Keeping your kitchen and the essentials therein clean is more about remaining healthy than it is about vanity or being a “neat-freak.” Your deep fryer has the potential to contaminate the food you cook in it if it isn’t thoroughly cleaned. Learning how to clean a deep fryer is just as essential a skill as learning how to safely use one.
Here is a step by step guide that will help you both safely and thoroughly clean your deep fryer:
Step 1: Understand Your Deep Fryer Cleaning Needs
While it’s good practice to clean your kitchen utensils as often as possible, some cookware doesn’t need to be cleaned every day. These are the sort of gadgets you don’t use that often.
Say, for example, you only use your deep fryer once every two to three weeks. Cleaning it every day like you do the dishes won’t make any sense. As such, you should strive to clean it after every use.
Now, if you are the kind of person who uses their deep fryer at least once every two days or so, your cleaning routine for that dryer will be slightly different from the person who only uses it once a month. In this case, you would have to do things like changing the oil and thoroughly clean the fryer at least twice every week.
- Pro Tip: Do not put your deep fryer directly into your dishwasher or soak it at the sink. The water can easily damage its internal circuitry.
Step 2: Gather Your Cleaning Tools
The first step to doing any job right is to gather the tools you will need to get that job done. Cleaning your deep fryer is a lot like cleaning the other gadgets and cooking apparatus you have in your kitchen; you first have to understand that protective gear is important.
To get your deep fryer cleaned properly, you will need to gather the following cleaning tools (links to Amazon):
- Nitrile gloves to protect your hands
- A vinyl apron to protect your clothes from potential oil damage
- Long handle scrub brush to reach those “hard to reach” places
- You may also need to buy a fryer coil brush that will go even further and reach the spots that the long handle scrub brush can’t reach
You might also need a fryer rod to help you pick out the leftover bits of food from the drain tube and a drain valve extension to thread the drain flow tube to completely empty the fryer oil.
Although all these cleaning tools are convenient to have, you don’t need to worry if you don’t have all of them right now. You can still clean your deep fryer even without some of them.
Step 3: Unplug the Deep Fryer
Whether you are cleaning your deep fryer regularly or once every month, remember to unplug it before cleaning it every single time! This will help you avoid electrocution. If you are on the “clean it after every use” schedule, you will want to give the fryer some time to cool down before cleaning it. This should take about two hours. Make sure the oil is cooled as well to avoid burns. Remember that adding water directly to hot oil could make it explode and cause serious burns.
Step 4: Take Out the Oil
Depending on what you want to do with the oil, you can drain it and store it in a sealed container (put it in a cool place) for use later, or you can drain it and store it in a container to dispose of later. Do not drain the oil into your sink and down the drain. This will cause your sink to clog up eventually, which will call for snaking and a huge inconvenience.
You can use a strainer to make sure that you take out the food particles from the oil before storing it for future use. Once the oil is completely drained, use the fryer rod, if you have it, to pick out the residual food particles. If you don’t have the fryer rod, don’t worry, you can get the food particles out by following the next steps.
Step 5: Clean the Deep Fryer
Here is the step-by-step procedure showing you how to clean a deep fryer:
- Take out the frying basket and put it in your sink. Add a few drops of detergent and some soapy water to soak the basket for a few minutes
- While the basket soaks, wipe down the pot with a damp sponge
- Clean out any leftover food particles from the fryer using the same sponge
- If you find a layer of grime or build-up that has caked the fryer pot, use a pan scraper (link to Amazon) to get it out. Just don’t scrape too hard and hurt the finish
- Remove the lid and clean it with soapy water
- Strain out any leftover oil and use the long handle brush to thoroughly clean the pot
- Use your fryer coil brush to help clean the heating elements. If you don’t have a fryer coil brush, you can use paper towels to wipe the heating element down and clean it. Be very careful here since there are wires that could come loose if you are too vigorous
- Once you are done with all this, go back to the frying basket that was soaking and put it under your tap. Run hot water over it, take a scrubbing brush, thoroughly wash it with soap, remove the soapy water, and run hot water over the basket again to ensure that all the food particles and any other unclean residue are washed off. Dry it with a paper towel
- Depending on the kind of filter that your deep fryer has, you can either remove it and clean it with a liquid cleaner and damp cloth. If, however, it’s made of charcoal, you can’t clean it. You would have to replace it once it gets clogged up
Make sure everything is dried off well and stored properly before the next use. Whenever you are ready to use it again, check one more time to make sure that everything is dried off completely before plugging it back into the wall.
There you have it – how to clean a deep fryer.