it in the fridge, to use as and when you please.
- To recycle your oil, you will have to strain it first in order to remove all food particles, and then store it in a sealable container. After that, all you need to do is deliver the oil to your local collection site.
A Word of Caution Here
Remember to NOT pour cooking oil outside. It can get into the sewer system from the ground and cause clogs there. Also, fat-based greases can cause a potential threat to wildlife, making it another reason why you should not leave your cooking oil outside.
Now that you know all the best way to dispose of cooking oil and get rid of left-over grease, you can splurge on the oils and fats in your next cooking venture without thinking about the mess!