What do you do with fry oil cooking oil after you’re done using it? A lot of people toss it out, sometimes pouring it down the drain or into their trash can. Is that the right thing to do or is there a better way to dispose of used fried oil? Maybe you could even learn how to reuse fried oil.
Your used cooking oil does not have to be tossed out after each use. It can be reused and recycled and still be safe to cook with. If you want to cut down on waste and learn how to get rid of cooking oil safely when it is time to toss it out, then keep on reading.
Can You Reuse Cooking Oil?
Let me start by telling you how you can make use of your cooking oil over and over again instead of wasting it by tossing it out. When you are done cooking fries, chicken tenders, or whatever else you use the oil for, you can simply cover the pot that has the oil in it and allow it to cool.
Maybe you don’t want a big pot of oil sitting on your stove. What you can do is filter out some of the unwanted particles in the oil and pour the remaining clean oil into a glass jar or other container. Make sure the oil has fully cooled first, otherwise it can destroy your container.
Cover the top of your container or jar with either a small sieve or a paper towel sheet. Pour the cooled cooking oil slowly and carefully through the sieve or towel and down into the jar. Some of the oil will pool on the top, so pour it slowly so it doesn’t run off.
Once all your oil has been poured out into the container, you’ll be left with a lot of crusty pieces and other unwanted debris at the top of the jar in your sieve or paper towel. That can be disposed of in your trash can. Then, you can simply cover the container and leave it out on the countertop at room temperature.
The oil can be reused in multiple times before it starts to smell burnt and affects the quality of your food. Once the oil gets very dark and loses a lot of its clarity, even when filtered like I just showed you, then it needs to be tossed out.
How to Dispose of Oil after Frying
Whether you’re disposing of cooking oil after one use or multiple uses, there’s a safe way to do it. It’s never a good idea to get rid of cooking oil when it’s still hot. You could cause damage to whatever you’re pouring it into. You probably won’t start a fire, but you could cause your trash can or other receptacle to melt.
Hot oil simply isn’t safe to work with either, and you could injure yourself if you’re not careful. So, my best advice when you are trying to figure out how to get rid of cooking oil is to let it cool all the way first.
My preferred method for disposing of oil is to toss it out in the corner of my yard. The oil is biodegradable and perfectly safe, so it’s not going to harm the environment or animals, as long as it has fully cooled.
Not everybody has a yard that’s big enough to accommodate a little corner where they toss used cooking oil into the grass and don’t have to worry about stepping in it. Of course, some people don’t even have a yard, so let me share with you some other methods for how to get rid of oil from cooking.
Another big no-no in disposing of cooking oil is tossing it down the drain or into the garbage disposal. Your oil can leave fatty deposits in your pipes, and it may clog up your plumbing after a while. You never want to pour oil down the drain.
It can be poured straight into your trash bag in the trash can, as long as it’s not hot. The only problem you may run into is that the oil could seep through the bag, if you don’t have a very strong or thick garbage bag. That can dirty up the garbage bin and leave you with more cleaning to do.
So, what I suggest is pouring the oil into an airtight plastic bag or a small, disposable container. Some people save out containers from cottage cheese, sour cream, milk jugs, peanut butter containers, and more for this very purpose.
If you don’t have any of those available, just use a thick, plastic bag, like a snack bag or freezer bag. Never pour your cooking oil into a grocery bag, as those tend to be thin and porous, and you’ll probably end up with a lot of oil on the floor.
The container or bag of oil can then be placed into your garbage bin. As long as the oil hasn’t become very burnt, it shouldn’t make the garbage bin smell badly.
What is The Freezer Method?
One final method I want to share with you that helps prevent a lot of wastage is known as the freezer method. If you get rid of oil this way, you will be pouring it into a freezer safe container and putting it into the freezer overnight, or however long it takes for the oil to freeze and thicken.
Then, you can scoop the hardened oil out into your garbage can without having to throw a plastic bag or container in there as well. I suggest doing this when you’re about ready to take out the garbage from your kitchen, because the frozen oil will fall out and create a liquid mess in your bag, possibly seeping through the garbage bag into the garbage can.
However, using the freezer method can prevent you from wasting any plastic or jars and help you get rid of the cooking oil safely.
So, now you have a few options for getting rid of your oil, depending on what you have available and how you may want to avoid being wasteful.