TKJ Pro Tip: How to clean a deep fryer

how to clean a deep fryer

It’s fun to cook deep-fried foods, but sometimes you might wonder about how to clean a deep fryer when the meal is over. Personally, my deep fryer delivers consistently crispy chicken wings and delectable golden french fries use after use. This means that we turn to the deep fryer to cook quick meals at home as we watch our favorite sporting events every weekend.

Does this sound like you? You serve a delicious platter of deep-fried jalapeno poppers to your friends. You all gather around the patio and enjoy good conversation, great food, and maybe even a cold beer to wash it down. Your friends leave and you turn your attention to cleaning up your kitchen.

The oil has gone cold and you are staring at a messy deep fryer that appears almost overwhelming to clean. Don’t stress, the next time this happens you will know what to do once you have read this.

Today we’re sharing a few insider tips on how to clean your deep fryer with vinegar. Also, in case you’ve invested in a larger unit, we’ll look at how to clean a commercial deep fryer.

Safety Tips – A gentle reminder!

  • Before you start to clean your deep fryer, make sure oil is cooled and the unit is unplugged!
  • Don’t immerse your deep fryer in water.
  • Please, Please, Please refer to the user manual for each model to make sure nothing suggested below contradicts the manufactuers guidelines
  • Take care not to spill oil onto the floor…it is hard to clean and will make the floor potentially slippery
not how you want your deep fryer to look

How to clean a deep fryer with white vinegar

Vinegar is a wonder ingredient that tackles every tough cleaning dilemma.

It’s true! Vinegar is an amazing product that saves time as it cuts through grease. This means less time scrubbing for you!

As an added benefit, you have peace of mind knowing that you’re using an environmentally sound product. Win-win!

Finally, unlike some commercial cleaners, vinegar is safe on both stainless steel deep fryers and nonstick coated deep fryers. Vinegar truly is an all-purpose deep fryer cleaning method.

cleaning a home deep fryer

Gather your items

  • White Vinegar
  • Gloves
  • Nylon Scraper
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Grease-Cutting Dish Soap (I swear by Dawn)

Disassemble the parts

  • Remove the fryer basket
  • Drain the oil into a separate container
  • Remove the oil filter if your model has one

Wash the fryer basket and filter

  • Fill your sink with the hottest tap water, add a squirt of the dish liquid and ¼ cup of white vinegar.
  • The hot water solution lifts the oils off in just a few minutes.
  • Scrub the main body of the fryer basket out with a scrubbing side of your sponge.
  • Using the old toothbrush, clean around the holes of the fryer basket and give the filter a gentle scrubbing.
  • Rinse all of these pieces in clear warm water.
  • Dry and set aside until you’re ready to re-insert them into the fryer.

Clean the main body of the deep fryer

  • Place a few drops of oil-cutting dish liquid into your fryer
  • Add ¼ cup of white vinegar
  • Add very hot tap water to just above the oil line inside the fryer
  • Agitate the fryer a little bit to mix the dish liquid and vinegar into the water.
  • Turn your fryer on for a few moments until the water begins to boil.
  • After you’ve brought the mixture to a soft boil, pour it down the sink. Take care not to get the electrical elements of your fryer wet.
  • Use your sponge and a few drops of dish liquid to give the inside of your fryer a good cleaning.
  • Use the nylon or plastic scraper to gently but firmly lift on a burnt on bits.
  • Wipe down the outside of the fryer paying special attention to any little dribbles of oil you may have down the side of the unit. Take care not to overly wet any electronic parts.
  • Dry out all the components and you may now re-assemble your fryer.

If you are looking for a new deep fryer check out our reviews on the best deep fryers for 2017

What else can you clean with vinegar?

How to clean a commercial deep fryer

cleaning a commercial deep fryer

Gather your supplies

  • Deep Fryer Clean Out Rod
  • Clean rags
  • Cleaning solvent
  • White vinegar
  • Receptacle for collecting drained oil and drained water
  • Gloves

Turn off the fryer and let it cool

Commercial fryers hold a lot of oil. Therefore, it takes a long time to cool that oil down. Make sure the oil is cooled so that you don’t get a burn from cleaning

Remove the filter and baskets

  • Place filter and baskets in a deep sink filled with very hot water, ½ cup white vinegar, and a good slug of oil-dissolving dish liquid
  • Scrub these clean with rags and rinse well.
  • Dry them off so that you don’t add water into the oil when you fire it back up.

Drain the oil

Drain the oil into an appropriate receptacle. If you’re starting with fresh oil, be sure to properly dispose of the old oil in your grease collection system.

wipe it down

  • Add enough hot water to cover the bottom of your fryer. Add white vinegar.
  • Use the Deep Fryer Clean Out Rod to reach every nook of the fryer and pull out all bits of food. Wipe out as much oil as possible from the insides of the deep fyer.
  • Flush this water and the floating bits of food out the drain into a new receptacle and discard.
  • Using a clean rag, wipe down the outside of the fryer bins with a 1:3 solution of white vinegar and hot water.

You will notice that the vinegar doesn’t streak, cuts the grease, and leaves a new shine.

Boil out the deep fryer unit

Rather than me giving you more reading to do, I’m sharing a really quick video tutorial on how to boil out your unit.


In conclusion, taking proper care of your deep fryer may be a messy job, but it doesn’t need to be backbreaking. Following proper care is easy when you follow our methods.

Taking proper care of your deep fryer will:

  • Make your deep fryer last longer
  • Produce lighter, tastier foods
  • More predictable results
  • Eliminate unhealthy bacteria from forming in the fryer
  • Keep your kitchen free of the smell of burnt oil after frying

If you have any additional questions or would like additional information, please leave a comment below:


By Edward Betts

special thanks to


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