Grease 101: 4 Safe Ways to Remove Hot Used Cooking Oil from Your Commercial Kitchen's Fryers

Most would agree that recycling used cooking oil is sanitary, efficient and good for the earth - there's less agreement on what method to use to empty your fryer of used grease so it can be stored for later pickup.  Today’s restaurateurs can use everything from low-tech storage bins to high-tech collection tanks to remove and store their used cooking oil. However, these options aren’t one-size-fits-all. Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes, and there are different solutions for each one. These are four of the most common options we see in the industry. Read up, and let us know if you need help determining the right solution for your business. And view our infographicbelow for a quick overview of your options.

Outdoor Storage Containers

Outdoor grease storage containers are kind of like dumpsters for used cooking oil. Same as with a trash dumpster, a restaurant employee must manually carry the used cooking oil from kitchen to the grease receptacle. This may be the only feasible option for some restaurants, but it does have a small margin of error. While transporting the oil, it’s easy for employees to spill, slip, or burn themselves. These spills could also cause environmental issues that come with significant legal costs or fines. In addition, outdoor storage containers are easy targets for grease theft. To reduce this threat, some service providers offer specially designed, theft-deterrent lids.

Indoor Caddy System

The indoor caddy system offers a simple alternative to outdoor oil collection. Instead of carrying a pail of hot oil outside, a restaurant employee can wheel the caddy to the fryer, connect a hose, and drain the used oil into a portable cart. Afterwards, the caddy is wheeled to an indoor storage container and drained via an easy-connect hose. With the proper safety gear, this method can reduce the risk of spills, burns, and other accidents. The storage tank can be placed any distance from the fryer banks, so it’s an ideal option for restaurants with limited kitchen space.

Indoor Pump Station

When it comes to preventing accidents, the indoor pump station is a step above the caddy system. This handy tool eliminates manual labor with the use of a magic wand. Okay, so the wand isn’t actually magic, but it does siphon used cooking oil into an indoor storage container. When used with the proper safety gear, this technology can drastically lower the risk of spills, burns and other oil-related accidents. The pump station and wand must be located on a wall near the fryer banks and storage tank — close enough to connect the piping. This usually isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s worth considering. Your service provider can advise if this solution would work for your store.

Direct Pump System

The direct pump system is the easiest and safest option on this list. This technology works by creating a direct connection from the fryer banks to a specialized storage container. They’re usually installed indoors, but direct pumps are also compatible with outdoor storage tanks. Most modern fryers are compatible with the direct pump system, but adaptation kits are also available. Once installed, restaurant employees can flip a switch and pump hot grease out of the fryer and into a storage receptacle. The best part is that no special safety gear is required. In short, this tool eliminates manual labor, reduces the risk of injury, prevents grease theft, and increases kitchen efficiency.

Next Steps

If you’re thinking about recycling your used cooking oil or upgrading your current system, we can help guide you through the process. While some service providers offer one or two of these options, DAR PRO Solutions has them all. Give us a call, live chat, or fill out our Let's Get Started form. We can discuss your floor plan, oil volume, and collection needs to help you select the right model, size, and features for your kitchen. We hope to hear from you soon! See our infographic below for a quick overview of options available to you.