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What to Do with Grease From a Smoker?

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Cooking outdoors is a great way to enjoy the summer weather and spend time with family and friends.

Whether you’re a new outdoor cooking enthusiast or an experienced grilling veteran, there’s always something new to learn.

In this article, we will discuss what to do with the grease from your smoker once you’re done cooking.

There are many different ways to use it, and some of them may surprise you!

Why Do Smokers Have Grease Traps?

Many people are familiar with grease traps, but they may not know why they are used. Both smokers and grills produce a lot of greases and other debris when in use.

If this grease is allowed to build up, it can eventually cause problems with the operation of the smoker or grill. 

Grease traps help to catch this debris before it has a chance to clog up the smoker or grill. In addition, grease traps make it easier to clean the smoker or grill after use.

Don’t Pour Grease Down the Sink

As a result, they are an essential part of any grill or smoker. The problem arises when your grease trap or bucket starts to fill up. What do you do?

Anyone who has ever cooked knows that grease is inevitable.

Whether it’s splattering out of the pan while you’re frying bacon or slowly accumulating in the pot after a simmer, getting rid of grease can be a pain. 

The grease collected from your outdoor grill is no different—though it may contain more animal fat than cooking oil.

Although it may seem like a good and convenient idea to just pour it all down the drain, this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your plumbing. 

Over time, grease will build up in your pipes and cause serious clogs. Not to mention, it can also lead to nasty odors and attract pests.

So next time you’re stuck with a pot full of greasy water, resist the urge to pour it down the drain.

Instead, let it cool and solidify, skim the solidified fat off the top, and then dispose of it in the trash.

There are other things you can do with it, but we’ll get to them later. 

Don’t Pour it Out in Your Yard

It’s tempting to just pour that extra grease from cooking or grilling into the backyard, but did you know that it can actually cause some pretty serious problems? 

For one thing, grease can attract all sorts of animals, from rats and raccoons to opossums and bears.

Once they’ve gotten a taste of your delicious grease, they’ll keep coming back for more. 

In addition, grease can clog up your drains and sewers, causing backups and overflows.

It can also contaminate soil and water, harming plant life and potentially making people sick.

So, the next time you’re tempted to pour grease into the backyard, think twice. It’s not worth the hassle.

Things You Should Do Instead

Many people don’t know what to do with their old cooking grease. Should they pour it down the drain? Throw it in the garbage?

Or, maybe, just leave it in the pan for the next meal? The answer is actually none of the above. 

Pouring grease down the drain can cause problems for your plumbing and lead to costly repairs.

Throwing it in the garbage is also a bad idea, as it can attract pests and create litter.

So, what should you do with your old cooking grease? Let’s go over some options. 

Strain and Save it

The next time you fire up the smoker, don’t pour that leftover grease down the drain.

Straining it and saving it can come in handy for all sorts of cooking tasks. For example, it’s great for fried foods. 

The smoky flavor adds a delicious depth to things such as chicken-fried steak or french fries.

Plus, the high smoke point of smoked meat fat means that it can withstand high heat without smoking or burning. 

So if you’re looking for a way to add some extra flavor to your cooking, strained and saved a smoker grease is a great option.

Just be sure to strain it well and store it in a cool, dark place—such as in your refrigerator. Keep it in a sealed jar.

It won’t look pretty, but it can add depth of flavor to many of your future meals, whether they’ve smoked or not!

Add Some to Your Compost

You know that stuff you pour down the drain after cooking bacon or smoking meats? It turns out that it’s great for your compost heap.

Adding a bit of smoker grease to your compost will help to attract beneficial critters such as worms, and it will also help to break down tough organic matter. 

In addition, the fats in smoker grease can help to keep your compost heap moist, preventing it from drying out and becoming compacted.

So, the next time you’re finished smoking meats, save a little bit of that grease to sprinkle on your compost pile. Your plants will thank you for it! 

Of course, you don’t want to add too much smoker grease to your compost pile, as it can lead to problems such as odors and pests.

A good rule of thumb is to add no more than one cup of smoker grease per five-gallon bucket of compost. 

Use it to Make Lanterns

Sure, you could just throw away that smoker grease when you’re done with your cooking. But why would you want to do that when you can repurpose it into something useful? 

Making lanterns is one of the best ways to use your leftover smoker grease.

Just pour it into an empty jar, add a wick, some bendable wire, and a lid, and you’re good to go.

Not only will lanterns fuel your home with light, but they’ll also give it a beautiful smoky aroma. 

So, the next time you’re finished smoking meat or vegetables, don’t pour that grease down the drain. Put it to good use by fueling your lanterns.


As you can see, there are many different things you can do with the grease from your smoker.

So, the next time you’re finished cooking, don’t pour it down the drain or throw it in the garbage.

Instead, put it to good use by straining ]and saving it for adding flavor to future dishes, adding it to your compost pile, or using it to make lanterns for your home.


Lover of the outdoors and great food. If I'm not in my backyard cooking up a feast, I'm deep in the backcountry camping....and cooking up a feast! Follow along and let's create something great.