Cleaning a deep-fryer?

l2t

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Joined Mar 4, 2009
I love using my deep-fryer, but trying to scrub off the sticky, baked on oil is driving me nuts.  The basket alone can take seemingly forever and I think that the residue transfers a nasty, burnt taste to whatever I fry next.

Is there something to make this chore easier?  

Thanks 
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Perhaps you could walk us through your fryer use and clean-up procedures? I have never had any burnt-on sticky crap.

Each time I use my deep fryer I strain the oil through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, keeping track of the number of times it's been used, and its appearance and smell. When it's time, I discard it.

The fryer and baskets are then cleaned immediately. First I use paper towels to sop up any oil still adhering to the bottom and sides. Then hot, soapy water and a scrubbie pad. Rinse, dry, and reassemble the fryer.
 

l2t

14
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Joined Mar 4, 2009
Perhaps you could walk us through your fryer use and clean-up procedures? I have never had any burnt-on sticky crap.



OK.  I have a T-fal Family Pro fryer.  The last time I used it was for frying chicken leg & thighs (trimmed chicken leg quarters) in vegetable oil.  Two at a time @ 375° for 18 min.  5 batches for a total of 10 pieces.  I buy 5.75 lb containers of Zatarain's Seasoned Fish-Fri for the coating mix.  The 35 lb containers of vegetable oil I get at Sam's Club.  I did not strain the oil or clean the heating coil, the basket or the reservoir bowl between the 5 batches.

Thanks for quick reply!
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
I'm assuming you mean five batches at one cooking session? If so, I still don't understand why you're getting sticky build up. I use the same oil as you, and have never had that kind of problem. Once the session is done, let the oil cool, and strain it. Shouldn't be any sticky stuff left behind.

If you mean doing two pieces today, then two more another day, etc. that helps explain your problem. First off, it's never a good idea to let oil sit in a home fryer; especially when using a coating such as the Zatarains. Just leaving it can easily lead to rapid oxidation and rancidness. With the coating, a lot of it comes off the chicken and remains behind in the fryer. This both contributes to oil-spoilage, and leads to the creation of sludge and sticky crap.
 

l2t

14
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Joined Mar 4, 2009
I'm assuming you mean five batches at one cooking session?
 
Yes.  However, I often just unplug the fryer and wait until the next day to clean it.  The reservoir isn't hard to get clean, but the basket, heating coil and the cover are really difficult.



So the damage is done.  Is there anything that will dissolve this crud?  Perhaps that stuff that cleans false teeth?  Easy-Off oven cleaner?

Thanks!
 
1,447
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
vinegar and a pad of #0000 steel wool. Easy off will clean it probably , but it seems like it always leaves a residue behind.
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
The easiest way to clean a deep fryer is to dump it into the garbage.  Use a plain wide pot (la creuset works perfectly), fill it with oil, and stick a thermometer in it instead.  Instead of a basket use a spider spatula to remove food.  You can fit way more pieces of chicken in this and clean up is a cinch.  Just strain the oil to store for later, and wash your pot like any other pot.  No gunk build up, no strange parts to scrub, and nothing to store.
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
I never use the cover for cooking, L2T so can't help you there. I imagine, though, that if you pull the filter there's no reason you can't soak it in hot, soapy water. Barring that, perhaps some bar keepers friend?

I clean my heating element and baskets like any other cookware. Only thing to beware of is letting the actual control unit get wet. But the coil can stand in water. I usually wipe it down, first, with paper towels, to remove as much oil as possible, then stand it in a couple of inches of soapy water.
 

l2t

14
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Joined Mar 4, 2009
Thanks all for the great replies!  Am going to address them in no particular order.

First off, it's never a good idea to let oil sit in a home fryer; especially when using a coating such as the Zatarains. Just leaving it can easily lead to rapid oxidation and rancidness. With the coating, a lot of it comes off the chicken and remains behind in the fryer.

I'll never again let the oil and coating sit for a day before cleaning.  With this brand of coating there is lots of 'dregs' left behind.  Much more than I ever expected & I need to work on something to correct this.  Perhaps dredge chicken in flour, let sit in the fridge for at least 30 min and then an egg wash before dipping into the coating.  5 batches w/o filtering the oil is for sure too many.  I vac seal each batch of 2 pieces for the freezer.  Huge difference in taste between the first and last batch.

vinegar and a pad of #0000 steel wool. Easy off will clean it probably , but it seems like it always leaves a residue behind.

Agree abt the residue.  Been 10 years or more since have used my kitchen oven or cooked anything inside.  Everything I cook is outdoors on my deck.  Hadn't realized there were so many kinds of Easy Off & will have to make a choice tomorrow.

I never use the cover for cooking,...

Am thinking I need the cover because of splatter, but for sure don't need the filter because do all my cooking outdoors.

The easiest way to clean a deep fryer is to dump it into the garbage.  Use a plain wide pot (la creuset works perfectly), fill it with oil, and stick a thermometer in it instead.  Instead of a basket use a spider spatula to remove food.

Tempting, but I'm going to stick with the fryer for the moment.  Had to google la creuset.  Pricey!  Bought a Tramontina tri-ply clad stock pot last year and am really impressed with it.  A smaller version would be great for deep-frying I think.

Thanks again for all the replies!
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Am thinking I need the cover because of splatter,

If you're getting splatter you're likely over-filling the fryer.

Don't know about your model, but mine has mini/mix fill lines. In no case, however, whether using a home fryer or a cast-iron pot, should you fill the container more than half-way with oil.
 

l2t

14
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Joined Mar 4, 2009
Update....

The Easy Off worked even better than hoped for.  The basket is like new.  After letting the cold Easy Off work for an hour I used a non-abrasive Scotch-Brite pad and soapy water to rinse off.

Some things that may have led up to my problem:

  Too hot a temp?  I used 375°

  Too many batches w/o filtering oil and cleaning the cooker

Are there any recommendations for a brand of detergent to use for future cleaning? 

Thanks again!
 
1,447
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
the idea is that if you keep on top of it , you won't need anything more then vinegar and soap. It's all i clean with, unless I am in a pro kitchen and run round with the Quatramine for a sanitizer.
 
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Joined Apr 13, 2018
I thought only I have those kind of problems with cleaning my air fryer. I use it every week because of my kids mostly, they want potatoes every time. But I have an outdoor air fryer - Char-Broil if some of you know.

But cleaning is the hardest thing! I wish there was some kind of air fryer dish washer :lol:
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
What this is is the polymerized oil baked onto the surfaces that are not submerged in oil. The fryer basket can get that way too because you pull it out of the oil but it's still hot. You can't get the coating off so neither will further frying. It shouldn't cause any off taste. I wouldn't worry about it.
This is an aluminum fryer pot and you wouldn't want to use Easy Off on it. You can scrub the hell out of it with a scrubbie and Brillo and maybe make a dent in it.

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Try Dawn Power Dissolver. It was changed from a consumer to a commercial product but you can still get it at amazon and some other places. It does a good job with these traces of polymerized oil without being as caustic as oven cleaner.
 
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Joined Mar 9, 2013
I just wipe mine out and hot soap/water. Strain the peanut oil through brass coffee filter. Never saw baked on..
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
Instructions for new aluminum cookware tell you to lightly coat it with oil then bake it at 350 deg F or otherwise heat it (repeat three times) to form a protective coating to prevent discoloration. Same thing no?
 
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