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Cleaning a deep-fryer?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
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 
post #2 of 13
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.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
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!
post #4 of 13
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.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
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.

Deep Fryer Top sm.jpg

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!
post #6 of 13
vinegar and a pad of #0000 steel wool. Easy off will clean it probably , but it seems like it always leaves a residue behind.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #7 of 13
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.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 13
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.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the great replies!  Am going to address them in no particular order.
 

Quote:
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.
 

Quote:
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.
 

Quote:
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.
 

Quote:
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!
post #10 of 13
 TRY EASY OFF OVEN CLEANER FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CARFULLY!

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 13
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.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
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!
post #13 of 13
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.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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