Do you know how to clean a deep fat fryer? While you might be a whiz in the kitchen, many of us are guilty of this cleaning sin. If you have had a fryer for years and never given it a good once over, you need to change your ways. Chances are, a lot of grease and debris has built up inside the machine, and you don’t even know it.
There are loads of health and safety issues here. First off the bat, when you fail to clean your deep fat fryer and let things build up, you’re more likely to cause a fire. These machines have gotten safer over the years. However, the dirtier and more blocked-up they are, the more likely they are to set alight. So that is a number one priority for you to consider.
The second thing you need to consider is your food — how does it taste? If you have been using the same deep fat fryer for a matter of years and never cleaned it, it will impact the taste of your meals. You may find that they start to taste overcooked or burnt. When that happens, it’s a real issue and something you must deal with as soon as possible.
Don’t panic. We’ve got you covered. There’s a whole load of ways to clean your deep fat fryer. Learning the basics will help you stay on top of this task. This quick and easy guide will look at six tips you can use when you’re ready to start. Here’s everything you need to know to get rid of that dirty, old grease!
1. Drain all of the oil first
First up, you will need to get rid of the excess oil. Next, you must ensure that the machine and oil are 100% cool before starting. If you don’t do that, you risk injuring yourself. Don’t do this right after cooking.
When you have ensured that the oil is cool, you should decant it into a sealable container. You need to ensure that you do this over a sink so that you don’t ruin anything with the old oil. In some cases, you may be able to use the oil again. However, if it has seen better days, you need to figure out a safe way to dispose of the oil in your home.
Note: You need to unplug the deep fat fryer before you get started. If you don’t do that, you create an extra hazard here. Safety always comes first when it comes to cleaning your deep fat fryer. The last thing you want is to end up hurting yourself here.
2. Remove the basket and clean it
Most deep-fat fryers have baskets in them. It’s where you put all of the food when you are cooking. You know the deal. Often enough, these baskets can be removed. That’s great news for you and your cleaning. Take the basket out and place it on a dishcloth first.
You can make a solution using a cleaning agent — such as the Pink Stuff — and some warm water. Put the solution in your sink with the plug-in. You should then immerse the deep fat fryer basket in the solution. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes. You should find that the solution helps to loosen up some debris and any oil clinging to the basket.
When you’ve done that, take the basket out of the solution and use a cloth to clean it. You should be firm but gentle with the cloth. Press hard and use a circular motion. Now and then, rinse the basket under the tap. You should see the oil and grime moving away.
After doing all the above, the next step is leaving the basket to dry. You should grab some kitchen roll for this part of the task. Lay it out on the side. You can put the basket on top of it. It should take no longer than around an hour to dry completely.
3. Soak the basket in a vinegar solution
If you’re lucky, tip number two will quickly and easily sort out your deep fat fryer basket. However, if the level of grease and grime is high, you may need to use another approach.
For this one, you will need to make a vinegar solution. Mix warm water with soap and apple cider vinegar. You only need to use a few teaspoons of vinegar to get this right. The solution’s acidity will help you cut through the grease on the basket. This is the best way to clean a deep fat fryer you haven’t touched in a few months or years.
Once again, you need to put the basket into the solution and leave it for between 5 and 10 minutes. When you have done that, you should scrub the basket afterwards. You will find that the grease will start to move more quickly. Lastly, you need to dry it with a clean cloth.
4. Get rid of the excess grime in the fryer
When we talk about how to clean a deep fat fryer, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you should get rid of the excess first. Once you have taken the basket out and cleaned it, the next step is to rid the base of the deep fat fryer from oil.
You don’t need any specialist tools to do this. You should grab some super absorbent kitchen roll to get started. Lay the pieces on the inside of the fryer. You will see that they begin to soak up the grease. You should dispose of the oil as safely as you can.
5. Make a cleaning solution for the base
You’ve gotten rid of all the debris… So, what’s next? The next thing you can do is clean the base of your deep fat fryer. But, first, make a warm, soapy solution and use a cloth to get things moving. You can use the Pink Stuff and some hot water here.
Dip the cloth into the cleaning solution and then straight into the base of the fryer. You should again use a circular motion when you are scrubbing it. The more you do that, the more you will see that the oil starts to pick up. Rinse well and then repeat and repeat.
Note: You should not use a metal wire scrubber for this job. Yes, cleaning a deep fat fryer may seem laborious. However, this type of cleaning tool will likely scratch the metal.
6. Use boiling water to clean your deep fat fryer
The final thing you should do when cleaning your deep fat fryer is to use boiling water. First, you should clean out the base of the fryer and then boil the kettle. Next, add some soap to the water and stir (use a fork — not your hand!). Then pour the hot water directly into the fryer.
Leave the water in the base of the deep fat fryer for around 10 minutes or until it has thoroughly cooled. You can then empty the deep fat fryer and dry it. For example, you might want to use a tea towel to get the job done. If not, you can leave it to air dry over time.
Once you have done all the above, the final step is to reassemble your deep fat fryer. Keep in mind that different machines have varying parts. If you find that your machine has extra parts, you will need to remove and clean them as well. Again, use a gentle solution and cloth whenever possible. You can use the same approach when it comes to how to clean a greasy chip pan or similar products. So roll up your sleeves and get to work pronto!
Have we missed something? Don’t worry. Here are some answers to the frequently asked questions about how to clean a deep fat fryer.
What happens if you don’t clean a deep fat fryer?
Your French fries will taste nasty! When you fail to clean your deep fat fryer regularly, it will impact the taste of your food. The old grease is still in the bottom of the fryer and will make a mess of anything new that you decide to cook.
Can you use baking soda to clean your deep-fat fryer?
Yes! If you want to soak up grease quickly, one of the easiest things you can do is use bicarb of soda — or baking soda. First, clean the debris out of the bottom of the fryer and then line it with this powder. Leave for 30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
When should a deep fat fryer be cleaned?
Ideally, every three months or so. If you are leaving your deep fat fryer longer than that, it is a mistake. You may find that your food starts to taste bad or that the machine is a hazard.
Can I put water in a deep fat fryer?
Yes, you can — when you are cleaning it. Make sure that the machine is unplugged and cool first. You should also avoid submerging your deep fat fryer in water completely.
What do you cook in your deep fat fryer? Let us know in the comments below!