10 Deep Fryer Safety Tips
Operating a deep fryer for the first time can be a bit intimidating, especially if you start to think about the things that could go wrong. Lets be honest, operating a pot of oil sitting above 300° F can be extremely dangerous, especially if you're doing thing wrong, or simply do not know what to do if something goes wrong. We'll give you tips to ensure that you're using your deep fryer safely as well as prepare you for unseen events, just in case.
10 Tips to ensure your safety with Deep Frying
We've going to provide you with 10 tips to ensure you know how to operate your deep fryer safely at home. If you're familiar with cooking but not deep frying, some of these will likely look familiar, while others may be things you never considered.
1) Know your Oil Smoke Point
Home Deep Fryers often heat up to around 375° F. That's not a problem. However, some oils aren't meant to heat up that high. While oils like vegetable oil heat up to 400° F, other oils such as coconut oil only heat up to 350°. What's the problem with that? When an oil reaches past its smoking point, it will start to smoke, and it could catch fire.
2) Don't Overfill your Deep Fryer
Many deep fryer models offer a max filling point to ensure you don't pour too much oil into the deep fryer, but this tip should also include your food. Your food basket shouldn't be over stuffed. The reasons are many. The more food you try and deep fry, the more the food will cause the temperature to drop. The food may not cook as evenly if there's too much. Lastly, you do not want to cause your deep fryer to overfill.
3) Do not Deep Fry Wet Food
Water in general will react and cause oil to splash and boil over. That's why you never want to use water to try and put out an oil fire. That being said, you want to make sure your food is dry. Most frozen foods are already fairly dry, although fresh foods such as vegetables can contain a lot of moisture. Try to pat down the food to get rid of as much moisture as possible before putting it into your deep fryer.
4) Keep your Deep Fryer in Clear Surroundings
Most deep fryers aren't cool to the touch when heated, so it's important to keep your surrounding space clear. This should include plastic bags, chemicals, dishes, and any other things you'll find in your kitchen.
5) Break-Away Cord
Most deep fryers should already come with this basic safety feature, however, there are some that do not. Its best to own a deep fryer with a break away cord just to ensure it doesn't tip over if the cord is tripped up by something or someone.
6) Have a Lid on hand
While you do not need a lid in order to deep fry, it's important to have something on hand to cover your deep fire in case of a fire. Smothering a grease fire is often the safest first step from stopping a fire from spreading.
7) Fire Extinguisher
Most people have never owned a fire extinguisher meant for home use. However, they're not that expensive, easy to use, and help protect your home. Fire extinguishers are not limited to just deep fryer safety. They make everything you do in your kitchen safer. That may include your stove, oven, microwave, and even toaster. Fire extinguishers can be found at amazon or at a local home improvement store.
8) Keep Track of your Temperatures
It's always important to keep track of your deep fryer temperatures. Most deep fryers have their own thermostats informing you what your temperatures should be at. However, those can malfunction at times, or drop in temperature as food enters. If you ever have your suspicion that your temperature gauge may be lying to you, your own deep fryer thermometer can help ease your mind. There are tons of clip on thermometers can be slipped right onto the side of a deep fryer or deep frying pan to ensure you're cooking at the proper temps.
9) Disposing of Oil Properly
Disposing your oil properly can become a safety hazard if done wrong. When disposing of oil, always let the oil cool down. If you're looking to store your oil, ensure you filter out your oil completely. Leaving food particles sitting in your deep fryer over time may help spoil the oil much faster. If being re-used, you should always store your oil in a food-safe container. If being tossed out, it's good to have an air-lock container to dispose of your oil. Never pour your oil down your drain as it can cause your drains to back-up.
10) Protective Equipment
Most deep fryers come with some protective equipment that help you stay away from popping oil. For example, a basket with a handle help you stay away from the grease as you put food into or out of the deep fryer. Most foods won't pop too much in the deep fryer, as long as you dry it as much as possible before deep frying, however, some foods simply can't be avoided. Fatty foods such as bacon naturally will cause oil to pop in any setting. If you're going to be around these foods with an open container, protective gloves may be in your best interest.
Overall, if you use your common sense and have a basic understanding of what to do while deep frying, you should be fine. That being said, it's still good to have a sense on what to do if something unexpected happens. Because if something does happen, then you're not going to have time to look up how to handle a situation. I hope these safety tips for deep frying help you with your cooking experiences at home.