Turning that Fried Turkey Grease into Biodiesel

John Davis

While the Thanksgiving Day feast might be behind you … except for the leftovers (I’m reminded of the Christmas Story lines where the narrator bemoans the loss of all the turkey-based leftovers when the neighbors’ hounds make off with said turkey – funny stuff!) … there might be one more leftover that you can’t quite put in the freezer for consumption later – the grease from frying the turkey. Frying turkey instead of roasting it has become a popular option (and thanks to my brother Bruce the method we chose to have our bird this year), but it leaves gallons of leftover oil that too many times ends up in the trash or sewer. Well, if you’re one of the many who have chosen the fried method, why not consider recycling that used grease into biodiesel?

The oil makes an excellent feedstock for the green fuel. If you’re a home biodiesel brewer, you already have all the equipment and know-how. But if you don’t make your own biodiesel, many communities across the country are offering free drop-off of your used grease. Check with your local officials. In addition, the National Biodiesel Board has listed several places that are accepting used cooking oil to turn into biodiesel on this website. Not only will you be able to do something green for your gas tank, you’ll be helping your community’s sewer and trash systems by keeping the grease out of those systems.

As for my brother, he used cheese cloth to clean up the oil after frying and plans to use it a few more times for some future fish fries has has planned. But when it’s run its course, I’ll make sure to let him know to do his part to help biodiesel and clean the environment.

Biodiesel, NBB