11

When frying food, what's a good alternative to paper towels for soaking up/draining excess oil?

14

Personally I use a wire rack over a cookie sheet to drain fried or greasy foods. The oil drips to the pan below and I can pour the oil into a container or dispose of it however I need to.

6

I like to use wire cooling racks, brown paper bags, and cloth dishtowels dedicated to this endeavor would work for draining. Paper towels you do use might be compostable.

  • Composting the oil-soaked paper towels will be more complicated, yes? – LShaver Dec 19 '17 at 16:13
4

I have not found much of an alternative to paper towels, but you could at least try the following:

  1. Drain food that has been deep fried on a wire rack. Only after this use paper towel to soak up excess oil.
  2. I keep paper towel that is soaked in cooking oil and use it as a fire-lighter later on. Of course, that only works if you have a wood-fired stored.
  3. To minimise the use of paper towels in cleaning, I make use of our local food waste scheme, which accepts cooked food. For greasy pans: used teabags, or vegetable peelings that seem to be sufficiently absorbent, are used to wipe the pans before washing them. I then compost the oily teabags This saves a large amount of detergent and water.
2

Not a 100% alternative, but a reduction:
Use only one layer of paper towel and used newspapers under it.

  • @ Jan Doggen, newspapers contain carbon and chemicals that trigger cancer. Even if underneath, it may be risky. – J. Chomel May 10 '16 at 7:12
  • That is the way we do it at home. But think I will check out J. Chomels answer – J Bergen Dec 21 '17 at 22:26
2

Slices of stale bread are a good alternative. I keep crusts / the ends of loaves in the freezer and place 4 to 6 on a tray to cover the tray. You then just place your fried food on top to drain. The bread is fine to go in the compost afterwards.

  • If there's too much oil in the bread, won't this make composting more complicated? – LShaver Dec 19 '17 at 16:13
1

Use woven/organic undyed cloth piece, and then wash it along with other clothes. Keep this piece only for draining food.

Example: https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Organic-Cheesecloth-ColorGrown-Ubleached/dp/B07622VQVM/

  • This sounds like a good idea, but it would seem hand washing might be better -- depending on how oily the cloth is, it could take a lot more soap or stain the other clothing you're washing. – LShaver Dec 19 '17 at 16:14
1

Actually the salad spinner is not a bad idea at all. It will require washing up after - detergent/water/time costs. Whereas the cloth /tea towel is pretty simple.

On the rare occasion I fry anything that needs draining I just let it drain on a warm or even hot plate. The heat will keep the oil flowing and the food warm, cold will congeal oil and cool the food.

I degrease pans etc. with old teabags or newspaper before washing. It really helps cut down detergent and washing time. We Brits always have teabags about.

0

We prefer to use lightly woven undyed cloth.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • 6
    Hello Laura, and welcome to the site. Thanks for this answer. Would you like to flesh it out a bit, with some more information? How did you compare the impact of these cloths with other options, when choosing them? Do you wash them, how often, and machine or by hand? – EnergyNumbers Jan 21 '14 at 4:50
-1

I have no clue at all if this would work or if it would damage the plastic possibly yes but if you could ever find a metal one of these a Salad spinner may do the trick. enter image description here

  • 3
    This is not an answer, this is rather a strange idea that you did not even try. – J. Chomel May 10 '16 at 7:15

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