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Avoid Putting These 3 BBQ Leftovers Down Your Drain

Food tastes better when it’s cooked outside. That’s just a fact. The only real drawback to a summer BBQ is the cleanup. Garbage disposals are tough these days, but they’re no match for certain barbecue leftovers. Here are three scraps that can do a number on your disposal and plumbing:


Outdoors, there’s no shame in gnawing a drumstick of chicken or a rack of ribs down to the bone. However, disposing of bones in the sink is a no-no.

At best, bones dull the disposal’s blades. It won’t function as well. At worst, they prove too challenging for the grinder mechanism and potentially blow out the motor. Also, grease clinging to the bones could congeal and cause a backup in the drain or the pipes below the disposal.

You shouldn’t compost bones because they attract unwelcome critters. Toss bones in the trash or, better yet, make a nutritious bone broth.

Corn Cobs

There’s nothing better than sweet, crispy corn on the cob slathered in butter–but resist the temptation to put your disposal to the test with these food scraps.

The cob gets harder and harder as the corn plant matures. As with bones, the disposal’s motor could overheat while the cob is in the grinding chamber. The corn silk inside the husks is risky too; the threads can get snarled in the blades.

Try these tips for putting cobs to good use after you’ve had your fill:

  • Place them over charcoal at your next barbecue to add a sweet, mellow, smoky taste.
  • Make stock for corn chowder. Corn stock also makes the polenta creamier.
  • Use thoroughly dried cobs as pot scrubbers.

Potato Salad

This cookout classic may seem harmless, but the potato peels and leftovers can wreak havoc under your sink. The same goes for other starchy foods, such as pasta and rice, that expand when they cook.

When starches encounter water, it forms a gummy, paste-like substance. It either prevents rapid-fire blade rotation in the disposal or can clog up the pipes beneath. Send the peels to the compost pile, and toss any unwanted leftover potato salad in the trash.

Bottom line: Barbecue scraps can be a pain, but don’t take it out on your plumbing. To ensure your plumbing is operating properly after your next barbeque, contact S & D Plumbing.

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