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Cleaning and Care for Electric Deep Fryers

Deep FryerA large number of restaurants and commercial kitchens depend on one piece of restaurant equipment to be the workhorse of their kitchen operation:  the electric deep fryer.  These deep fryers experience extreme cooking temperatures and also accumulate the largest amount of residue and waste from the cooking process when compared to other items in your commercial kitchen.  This deep fryer cleaning guide is a step-by-step list to get the most out of your fryer, and allow your fryer to function at an extremely high level for the longest period of time.

Before we begin, you are going to need some supplies to help you along the way.  You will need a tool to scrape the residue from the walls of the fryer.  This typically can be a metal spatula.   Cleaning chemicals should be no more than liquid dishwashing detergent, degreasing solvent, and vinegar.  A roll of paper towels or clean cloth will be needed to wipe the machine down.  Lastly, a supply of fresh water is key!

If this is your first time emptying the oil, you will need to unplug the unit and wait until the temperature reduces to 150 degrees Fareinheit.  Once you have removed the oil and the baskets (which you will wash separately from the unit), you are ready to begin cleaning.  As a sidenote, it is recommended that you save the oil unless you have been cooking with fish or a strong-smelling food source.

**Please keep in mind that it is very important to unplug your deep fryer if the machine is empty.** 

With your spatula or other scraping device, remove any and all of the excess waste material that has accumalated around the walls of the fryer.  Take your paper towel or cloth and remove what you have scraped from the unit. 

Once the unit is free of residue that you have removed, begin filling the fryer to the oil-line with fresh water from your faucet.  Also, add some liquid dishwashing detergent but not an excessive amount.  Once this is completed, plug your machine in and allow this soap/water mixture to boil for about 10 minutes.  Turn the machine off once again, and let this solution cool in the fryer. 

**Under no circumstances should an electric deep fryer be completely submerged in water or any other liquid**

Drain the soapy water solution from the machine and unplug the unit once again.  Once you have unplugged the fryer, rinse out the oil compartment(s) with a new solution that is about 1/10 vinegar and the remainder consisting of clean fresh water.  A final rinse of fresh water is all that is necessary to complete the washing process.  All residue should be removed following this step, and by wiping it down with more paper towels or a dry cloth.

The outside of the machine can now be handled with a degreasing solvent on the entire exterior surface.  If you do not currently own a degreasing agent, you can find these products located in the Cleaning Detergents & Supplies section on  After a period of about 10 minutes, you can rinse this degreasing chemical off of the fryer, and dry with another dry cloth. 

In many cases, the deep fryers come with care instructions and can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  If there are any steps or procedures that differ from the steps outlined above, it is recommended that you abide by the manufacturer's instructions. If you cannot locate a care manual, the steps that I have provided are universal to deep fryer units, and will not cause irreparable harm to your machine. 

Your electric deep fryer is now ready for more rounds of intense cooking and able to produce the tasty food that you have grown to expect from your deep frying equipment.


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