Pauline asked: How do I clean my deep fryer that had oil in it for months? I tried hot water and soap, but it’s still sticky. Thanks!
No one can deny that fried food has a wonderful flavor. Home deep fryers give that great flavor without the hassle. Though the oil can be used for quite some time, the fryer will still require periodic cleanings. Cleanings will remove any build-up that may affect the flavor of the food. It’s a bit time consuming, but not difficult to do. Here’s what you need to know.
You Will Need:
- Grease dissolving dish detergent
- Baking soda
- Plastic scrubber (for Teflon coated fryers)
- Soap filled steel wool pads (for metal fryers)
- Container to hold the oil
- Soft cloths or towels
Steps to Clean the Fryer:
- Turn the fryer off and allow the oil to cool down completely.
- When the oil has cooled, drain it from the fryer into a container for storage (if you will be reusing it) or dispose of it properly.
- Use a scraper to scrape as much build-up from the sides as possible. Dispose of the removed build-up.
- Next, fill the fryer with water. Fill it as full as you would if you were filling it with oil.
- Add a small amount of grease dissolving dish detergent, such as Dawn, to the water and agitate slightly to mix.
- Turn the fryer on until the water begins to boil.
- Allow the water and soap to boil in the fryer for several minutes. This will help to loosen and remove the oil that is stuck around the sides of the fryer.
- Turn the fryer off and allow the water to cool down.
- Dump out the water and wipe out the inside with a sponge, cloth or paper towels. Try to remove as much of the oil from the sides as possible.
- Fill a bowl with water and dish detergent. Use this mixture to moisten the scrubber and scrub away any remaining oil from the inside of the fryer.
- Rinse completely with clean water.
- If oil remains, often as a sticky film, it can be removed with baking soda.
- Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to make a paste.
- Rub the paste onto the surface of the fryer where the residue remains and/or there is a sticky film.
- Use a sponge or cloth to rub the paste in a circular motion. Continue until the sticky film is removed.
- This paste is also useful to remove any oil splatters and build-up on the exterior of the fryer.
- Rinse again with clean water.
- Ensure that all of the cleaning products have been removed before drying with a soft towel.
- If any other areas of the fryer have gotten wet, allow them to dry completely before use.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- For extremely dirty fryers, oven cleaners have been found useful by some. However, use caution when placing these strong chemicals into the fryer and rinse thoroughly to ensure that no chemicals transfer to the cooking oil when it is refilled.
- If oil stains are old and difficult to remove, they can be made “fresh” again by spraying them with WD-40. Again, take extra care to wash and rinse the fryer thoroughly to ensure that all residue is removed before use.
- Vinegar is another additive that can be used with water to remove sticky residue. Combine with hot water and moisten a scrubber to apply it to the surfaces. Rinse when finished.
- Though getting any of the electric components wet should be avoided, it does happen from time to time. To ensure that the fryer does not become permanently damaged, allow any water to dry completely before plugging the fryer back in. In most cases, once the water dries, the unit will work just fine.
- If you need to clean the outside of the deep fryer, use the guide How to Remove Grease Build-Up from Stainless Steel.