While air fryers are all the rage right now, home deep fryers are still getting plenty of use. Besides, as good as air fryers are, there are some things that you just want to deep fry for that amazing, juicy flavor profile that comes out. As long as you are not eating fried foods every night of the week, there is nothing wrong with making your food take that deep dive every now and again.
If you have a home deep fryer, you also know that along with that great texture and flavor often comes a big mess and the cleanup. I have seen far too many friends over the years clean up improperly, often resulting in a fryer that is not working properly after only a few uses. We are going to fix that issue today.
Tips for Using Your Deep Fryer
- Always use the fryer at a safe temperature setting
- Never leave the fryer unattended when in use
- Keep a box of baking soda nearby the fryer when in use in case of a fire
- Invest in a “fire blanket” that can be used to put out a fire quickly
- Never overload the fryer, meaning ensure that you are not overstuffing the basket, which can significantly lower the temperature of the oil and ruin the flavor of the food, not to mention possibly not cooking it all the way through
- Use oils with a high smoke point, such as peanut and canola oil
- Pat food dry before putting deep frying, as water being present can create splatter
- Monitor the use of the oil and change out when needed to ensure fresh flavor
- If you are deep frying fish, keep the oil separate and never cook anything else in that oil (it will all taste like fish)
Cleaning Your Home Deep Fryer
- Before starting, make sure the deep fryer is unplugged and the oil has cooled to a safe temperature.
- Strain oil into a safe container, discard the debris
- Remove the wire basket and soak it in hot soapy water with some white vinegar in it
- Remove as much of the debris and buildup as can from inside the fryer (you can use an electric stove top scraper for this if you have one)
- Use paper towels to soak up the extra oil that is still in the fryer
- Fill the fryer with water and add a few drops of dish soap, then turn the fryer on to bring the water to a boil
- Allow the water to boil for a few minutes, then turn the fryer off and allow the water to cool
- Strain the catch any food or debris that was still in the fryer and discard
- Using a soft-bristled brush and soapy water, continue to clean the inside of the fryer
- Rinse thoroughly and dry out inside of the fryer with paper towels to ensure there is no water left behind
Before refilling the fryer, I like to allow it to air dry. This is also a good time to check the oil to see if it has to be replaced. If the oil is too dark or has a rancid smell (or if it has been smoking during recent cooking), you will want to discard and refresh the oil.