How Do I Discard of Used Cooking Oil?

updated May 1, 2019
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Q: What do you do with (or how do you dispose of) used cooking oil from things like fried chicken and donuts?

Sent by Sheila

Editor: What to do with used cooking oil is perhaps one of the biggest reasons people avoid frying. Dealing with the splatter is one thing, but what to do with that used oil poses a bigger question. Here are a few tips to help you figure out how to discard of it.

Have You Reused It Yet?

You can often get three to five uses out of oil used for frying — especially if you’re cooking things that are pretty similar in it. Cooling and straining the oil between uses helps it last longer, as does storing it in the freezer or fridge. You know when the used oil is on its last leg when things take longer to fry, the oil begins to smell off, or it’s considerably darker in color.

Is It a Solid or Liquid at Room Temperature?

Let whatever fat you’re discarding cool. Coconut oil, lard, vegetable shortening, bacon grease, and other fats that solidify at room temperature can be discarded directly in the trash. Liquids can be poured into a resealable container and placed in the trash. I try to save non-recyclable containers for this purpose.

Kitchn readers: How do you discard of used cooking oil?