How to Clean a Deep Fat Fryer at Home

A deep fryer can be a fantastic home investment. It’s a great way to create some seriously tasty side dishes with just a little bit of oil! What’s more, deep fryer systems are getting easier to use and there are even some oil cookers out there which offer a healthier way to prepare delicious fried food to your plate.

However, as with other home kitchen essentials and systems, when it comes to clean your deep fryer, you’re going to need to be careful. You may already have had problems cleaning deep fryers in the past! As you may already know, cleaning a deep fryer can take a bit of precision, especially as fat and hot deep fat fryer oil can have a habit of congealing and becoming really tough to lift off in the long run…this is someone speaking from experience, as my day’s of being a chef. I confess that this was possibly the worst cleaning job in the kitchen! Yet essential and actually, really satisfying when done. 

In this guide, we’re going to take you through everything you should know about how to clean a deep fryer. There are several different things you can try to get that annoying oil and fat up and moving – it might mean using a bit of warm soapy water, some baking soda, and a bit of elbow grease!

Crucially, though, to clean a deep fryer, you’re going to make sure you clean the oil out regularly – and as soon as things are cool! Keep reading, prepare the paper towels and hot water, and we’ll help to fill in the gaps in your home cleaning schedule.

If you like, you can use baking soda and vinegar or soapy water – in fact, water is going to come into things a lot!

Table of Contents

When Should I Clean Oil and Food Out of a Deep Fryer?

Ideally, you should clean a deep fryer of oil and food particles after each use. We know it’s a job not everyone will like to do! But does anyone REALLY like a deep clean? Ok – some do – but some of us just aren’t used to regular wipe downs. with a fryer – you’d better start getting used to cleaning food and oil up!

We’ve all had periods where we’ve left fryers and baskets for a little too long – but it really does make sense to clean your fryer regularly, and as soon as you can. Otherwise, that deep fryer oil is going to get super sticky, and it’s going to create all kinds of smells.

The downside to using deep fryers at all is the fact that they need cleaning! Each time you’ve used a deep frying system, oil and grease can really build up and cause serious problems. If you allow food particles and grease the chance to fester, it’s going to make things harder for you in the long run.

Therefore, please don’t put off cleaning out that deep fat fryer and basket – make sure you prepare your soap, baking soda, vinegar and paper towels ready from use to use. Remove those rank smells from your kitchen and make a point of cleaning cooking oil out of your fryer as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Safety First!

Of course, before you even start putting soap and water anywhere near your deep fat fryer, you’re going to need to let things cool down. You are dealing with the aftermath of hot oil and fried food, after all!

The first thing to do before you start applying warm water and any kind of products to the inside of your deep fryer, is to unplug your system and let it completely cool down.

The time it takes for your deep fryer to completely cool may vary, but generally, it’s best to leave it to cool down for at least two hours after you unplug it. Some people may prefer to let oil cool overnight before cleaning or before taking any kind of soap or vinegar to it – but a couple of hours should really be all you need.

You MUST unplug your deep fryer at all costs. It may seem like it’s safe enough to clean down otherwise – but even if you have your fryer turned off at the socket, you’re going to be at risk of causing yourself an injury, or possibly worse.

Do also ensure you are wearing protective gloves before you start to wipe down oil or any kind of soapy water! While you might not be using cleaning products, you’re still at risk of scalding and irritation. Be careful!

Tips for Cleaning Your Deep Fat Fryer

  • Always unplug it!
  • Never clean after use when the oil is hot
  • Begin by cleaning the basket in a sink of hot soapy water
  • Never put the old oil down your drain. Re-use the old oil container or a used milk carton
  • Gently scrape the sides & base to dislodge any larger particles
  • Always rinse your fryer well after cleaning – you don’t want your food tasting of soapy!
  • Always read your deep fat fryer manual before commencing cleaning

How Do You Get Oil Out of a Deep Fat Fryer?

Getting oil out of a deep fryer might be as easy as draining it, but in this guide, we’re going to be considering how to clean dry oil out, or how to clean down the inside of a fryer once the oil is well out of the way. You may well have an oil filter in place which can take care of this for you before you start to wipe things down.

What we’d always recommend is that you take the time to read all the instructions you receive with any fryers that you use. This guide is just a general look at how to clean down deep fryers, and how to remove some of the toughest and stickiest of oil. Always refer to the frying manual you have to hand – as filter systems may differ, and there may be certain facilities and features you need to remove here and there.

What Are the Different Ways of Cleaning Oil from a Deep Fryer?

There are two main ways to clean and rinse down a deep fat fryer. The first, as you might imagine, is to remove oil and grease, as well as bits of burnt-on food, with soap and hot water. The other – again, as you might imagine – is to use vinegar and baking soda! What is it about baking soda that’s so magical?

