You’ll find a deep fryer in almost every commercial kitchen, and if you enjoy fried foods, you probably have one in your home kitchen as well. Generally, a commercial kitchen cleans its deep fryer once or twice a week or even, depending on volume, every day. You probably don’t have a five-gallon deep fryer in your kitchen, but you still need to clean a much-smaller deep fryer on a regular basis.
It’s not hard to do, but the process has several steps that take a bit of time. Read on to learn how to clean a deep fryer using the boil out method.
How often should you change cooking oil?
After each use of your deep fryer, run a skimmer across the surface of the oil to filter out burnt bits. If you use your fryer on a regular basis, you should change the oil once a week. If you’re an occasional fryer, then once every two weeks is fine. A few indicators that you should change your deep fryer’s oil are:
- Burnt odor
- Burnt taste to fried food
- Darker color of fried food
If it’s time to change the oil, then you should clean your deep fryer at the same time. Drain the cooled oil into a disposable container — never pour it down your kitchen sink since the oil will solidify and clog pipes — and discard in your trash. Some communities recycle cooking oil, and you can use Earth911’s search engine to find a location near you.
How to clean a deep fryer
The most common way to clean a deep fryer — in both home and commercial kitchens — is the boil-out method:
- When the oil has cooled, drain it into a container for reuse, disposal or recycle.
- Remove the basket, and let it soak in the sink or a large container with a few drops of grease-cutting dishwashing liquid.
- Scrape the inner sides of the deep fryer to remove built-up residue.
- Fill the deep fryer with water to the same fill level for oil. Don’t submerge the deep fryer in water. Use a measuring cup or some other vessel to pour water into the deep fryer.
- Stir four or five drops of dishwashing liquid into the water.
- Turn on the deep fryer, and bring the water to a boil. (Boiling point is 212 ℉ or 100 ℃, which you can monitor with an instant-read thermometer.)
- Keep the water boiling for 10 minutes.
- Shut down the fryer, and let the water cool completely.
- Using a tough scrubber or scraper and a 50-50 mixture of dishwashing liquid and water, remove any grease residue that didn’t boil off. For stubborn bits, don’t scrub with an abrasive or oven cleaner; instead make a paste of baking soda and water.
- Rinse with water, then rinse the deep fryer with white vinegar to neutralize the dish soap.
- Rinse the fryer with water, and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
- Use a scrubbing brush or toothbrush to remove food particles from the fry basket. Rinse and dry.
- Make sure your deep fryer and fry basket are completely dry before adding new oil.