Indulging in deep-fried delights is a guilty pleasure for many, but the aftermath often leaves us pondering the fate of leftover grease and oil. Tossing it down the drain is a recipe for disaster both for your plumbing and the environment. Fear not, for we’ve compiled an expert guide on how to handle this culinary conundrum in an eco-friendly and approachable manner.

Reuse:
Experienced home cooks have long appreciated the value of reusing grease, and you should too. Bacon grease, lard, or beef tallow can lend their rich flavors to various dishes. Whether it’s enhancing the flakiness of a pie crust or infusing biscuits and vegetables with a savory kick, your leftover grease can find new life in the kitchen.

To save and store grease effectively, let it cool but not congeal. Strain it into a wide-mouth jar and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a year. Freezing is also an option for those who like to plan ahead.

Oil’s Second Act:
Professional cooks routinely extend the life of deep-frying oil, and so can you. Straining used oil through a paper coffee filter and refrigerating it preserves its quality for future culinary endeavors. An alternative method involves a mixture of cornstarch and water to purify the oil, producing a cleaner version suitable for reuse.

Exercise caution with the number of reuses, though. While meats and fish allow for three to four rounds, vegetables, and pastries can tolerate 6 to 8 uses. If the oil develops an off-putting odor before then, it’s time to bid adieu.

Recycle:
Communities are increasingly embracing the three Rs—reduce, reuse, and recycle—and cooking oil is no exception. Many areas now have dedicated collection points for used cooking oil, where it can be repurposed into biofuels, animal feed, or substitutes for petroleum-based products.

Wildlife-Friendly Recycling:
For nature enthusiasts, repurposing grease to feed wildlife is a heartwarming option. Craft suet balls for birds by melting and straining leftover animal fats, and mixing them with grains, seeds, dried fruits, birdseed, or breadcrumbs. Freeze the concoction in molds, then hang these DIY bird treats in your garden for our feathered friends to enjoy during colder spells.

Disposal Done Right:

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If all else fails and disposal is unavoidable, follow the golden rule: cool and contain. Let used cooking oil cool before pouring it into a sealable container. For greases, wait until they solidify, then scrape them into a sealable container before discarding them. Coffee cans or non-metal snack cans work well for this purpose. Remember, never pour it down the sink or toilet. Call us at 513-771-7588 or visit us at thenononsenseplumber.com

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