The Aluminum Foil Hack For Discarding Cooking Grease Without Disaster

After frying a whole pan of bacon, it may be tempting to just pour the leftover grease down the drain — but we know by now that this should be avoided at all costs. Cooking fats, oils, and grease (also known as FOG) can clog your drain, which can be a major pain and costly, as you may end up having to hire a plumber for up to $400 an hour. Pouring grease down the drain may negatively impact more than just yourself. New York City's Department of Environmental Protection explains that the city can't handle waste from FOG, as it may cause sewage backups for residences and businesses — and restaurants are legally required to properly dispose of their grease.

So we know it's important, but it can also be messy and time-consuming to get rid of your leftover bacon grease at home. (There are many ways to use it too.) The NYC DEP recommends placing FOG in a container and throwing it in the trash. You may want to allow the oil to cool before tossing it, however, as that will give it time to solidify for easier disposal. And it's even possible to reuse or recycle your fats — you can reuse them for cooking until they go bad, or drop them off at a recycling center.

But in what may be the simplest solution available, you can get rid of cooking grease with aluminum foil.

Pour grease in foil-covered bowl

If you want to get rid of grease without the mess, all you need is aluminum foil and a bowl. Simply line a bowl with foil and pour the liquid grease or oil into the bowl, making sure the foil doesn't have any rips where the grease could seep through. If left out on the counter, the oil will solidify and you can easily take the whole thing out and toss it in the trash — avoiding greasy finger in the process.

There are a few different variations on this hack, although lining a bowl with foil may be the easiest. You could use parchment paper to cover the bowl, although it doesn't conform to a shape as easily as foil does. You could also try lining your sink drain with foil and pour the grease directly into the sink — this may be a little messier to extract, as you're sticking your hands near the oil, but it should effectively block it from going down the drain. This also may be helpful if you're trying to drain excess fat from ground meat, as you can pour it straight into a colander placed over a foil-lined sink.

If you're just trying to safely get rid of grease, however, try pouring it into a foil-covered bowl. Cleanup will be a breeze, and you can rest easy knowing you didn't create sewage backup in your city.