Deep frying adds a unique flavor and texture to food that is impossible to replicate with other cooking methods. This is a core reason that restaurant food is so appealing.
You can achieve similar results at home with an electric or stovetop deep fryer, but it’s important to clean the deep fryer regularly to prevent rancid oil or appliance malfunction.
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Overview of the Supplies Needed for Cleaning a Deep Fryer
To clean your deep fryer, you will need the following supplies:
- Dish soap
- Non-stick pan scraper (or a plastic putty knife)
- Paper towels
- Soft-bristled brush
- Container for the frying oil
- Clean towels
- White vinegar
- Baking soda (optional)
Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning a Deep Fryer
Unplug and Allow the Deep Fryer to Cool Down
Before you start cleaning, unplug the deep fryer and allow it to cool down completely. This is crucial for your safety and to prevent any damage to the appliance. Depending on the size and type of your deep fryer, this may take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours.
Drain and Strain Old Oil
Once the deep fryer is cool, strain the frying oil into a container, discarding any bits of food or debris. If the oil is cloudy, smells rancid, is very dark, or has foam on top, dispose of it safely. Otherwise, consider saving it to reuse. Make sure to store the oil in an airtight container to prevent it from going bad.
Remove Frying Basket and Wash with Warm, Soapy Water
Next, remove the frying basket and soak it in warm, soapy water, adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to help break down the grease. Vinegar has many uses in the kitchen and other rooms of your home. Use the brush and scraper to remove as much buildup as you can from the interior of the deep fryer, including the corners. Use paper towels to soak up excess oil and wipe away debris.
Scrape Interior with a Non-Stick Pan Scraper, Plastic Putty Knife and Paper Towels
Using a non-stick pan scraper or a plastic putty knife, carefully scrape the interior of the deep fryer to remove any stubborn residue or buildup. Be sure not to use any abrasive tools or cleaners, as this can damage the surface of your appliance. Once you’ve removed as much buildup as possible, use paper towels to soak up any remaining oil and debris.
Soak Stubborn Areas in a Container of Hot Water and Boil
If there are any areas that won’t come clean, fill the deep fryer with water to the maximum oil line, and mix in a few drops of dish soap. Turn the deep fryer on, and allow the water to come to a boil. Heat is the secret to the best way to clean a deep fryer! Let the water boil for several minutes, unplug the unit, and allow the water to cool. Drain the water through the strainer to catch any chunks of food or oil, and wipe down the interior of the deep fryer thoroughly with a sponge or cloth.
Rinse with Warm Water and Dry Exterior and Interior
Dip a sponge or soft-bristled brush in warm, soapy water, and use it to scrub the remaining oil. If any areas still won’t come clean, apply a paste made from baking soda and water, and scrub again. Rinse the deep fryer thoroughly with clean water, and wipe it dry with paper towels or cloth towels. Rinse the frying basket, and reinsert it into the appliance.
Tips for Maintaining a Deep Fryer
Establish a Regular Cleaning Schedule
If you only use your residential deep fryer occasionally, follow the above cleaning steps every time you use the deep fryer so you can put it away safely. If you use it frequently—such as every day or every other day—you can likely get away with a thorough wipe-down in between uses, with a weekly deep-clean using the steps above. Just make sure you check for signs of rancid oil, such as a foul odor.
Store Oil in an Airtight Container
When storing used oil, make sure to keep it in an airtight container. This will help prevent the oil from oxidizing and going bad. Additionally, store the container in a cool, dark place to further extend the life of the oil.
Dispose of Oil Properly
It’s essential to dispose of used oil properly. Never pour it down the drain or throw it in the trash, as this can cause environmental issues and plumbing problems. Instead, place the used oil in a sealed container and take it to a local recycling facility or disposal center. Many cities have designated locations where you can drop off used cooking oil for recycling.
Consistently Check Food Quality and Safety
Always ensure that your food is dry before placing it in the fryer, as any water present can cause the oil to splatter and create a safety hazard. Additionally, avoid overcrowding the fryer, which can lower the temperature of the oil and cause food to be overly greasy. Choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut, canola, or safflower, and keep track of how many times you reuse the oil, changing it as needed.
How do you remove sticky oil from a deep fryer?
To remove sticky oil from a deep fryer, scrub the interior with a sponge or soft-bristled brush dipped in warm, soapy water, and for stubborn areas, apply a paste made from baking soda and water before scrubbing again.
Which chemical is the best to use when cleaning a deep fryer?
The best chemical to use when cleaning a deep fryer is Caustic Soda or Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), often used in conjunction with other constituents like wetting agents, suspension agents, detergents, emulsifiers, sequestrants, oxidizers, and corrosion inhibitors.
What is the best way to clean deep fryer baskets?
The best way to clean deep fryer baskets is by soaking them in a vinegar solution or hot, soapy water, and then scrubbing with a soft-bristle brush or sponge to remove any remaining grease and debris.
How do you clean carbon build up in a fryer?
To clean carbon build up in a fryer, soak the fryer and its baskets overnight with a powerful cleaner like Alconox, which helps break down heavy carbon deposits, and then scrub thoroughly to remove any remaining residue.