The holiday season is here and one of my favorite things about this time of year is the FOOD! (Okay, let’s be honest, food is one of my favorite things in general…but I’m especially fond of the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pies and all the other fixins’ we enjoy during this joyous season.) Along with great meals comes lots of preparation, though, so it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind as everyone retires in front of the TV and you’re stuck cleaning up the kitchen.
Improper disposal of fats, oils and grease rendered from turkey roasting and frying is a common mistake. Putting cooking oils and grease down your household drain or garbage disposal can block pipes, causing sewer back-ups. Who wants that problem at a holiday gathering? In addition, it’s just as bad to dump these substances in your yard. When it rains, the oily residue runs off into the storm drain, reaching local waterways without treatment.
Here’s what you can do to safely dispose of left-over cooking oils:
• Store your leftover cooking oils and grease in a container with a lid.
• Pop it in the freezer.
• Then toss it out with the trash!
• If you’re using a turkey fryer, store and re-use the oil for another time, then take it to your local recycling center. For a list of local fryer oil recycling locations, click here.
All you at-home chefs also should avoid depositing other oil-based foods down the drain and garbage disposal. No-no’s include fatty substances such as lards/shortening, butter/margarine, food scraps, dairy products, batter and icing, salad dressings, and sauces. Avoid using the garbage disposal all together and opt for a sink strainer to catch any food particles leftover. Instead of rinsing your cookware or dirty dishes, thoroughly scrape them into the trash and use a paper towel to absorb any residue and toss it into the trash. You’ll save the water you’d normally use for rinsing AND save your plumbing from a costly backup. Click here for more helpful kitchen cleanup tips.
Frying your turkey this year?
Did you know you can reuse and recycle that fryer oil? Check out these Turkey Frying Facts to learn more.