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How to deep clean a deep fryer

Make your food taste better and prevent fire hazards with a good deep clean.

Give your fryer some love and make it sparkle.

Whether you have a Fry Daddy, a Hamilton Beach 35200 or a T-fal EZ Clean, you'll need to deep clean your fryer after a few uses. A dirty fryer can alter the flavor of foods and can be a fire hazard. While cleaning a deep fryer may not be fun, it doesn't require any special tools.

Say goodbye to grease

First, unplug the fryer and empty any leftover grease after it cools. Pour the grease into a non-recyclable, sealable container. Never put oils down the drain. It can damage and clog pipes. Check to see if your local recycling center takes cooking oils. Some do, but if not, toss the oil into the trash or use it in your compost pile.

Wipe it down

Next, ball up some newspaper and wipe down the outside of the unit. Newspaper is great at soaking up oil and it's free. Once you've done a preliminary wipe down, spritz the outside of the unit with all-purpose cleaner and wipe it down one more time with some balled up newspaper.

Get to the nitty-gritty

Now for the inside. Remove the fry basket and lid and wash them in the sink using warm, soapy water and a scrub brush. Let them air dry while you tackle the rest of the cleaning.

Wipe it down with newspaper and then wash it. Do not submerge the fryer in water to avoid any damage to the electrical elements inside the unit. Instead, put two drops of dishwashing liquid inside of the fryer and fill it to the oil fill line with hot water. Let the fryer sit for around 30 minutes and then scrub the inside with a sponge to loosen food particles. Pour the water out into the sink and then refill the unit with clean warm water and empty it again to rinse.

Finish up

Lastly, wipe down the heating element, if you can get to it, with a rag. Make sure to remove any crumbs and oil. Some units have exposed heating units while others have enclosed heating units that you won't be able to get to. Check your manual if you're not sure.

Finish cleaning by checking the filters. If your unit has a foam filter it will need a good washing, too. Wash the foam filter with warm water and dish soap, rinse and then let it air dry before putting it back in the fryer.