The choice is yours. You may also find that there are special products you can use to get used oil and fat up and out of the inside of your frying system. However, at Which Cooker, we tend to avoid recommending chemicals wherever possible. As there are so many safe ways to clean down and dry deep fryers out there, there’s no reason why you should have to get food and oil lifted up and out with chemical sprays.

How to Clean a Deep Fat Fryer with Soap and Water

So, let’s start with what many feel is the tried and tested standard. Is there anything that soapy, warm water can’t clean up? Oil and fried food aren’t impervious to a good bit of elbow grease, so let’s take this step by step. Oil can be a real pain – so show it who’s boss – before you pick up the baking soda.

  1. As mentioned, ALWAYS power down and unplug your fryer before you start the process. You should also, as mentioned, allow it to cooldown fully, too. This will normally take a couple of hours.
  2. You should also make a point of wrapping up your fryer cables, too. This can be done with paper towels – it’s so you don’t accidentally soak your electrics during the process.
  3. When ready, ensure to remove the frying basket, as well as any excess oil from the inside of the fryer. You’re going to have to clean your frying basket separately, so make sure to soak it in warm water and soap. Washing up liquid will likely be enough! Once that’s up and away, be sure to pour out or collect oil from the inside of the fryer.
  4. DON’T pour used oil down the sink! Oil can cause serious clogs further down. In many cases, local councils will provide you with free ‘traps’ which you can use to safely remove and dispose of this waste from your fryer over the months to come.
  5. You should then make a point of getting into any fried food or dry oil which is encrusted onto the inner of your fryer unit. This shouldn’t demand any water to remove – just make sure you have a spatula or slice to hand to start scraping – make sure it’s non-scratch!
  6. If your fryer basket has been out of the fryer unit for a while now, you might want to start giving that a bit of a clean down if it’s safe to do so. Using a soft bristled brush, it’s best to try and apply a circular motion to this stage of the cleaning. The longer you leave your basket to soak in the water, the easier it is going to be for you to get oil stains up and moving.
  7. You should then think about starting to clean and rinse your fryer unit. Apply a conservative amount of dishsoap or washing up liquid in the inside of the fryer as well as hot water. Note – warm water isn’t likely to remove much nuisance oil and grease. Therefore, make sure you’ve got it up to high temperature. Leave it for approximately half an hour, or until it’s cool enough to safely clean out.
  8. After you’ve left your deep fryer to soak for a while, you’re going to have to rinse the oil and food particles out. To do this, be sure to empty it by around half, and then add more water to mop around in a circular motion with a cloth or similar. Keep mopping around, refilling and emptying until all of the suds and dried oil / residue is out of the way.
  9. To dry your deep fryer, you’re going to require paper towels to get the bulk of the damp out, but then leaving it to air dry is going to be the best use of your time. The same applies to the basket.

How to Clean a Deep Fryer with Baking Soda and Vinegar

As with a lot of kitchen equipment and utensils, you can also wipe out and clean down your deep fryer with baking soda and vinegar! Here’s a quick overview.

(As always – AGAIN – unplug, power down and leave your fryer to full cooldown. We can’t stress this enough! Do also make sure you remove the basket and any filter or filter systems that are removable, too.)

  1. Firstly, put on your gloves. You’ll thank us!
  2. Then, make sure you have your baking soda to hand. You’re going to have to carefully pour this into the fryer once it’s at a safe temperature. Try and later it over the grease or oil stains.
  3. Then, grab your vinegar. Douse this over the soda carefully and allow things to fizzle.
  4. Eventually, the fizzling will stop, which means it’s time to start scrubbing. Use a tough scourer for this, and you should also keep water to hand – as that’s going to come into use next.
  5. Once you’ve carefully scrubbed up the cooking oil and any remaining food, use warm water. Rinse out the fryer with water using the same method detailed in the soaping guide above.
  6. Then, again, grab some paper towels to wad excess water out following the rinse, and leave to air dry.

Is It Easy to Clean a Deep Fryer at Home?

Once you know how to clean a deep fryer at home, you will likely find it a pretty easy process. The same applies to changing the filter, or when you change the oil.

There are one or two crucial things to keep in mind – when using warm water, allow the water to cool down for at least 30 minutes. Always wear gloves, and whether you are using dish soap or powder and vinegar to remove oil and fried food, always keep your deep fryer unplugged.

Not all of us like cleaning – but it’s not about what you like or dislike doing! Always set several minutes aside to clean your deep fryer down from use to use. Trust us -the alternative isn’t worth thinking about.

If there’s one thing you do with your deep fryer, it should be to wipe, clean and rinse from use after use. One thing you don’t want is a mucky fryer that’s going to be gunky and foul left on one side! No one likes deep cleaning – so don’t ignore your fryer, let yourself set up a regular schedule.

Scroll to Top