This Brilliant Amazon Find Makes It So Much Easier to Clean Up Greasy Deep-Fry Messes
I rarely fry anything, and that’s not because I don’t love fried food (it’s everything to me). It’s the cleanup that always seems like such a major hassle. You have to get a giant vat of oil, heat it to the perfect temperature, and, here comes the hard part, deal with all that oil when you’re done. What the heck are you supposed to do with all of that used oil?
The correct answer is, NEVER EVER pour it down the drain! You actually have to follow through with a responsible-but-elaborate process of letting the oil cool, pouring it into a container, and either recycling or disposing it, depending on the rules in your area (check with your local recycling center).
The task of cleaning up gross oil has honestly held me back, so I was super curious but skeptical when a friend suggested non-toxic FryAway. It’s a “cooking oil solidifier” that, according to the packaging, “magically transforms used cooking oils into solid organic waste.” And let me tell you, it does.
I ordered the product from Amazon, and it came with two packets inside (for two uses). Then I decided to fry up some tasty chicken. All the normal stuff happened — the oil heated up, I put the chicken in the pan, bits of breading floated all over the place, and then I removed the chicken. I was then left standing to face my frying nemesis: a Dutch oven filled with used grease.
I grabbed my new pack of FryAway and followed the package instructions. First, I turned off the heat. Then, I poured one of the packets of white flakes straight into the oil while the pan was still hot. The flakes are made of plant-based fats that are supposedly engineered to turn messy liquid oil into a solid mass.
It made an oddly satisfying crackling sound for a minute, and then nothing. The oil stayed liquified for a while, maybe 10 minutes. It was long enough that I started to wonder if I had done it right. (I mean, how hard is it to pour a packet?)
So, I sat down to eat my fried chicken, and when I got up a few minutes later, there it was! Like a fun school science experiment, the oil had turned into a caramel-colored, opaque, solid disc at the bottom of my Dutch oven. I realized the oil just had to cool completely in order to see the whole effect.
To the touch, it felt like wax, but when I used my knife to pop it out, it cut just like flan. I’m sure I could have taken the whole thing out of the pan in one shot, but I cut it into six pieces and discarded it, straight into my trash can. It was seriously like magic. It even left my Dutch oven pretty clean. I just had to scrub a bit around the sides where the disc had left a line of grime.
I’m not sure if this is going to turn me into a weekly deep-fry enthusiast, but I am definitely bringing this stuff back out come Hanukkah.
How do you dispose of used cooking oil? Tell us your ideas and tips below.