How to Clean a Deep Fryer?


Deep fryers are surely responsible for the tastiest, though not the healthiest, dishes such as deep-fried chicken, sausages, fish, cookies, doughnuts, spring rolls, cheese, fries and more.

Your mouth is probably watering by now. The difficulty of cleaning deep dryers may curb your appetite for fried food, after all. 

So, here are the things you need to facilitate this not-so-delicious chore:

What You Need:

  • Scouring sponge
  • Plastic/silicone scraper/spatula
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Dish washing liquid soap
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Cheesecloth/fine-mesh sieve
  • Paper towel/newspaper (a lot)
  • Sealed container (for the oil)
  • Funnel

The 7 Steps to Clean Your Deep Fryer: 

Step One:

Safety first: switch off the fryer, unplug it and give the oil a chance to cool down completely, for about two hours, before you proceed with disassembling it.

Important Note: Make sure that the connecting wire is wrapped with a dry cloth to protect it (and you) from the water.

Step Two:

If you want to reuse the cool oil, make sure beforehand that it is not spoiled and it has reached its smoking point.

Then, remove any large pieces of batter, crumbs or fat that might be present in the oil.

Next, filter the oil completely by running it through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve into a funnel that sits on top of the sealed container.

Finally, store the oil away from any heat sources or direct sunlight.

Important Notes:


  • If you will not need to reuse the oil, don’t throw it away in the sink to avoid damaging or clogging the pipes. Throw it away in the trash instead.
  • Spoiled oil has a recognizable stink and tastes horrible. Risks of prolonged consumption of spoiled oil include, but are not limited to, cancer, diabetes, infertility, weight gain, and depletion of vitamin E levels.

Step Three:

Remove the frying basket from the fryer and put it in the sink. Leave it in warm water, dishwashing liquid soap and vinegar for a while to break down any greasy residue.

Then, scrub it with the scrubbing side of the sponge. Rinse out thoroughly and let it air dry.

Step Four:

Spread the paper towels or newspaper all over the fryer pot and machine to soak up and blot any oil residue. Next, remove the oil-soaked towels.

Then, wipe down the outside and inside of fryer pot and lid with the towels to soak up any oil or grease left. The towels can be dry or slightly damp.

Don’t forget to scrub and clean the lid. If needed, wipe down the heating element as well.

Step Five:

Use the plastic scraper to scrape off any buildup.

Then, fill the fryer with as much hot water as you fill it with oil and add a few drops of liquid soap and vinegar. Let it sit with the hot soapy water for about 30 minutes and don’t proceed until it cools down.

This step is essential for loosening up oily residue left and making it easier to scrub off later.


Important Note: Make sure you don’t get any electrical element of the fryer wet in the soaking process.

Step Six:

After it cools down, drain out the water and rinse out the fryer thoroughly with clean water. Next, use the sponge to scrub the fryer inside out with liquid soap. Don’t forget to focus on the corners.

If there are still oily or sticky bits that just won’t quit, scrub with a paste of baking soda and water.

Finally, rinse it out with vinegar to remove any trace of soap from the fryer and pat it dry completely with paper towels before use.

Step Seven:

If your fryer comes with a filter, clean it with warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. Let it air dry before putting it back in the fryer.

Reinsert the dry frying basket back into the fryer as well.

But How Can You Maintain It?

  • Clean it regularly (lid, pot and basket) to prolong its lifespan.
  • Keep track of how many times you reuse the oil to know when to change it.
  • Always keep baking soda near you in case a fire breaks out.
  • Avoid overcrowding the fryer, which leads to an unwanted temperature drop.
  • The right oils to fry with have a high smoking point, which is the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke. Oils with a high smoking point include peanuts, vegetables, soybean, corn and safflower oil.
  • Make sure the food that you add to the fryer is dry or moist-free; water and oil mixing together in a fryer is a recipe for a dangerous disaster.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a deep fryer requires some serious dedication and lots of scrubbing and rinsing. But don’t worry; you’ll get the hang of it with time.

Fry tastily and don’t forget your safety!

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