Fried food is undoubtedly delicious but dealing with leftover frying oil can be a pain. Many families tend to pour old cooking oil down the drain, but this does far more harm than good. Thankfully, there are many better ways to deal with your excess oil. Here’s a handy guide to help you.
Why shouldn’t I pour oil down the drain?
Avoiding pouring oil down the drain isn’t just about keeping your own pipes unblocked- it’s also about keeping Singapore’s entire piping system clear. When you pour cooking grease into your sink, the fats in the oil start to break down as they travel towards the wastewater plant. These fats then merge together, forming a hard substance that sticks to the walls of the pipes and blocks water from getting past. These ‘fatbergs’ can cause a whole host of plumbing problems and they’re very costly for the city to remove.
What should I do instead?
Thankfully, there are three much better methods for dealing with leftover frying oil: throwing it in the trash, giving it to a recycling company or reusing it to cook again.
1. Throw cooking oil in the trash
Putting your cooking oil in the trash is an easy method that any family can use. First, find an old container with a resealable lid. Ideally, you should use waste plastic over glass, as glass can easily shatter in the trash. After letting your oil cool to avoid burns, simply pour the oil into the container, screw on the lid and throw the whole thing into your bin. If you’d rather be kind to the environment and avoid throwing waste plastic away, you can also leave your oil in the freezer to solidify. Once solid, scoop the grease into the trash with a spoon.
2. Give cooking oil to a recycling company
If you use a lot of oil and you want to do your best to support the environment, you can also dispose of it with a recycling company. Singapore has several recycling plants that convert UCO (used cooking oil) into environmentally friendly products like bio-diesel. To recycle your oil, find a large container (like a milk carton, for example) that you can continuously pour your used oil into until it’s ready for drop off or collection. Then, call your local recycling company to handle the rest.
3. Reuse cooking oil at home
If throwing away or even recycling cooking oil seems like a waste to you, you can also reuse it a few times before you do. If you do want to reuse your oil regularly, use a cooking thermometer to make sure you fry at the right temperature, as oil quickly breaks down if it gets too hot. After frying, just cool the oil, filter the crumbs and batter out of it with cheesecloth, then store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can then continue reusing the oil until it goes cloudy or until 1 to 2 months have passed from the first use.