November 11, 2009
How to dispose of used cooking oil 101

Editor's note: This entry was corrected to say that no cooking oil should be poured down the drain.

Wondering what to do with cooking oil you'll use to deep fry that Thanksgiving turkey?

If the number of voicemail and e-mail messages I've received today are any indication, many of you are.

I wrote a story for today's Food & Wine section about a new indoor electric turkey fryer, but missing (due to lack of space) was a key part of the turkey frying equation: what do you do with the used oil?

Here's the deal.

John McLemore, president and co-owner of Masterbuilt, the company that manufactures the Butterball electric turkey fryer, said the oil can be used several times.

"If you refrigerate it, the oil can keep for up to three months and can be used to fry about five to six turkeys," he said.

When you are ready to dispose of the oil, let it cool and then pour it back into a container that can be sealed.

Some auto lube businesses will discard the oil for you, he said.

Another local solution is Sacramento County Waste Management and Recycling.

Cooking oil shouldn't be poured down the drain or placed in the garbage can. Instead, recycle the cooking oil curbside or at the county's hazardous waste drop-off center at 4450 Roseville Rd., North Highlands. Both services are free, according to the county's Web site.

To recycle curbside, pour the oil into clear gallon jugs and tape the lids shut. Also be sure to follow these guidelines: don't mix the oil with other fluids, don't put the oil in the mixed recycling container, place the jugs at least three feet away from the recycling container, limit the amount of oil to three gallons per recycling collection day.

The oil jugs will be collected on recycling collection day, the Web site states.

For information on how to dispose of oil in El Dorado County, follow this link to the county's environmental management Web site.

For disposal information for Placer County, go to Western Placer Waste Management Authority's Web site.

Yolo County residents can learn more about drop-off locations on the county's hazardous household waste Web site.

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