You probably know that cooking oil doesn’t belong in the drain. Even the little amounts of oil that ends up in the sink after washing an oily dish can lead to problems. Eventually, built-up oil can clog the pipes, leading to possibly unsafe conditions and a costly fix. Composting oil isn’t the best idea either, because it can throw off the moisture and attract pests.
But what do you do with it? Luckily, there are several options out there:
1. Reuse It. As long as the oil isn’t rancid, you can certainly reuse it a few times. After the oil cools, use a fat skimmer to discard any food bits floating in it. Strain it through a fine-meshed sieve or a coffee filter into a lidded container, cover, and store in a cool, dry place. Reuse as long as the oil doesn’t smell rancid or looks foamy.
2. Recycle It. Many municipalities offer free cooking oil recycling programs.
3. Toss It. Some things just can’t be recycled. If all else fails, the absolute best way to get rid of oil is to let it cool, pour it in a sealable container, and throw it in the trash.