When frying food, what's a good alternative to paper towels for soaking up/draining excess oil?
I have not found much of an alternative to paper towels, but you could at least try the following:
- Drain food that has been deep fried on a wire rack. Only after this use paper towel to soak up excess oil.
- 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.
- 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.
Use woven/organic undyed cloth piece, and then wash it along with other clothes. Keep this piece only for draining food.
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.