Cooking oil has become an essential part of the cooking experience. Not only does oil help prevent foods from sticking to pans, it adds a burst of delicious flavor to your dishes. But as much as you may love to experiment in the kitchen, oil clean up can be a problem.
Nearly half of the 36,000 sewer overflows that happen in the united States are caused by buildups of grease within plumbing systems. If you’re continually dumping leftover oils down the sink, prepare to call plumbing services sooner rather than later. Those fats will solidify over time, and there’s no way to cut the oils and fats with something like soap or water to ensure they don’t clog up your pipes. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up on cooking with oils for good. There are plenty of grease disposal methods that will leave your sinks clean and clear of oil buildup while still satisfying your cravings.
Let’s review three efficient methods for disposing leftover cooking oils without clogging up your sinks.
Method #1: The Storage Container
It doesn’t take much to clog up your drains and lead to a visit from a local plumber. But cooking oils are actually pretty easy to get rid of. All it takes is a little extra effort. Greasy foods like bacon are infamous for leaving behind a pan full of grease, but getting rid of that grease is quite easy. First, let the oil cool for a bit so it’s not scorching hot. You can even wait until the oil has solidified in the pan.
Next, carefully pour or scrape the oil into a jar or container, something you don’t mind throwing away or scraping oil out of to be reused. Once all the oil is drained out of the pan, put a lid on your container and stick it in the freezer. Keeping your container in the freezer helps keep the oil from going rancid and keeps smells out of your fridge. Next time you have leftover oil, take the container out and pour oil in it again. Keep doing this until your container is full, and either wrap it up in a plastic bag to prevent leakage or scrape the oil out of the container into the trash.
Method #2: Saving the Oil
Recipes often call for ingredients to be cooked in leftover oil. The fats are a great base to keep food from sticking to your pan, as well as allowing the savory flavors of tasty foods like bacon to be imparted onto things like onions, garlic, or potatoes. But that leftover grease from your bacon breakfast doesn’t have to go to waste – you can definitely reuse it.
Using a coffee filter, pour the leftover, slightly cooled oil, into the filter. This drains the bits out of the oil. With a jar beneath the filter, oil will slowly drip through, giving you a nice source of flavor next time you’re cooking.
Method #3: Recycling
Grease disposal isn’t just about getting rid of excess oils. There’s plenty of research devoted to using waste oils to fuel cars in an effort to support the environment and lessen the need for gasoline. Do some research and find out if there are any recycling programs in your area that accept used cooking oil. An oil donation is a great way to get rid of that leftover grease as well as give back to the environment.
There’s no one right way to execute your grease disposal, but there is a wrong way. Don’t pour that oil down the sink! You’re at risk of clogging up your pipes if you continuously pour oil down the sink, as the fats harden and solidify over time. With so many great grease disposal methods, finding one that works for you is a breeze.