I am not surprised that many of us know what not to do with used grease more than what we need to do.
Deep-frying and roasting in bacon grease is a norm in many modern kitchens. But how and where do you dispose of grease from your griddle or grill?
Most people take their dirty dishes, cooking pots, and other utensils used on a grill or griddle straight to the sink. Although grease adds a savory taste to meals, it can cause an ugly and expensive mess in your kitchen sink and drainage system.
How to Dispose of Grease From Grill or Griddle
- Reuse the grease
- Recycle the grease
- Package it well and throw it in the trash
Reusing the Grease
Whether you were cooking bacon, steak, or burgers, the grease left behind is suitable for reusing as long as it is below the smoke point.
The most crucial factor to consider when storing grease for reuse is cleanliness. Food particles in the oil could cause it to go bad pretty soon.
The following steps will help you clean and store your grease safely for future use:
- Set aside a clean jar and cover its opening with a paper towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter.
- Take the drip tray with the warm grease and pour the content into the jar.
- Strain the cloth or paper towel to release as much oil as possible, leaving behind the food residues.
- Put the filtered grease in an air-tight container.
- Allow it to cool down. Store the container in the fridge if you plan to use it immediately or in a few days. And if you want to use it long-term, store it in a freezer.
Before using the grease, always smell to confirm if it’s still fresh.
You can reuse your grease to make salad dressing and mayo. It is also suitable for baking, pan-frying, deep-frying, and sautéing. Grease, especially bacon grease, helps add flavor to food when used instead of cooking oil.
Alternative Cleaning Method
If straining the oil through a coffee filter or paper towel is not working for you, you can go for unflavored gelatin.
For every quart of look warm, dirty oil, you will need a teaspoon of powdered gelatin and a half cup of water.
- First, add your gelatin to the water and let it rest for a few minutes
- Bring the mixture to a boil
- Stir until the gelatin dissolves
- Add the mixture to the dirty oil
- Stir vigorously and cover the container with a lid
- Store it in the fridge overnight
- The clean oil will float, and the gunk will foam a neat disk at the bottom of the container.
Recycle the Grease
Did you know that you can recycle your grease? Well, I didn’t realize this until I did some research. Some neighborhoods and municipalities have a recycling initiative to collect used kitchen grease, fats, and oils for recycling.
Recycling is one of the most efficient and responsible ways to minimize pollution through eco-friendly waste disposal. The recycling centers use grease and oils to make biofuel.
Before you settle on this method of grease disposal, confirm if there is any collection center in your locality. Your local waste management company can help you out.
Before you take your grease for recycling, you will need to clean it up.
- Strain the grease with a clean paper towel to remove food particles
- Pour it in a sealable container
- Deliver to the recycling center
You can mix different fats and oils in one container for recycling unless instructed otherwise by the collection facility.
Throw It in the Trash
The easiest way to dispose of your dirty/ gunky cooking oil and grease is by throwing it in the trash. But do not just throw it straight from the drip tray into the trash can. Hot grease can damage the can, and when these fats solidify, they can stink badly.
The safest and most responsible way to dispose of grease in the trash can involves:
Pour the hot or warm oil into a disposable, sealable container
Allow the grease some time to cool down and solidify
Place a tight lid on the container to prevent spillage. You can also put the jar in a plastic bag to prevent leakage if the container heats up and the grease melts.
Throw the container in a regular trash can and not a compost heap. Grease reduces soil fertility and can harm plants in the exposed area.
Wipe down all the dishes, pans, pots, and appliances that came into contact with the grease using a paper towel. Dispose of the paper towels used in the trash can. You can now wash your utensils in the sink.
Things to Avoid When Disposing of Grease or Cooking Oil
The most recommended way to dispose of your cooking oil or grease is in the trash. However, some people still attempt to dispose of grease in ways that are not proper.
When disposing of grease, avoid the following:
Avoid Pouring Oil Down the Drain
When you pour grease oil down the drain, it exposes your home plumbing system to the danger of clogging.
Moreover, it can cause significant clogging in the municipal lines. The result is great damage that takes thousands of dollars to repair.
Although liquid, oil cools inside your pipes. It congeals and gathers other oil particles, increases in volume then prevents water from flowing, thus blocking your pipe system.
The worst scenario will be if the clogging ends up clogging the plumbing system of your neighborhood. Such will result in basements flooded with sewage, among other serious health issues.
What if you accidentally pour grease down the drain?
In case this happens, and it may happen occasionally, take these simple steps to correct the situation:
- You can clear some greases by pouring baking soda and white vinegar into the drainage.
- Use an enzyme-based drain cleaner. This cleaner is effective in neutralizing grease in both PVC pipes and metals.
- If the two methods above don’t prove helpful, try a plunger to help in dislodging the grease further.
If all the above fixes don’t work, you will have to call a plumber to help you fix the problem.
Avoid Pouring Grease or Used Oil Outside
Many people like disposing of grease by pouring it outside. However, this isn’t the right way to do it.
When you pour oil outside, there is a possibility that it will still find its way to your sewer system. The effect will be clogging of the whole system.
Worse still, when you pour grease outside, it becomes a risk to wildlife.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), spills of grease or cooking oils can kill or injure wildlife. They also produce other undesirable effects.
If wildlife becomes coated with such grease, it might die of starvation, hypothermia, diarrhea, and dehydration.
If the spilled grease gets into water, it could cause aquatic animals to die of suffocation.
Avoid Disposing Grease in Your Compost Pile
Small amounts of vegetable-based oils may not have adverse effects on your compost pile. However, large amounts of the same cause moisture and airflow issues. This will eventually affect your fertilizer.
Keep animal fats entirely away from your compost pit. Animal fats cause a foul smell, attract vermin, and in most cases, they make your compost unhealthy.
The best advice is to keep all types of grease or used cooking oil away from your compost pit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do You Do with Grease from Blackstone Griddle?
You can handle grease from your Blackstone griddle in two ways: you can choose to reuse it, or you can take it for recycling. Recycling helps to change grease into biofuel.
How Do You Dispose of Cooking Grease at Home?
The easiest way to dispose of cooking grease at home is by throwing it in the trash. Pour the grease in a sealable container when it is still warm. Allow it to cool down and solidify. Seal the container and throw it in the trash can.
You can also either reuse or recycle the grease.
How Do You Dispose of Pellet Grill Grease?
Pour the grease from the drip tray while still warm to a disposable container. It could be a carton of milk, an old plastic cup, or a bottle of soda. Allow it to cool down, seal, and throw it in the trash can. You can place the container inside a plastic bag to prevent leakage.
Can I Dump Cooking Oil Outside?
Do not dump cooking oil outside. Never! Whether the cooking oil is vegetable-based or animal-based, it can injure or kill wildlife. Cooking oil left on the ground can also make its way to the sewer lines and cause clogs.
Can You Pour Grease Down the Toilet?
It is a bad idea to pour grease down the toilet. Grease may go down as liquid, but it solidifies and builds up on the sides of your toilet drainage pipe once it cools down.
After enjoying a savory grill or griddle meal, be careful with handling the excess grease that remains on the drip tray.
The essential rule of thumb is – never to pour grease down the drain, whether kitchen or toilet. Grease solidifies on the walls of sewer pipes, causing severe clogs.
After cooking, you can strain the remaining grease and reuse it. You can also pour it in a container, allow it to cool down, throw it in the trash or send it to a collection center for recycling.
Before washing the utensils used to cook on a griddle or grill in a sink, wipe off the excess grease with a paper towel.