How To Clean A Deep Fryer (Best Methods)

We may earn affiliate fees for purchases using our links (at no additional cost to you). Disclaimer.

While home cooks can deep fry in almost any heavy pot or pan as long as the sides are deep enough, you can be faced with a lot of cleanup, as well as the problem of figuring out how to discard the oil. 

In this guide, you will learn how to clean a home deep fryer and read some tips to keep your fried foods tasting great.​

7 Steps To Cleaning Your Deep Fryer

Depending on your deep fryer model, you may or may not have a drain spout or filtration system. For the purposes of this article, we will assume you have a basic electric fryer with oil in it.

  1. Ensure your deep fryer has cooled to room temperature before attempting to clean it or remove the oil. Note: Your oil might need to be warm if you’re planning on filtering and reusing it.
  2. Turn your deep fryer off and unplug the cord. If it is a detachable cord, completely detach it and set aside.
  3. Remove the basket and place it in a sink where you can clean it with warm soapy water. If food particles are stuck to the basket, you may need to let it soak in hot water for a couple of hours to loosen them.
  4. Drain the oil from your fryer. If you plan on reusing your oil, use a filter (paper or cheesecloth) to remove previously fried food particles, and drain into a temporary pot or container. Make sure you can grip your fryer securely so that you don’t accidentally drop it – you may need to clean the handles before doing so. Fryers can be quite heavy, and you might need an extra hand to tackle this step.
  5. Clean the oil holding area of your fryer with a paper towel. If you want to take it a step further, you can use soap and water, but you will need to ensure that it has been rinsed thoroughly and dried 100% before adding oil back in. If it has not dried completely, oil will pop and splatter dangerously the next time you try to deep fry with it.
  6. Clean the controls, handles and outside of your fryer. Using a damp paper towel with a touch of vinegar works wonders. You don’t want to use a lot of moisture as this will gum up the oil and make it even harder to clean. Not to mention, electronics don’t do well with moisture and can be a safety hazard.
  7. Refill your deep fryer with oil, replace the basket, and plug it in. Double check that everything is seated correctly and then you can enjoy frying with a clean fryer.

If you’re using a dedicated deep fryer, you may be instructed to save and reuse your oil. Be sure to review the shelf life of your chosen oil before putting your fryer into long term storage.

Also, be aware that while some fryers offer filtration to remove food particles, used oil can age and grow dark. This darkness is due to oxidation and may result in an unpleasant change in flavor.​

Final Thoughts

If you’re fond of frying at home, a dedicated deep fryer is a great investment. Investing in a unit that filters your oil will save money in the long run, as peanut oil is not cheap.

Take care to completely drain your fryer when the oil shows signs of aging, and clean it with a degreaser per the manufacturer’s instructions.​

If you’re not keen on cleaning your deep fryer anymore, consider an air fryer​ that removes the need for food to be submerged in oil.

Did you enjoy this guide? Let us know in the comments with your questions and favorite deep fryer cleaning tips.​

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.