How to Clean a Deep Fryer

how to clean a deep fryer
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While not all deep fryers are the same, there are similar basic principles to follow while cleaning any deep fryer. This guide will help you understand the steps you need to take to clean a deep fryer, how to keep it clean, and things to avoid to make cleaning easier.

Before we begin with the step by step guide of how to clean your deep fryer, it's important to know it's much easier to clean a deep fryer if you consistently maintain it. It's not complicated, and it'll save you a big headache. There's nothing like abandoning your deep fryer and letting plots of oil/grease get stuck to the sides of your deep fryer. You'll learn in this guide that if you treat your deep fryer with respect, it'll return the favor.

How to Clean your Deep Fryer - Step By Step Guide


Step One: Know when to clean your Deep Fryer

How often you clean your deep fryer and to what level depends on how often you use it. If you're a deep fryer for life and use it almost daily, it wouldn't be a bad idea to clean it every few days. Just pay attention to your oil.

However if you deep fry less frequently, such as once or maybe twice a week, its best to clean your deep fryer after each use. If you use your deep fryer on Monday, don't clean it, and then let a bunch of food particles marinate inside with the oil until the following Monday, that food is going to spoil the oil. This could cause unhealthy side effects in your next meal.


Step 2: Unplug and Cool

Before you can begin cleaning your deep fryer, ensure its unplugged and that you've given time for your oil to completely cool down.


Step 3: Drain your Oil

Whether you're keeping your oil for its next use or deciding to dump it out, you'll want to pour it into a sealed container. If you're keeping it, you'll want to use a food safe container. Oil kept in an unsealed container will spoil much faster.

Oil does not go down the sink. Anybody with real cooking experience would tell you not to pour down oil or grease down a sink as it will start to clog your drains.


Step 4: Dishwasher Safe Parts

In this day and age, a lot of deep fryers come with multiple parts. Included could be fryer baskets, a fryer pot that sits in your deep fryer base, electrical attachments, lids, and so forth. Check with your manual to see if these parts are dishwasher safe. Most of these parts usually are, except for the pieces that have the electrical components connected to them in any way. 

If you have an available dish washer, I like to take a soapy soft sponge and wipe down all parts of the fryer before putting it into the dish washer. Assuming you have one, the only time I won't use a dishwasher is when there are hard oil clunks stuck to the deep fryer. This should almost never happen if you have a non-stick interior and clean your deep fryer regularly.


Step 5: Wash Around Electrical Components

If you have a one piece deep fryer, or simply have a deep fryer that has an electrical component attaching to another piece, never put these pieces into the sink. Instead, take a wash cloth or a soft sponge and carefully scrub and clean around these parts. Never submerge a piece with an electrical component into water.


Step 6: Get those Oil Clumps Out!

If you've cleaned your Deep Fryer and you've struggled with oil clumps, it's time to heat things up. Use hot water and transfer it to your deep fryer. Remember, your deep fryer shouldn't go into the sink if it has electrical components attached to it. Instead, use a cup, bowl, beaker, or whatever makes sense in your situation, to pour the hot water into the deep fryer. Let this marinate for 30 minutes.


Step 7: Clean and Clean Again

Once you've let your hot water sit in your deep fryer, its time to pour half of it out. Finally, you can get back to scrubbing away your deep fryer with your dish soap and sponge. Remember, depending on what materials your deep fryer is constructed of, using the rigid side of a sponge can scratch or peel some coating off. Hopefully, this is helping you get those clumps of grease off, but if it's not, there's more you can do.


Step 8: The Baking Soda Method

If you pour baking soda into your deep fryer with some water, it'll create a nice thick substance that can really help get off those oily clumps. Getting some of your baking soda onto your sponge as you try and scrub your deep fryer would probably help quite a bit.


Step 9: The Last Resort

If your deep fryer is in such bad condition that not even baking soda has gotten off the oil to your satisfaction, you can use cleaning products, such as WD-40 as a last resort. We try not to use this or any other cleaning product because we cook with these appliances, and we don't appreciate harmful chemicals even being near them.

However, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. If you do go this route and use a cleaning chemical, some water, and a sponge to scrub away the oil, it's doubly important to rinse it out. Once rinsed it out, use soap and clean it again until you're sure that the cleaning materials are completely gone.

Summary of Steps to Clean your Deep Fryer

  1. Clean your deep fryer regularly
  2. If you have a dishwasher and a deep fryer with several detachable dishwasher safe parts, you may quickly rinse these parts of with some soapy water and a sponge before putting these in your dish washer
  3. Never put a deep fryer part with an electrical component into the sink.
  4. Let Hot water sit in your deep fryer pot for 30 minutes if you have hard to scrub oil clumps.
  5. With soap and a sponge, scrub away any clumps.
  6. Use baking soda and repeat steps 3 and 4.
  7. Use cleaning products to repeat steps 3 and 4.
  8. Clean with soap with a new sponge to rid of any cleaning products you may have used.

Deep Fryer Cleaning Tips

Here are some tips (some are reminders) to ensure your deep fryer not only stays clean, but remains easy to clean.

  • If you wash your deep fryer regularly vs irregularly, then your deep fryer is much less likely to obtain annoying and hard to clean oil clunks on the side of your deep fryer.
  • Only use cleaning chemicals as a last resort to help clean.
  • On top of draining your oil, you should try and filter it through. There are several tools you can use to help with this, including your frying basket, although a finer strainer with smaller holes would work better. If you have multiple strainers, you can place them over each other as you slowly poor the oil into your container. The strainers should catch most, if not all of the food particles, especially if you use multiple strainers layered onto each other.