Where are YOU going to put your griddle grease when you are done cooking?
It’s a funny thing, disposing of grease. So many of us know what we shouldn’t do (more on that later), but so few of us know what we should do.
Well, in order to straighten everything out, I’ve done my research and found the best ways to dispose of grease from griddles and grills in a safe and responsible manner. To start with though, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way, and talk about what you shouldn’t do!
NEVER Dispose Of Grease Down The Drain
We all know we shouldn’t, but it’s so tempting. And besides, a little bit of grease down the drain whilst it’s still hot isn’t going to cause any issues, right? Wrong.
We’ve always been told not to pour grease and oils down the drain, but whilst I was researching this even I was shocked to find out the smallest amounts of grease can cause HUGE problems for you down the line.
In fact, if you wash any utensils that you’ve been using to cook on your griddle or grill without wiping away any excess grease first, this alone is enough to cause problems.
That’s right. I’m not just talking about pouring an entire drip tray of grease down the drain here, those small amounts of grease leftover on utensils is enough to build up over time and cause some serious damage to your plumbing that could cost you a lot of money to put right.
The problem is, we pour grease down the drain when it’s hot, believing that it will just be washed away with the water we send down with it. But this isn’t the case.
Grease solidifies as it cools, and will stick to the inside of pipes until eventually, it blocks them altogether. When this happens, there is no quick fix to put it right. You’ll need a professional to come in and fix your issue, and it won’t come cheap.
So NEVER pour any amount of grease down the drain, and instead try one of my three suggestions below.
Reuse Your Grease
Yes, you really can reuse grease. Whether you’ve been cooking burgers, steak, or bacon on your griddle, you can make good use of the grease that’s left behind.
The key to doing this is making sure that the grease itself is relatively clean. That means you don’t want any bits of food mixed in with it if you can help it, as this will result in the grease going bad when the food does, and that won’t be pleasant for anybody involved.
To make sure it’s clean, you can create an at-home filter to catch any of those food bits you don’t want.
Simply take your drip tray whilst the grease is still warm, and pour the contents slowly into a jar covered by a paper towel.
This way, the liquid grease can drip down into the jar, and any bits of food will be caught in the paper towel, ready for you to bunch it up and throw it in the trash.
Once your grease is in the jar, allow it to cool before putting it in the fridge. You can then use this grease to add flavor to dishes by cooking other food in it instead of oils.
Bacon grease works especially well for this, but any grease will do so long as you’ve filtered it properly and kept it in an air-tight container or jar in the fridge.
I’d also recommend smelling the grease before using it though, as even with the best of intentions you can still miss small particles of food which can cause the grease to go bad.
You’ll know for yourself if it isn’t right, and if you’re in any doubt, then dispose of your grease using the final of the two methods below.
Recycle Your Grease
This was something I certainly didn’t know about before researching this, so I imagine it’s something some of you didn’t know either. But, some communities actually offer a recycling initiative in which you can take any grease you have in jars or containers (stored using the method above, with paper towel filters to make sure it’s clean), and recycle it.
These recycling centers will use cooking oils and grease by turning it into biofuel, so you’ll also be doing your bit for the planet by taking it down there.
Not all recycling centers offer this, and certainly not every state, but call up your local waste management or recycling company to find out if there’s something you can do to recycle your grease.
It’s a great way to help the planet, and it also gets rid of your excess grease in a responsible way that won’t cost you any money or cause damage to your plumbing.
Take It To The Trash
If the two slightly eco-friendlier options above aren’t viable, then you can always throw it in the trash. But don’t ever just tip it straight into your trash can from the drip tray, as it will solidify and stink out your trash can, if the hot grease doesn’t damage it first!
The responsible way to dispose of your grease in the trash is to pour it into a jar or container first, and allow it to cool until it solidifies. You don’t need to worry about paper towels for this method, as you’re throwing it in the trash as soon as it has cooled anyway.
Once it has, make sure you place a tight lid on it so there aren’t any spillages, and consider putting the jar inside something else too, like an old plastic bag to prevent it from leaking should the grease heat up and become liquid again.
Just something I’d like to point out here to finish, is that if you do decide to throw your grease in the trash, make sure you only put it in a regular trash can.
I’ve heard horror stories of people throwing it on compost heaps to reduce waste, but this actually damages soil, and can even harm plants and animals moving forwards.
So, if you want to help the planet, try one of the two methods above, and then when all else fails, simply put your grease in a sealable container and throw it in the trash!