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If you love fried foods, you probably keep your home fryer at the ready to prepare your next tasty morsel. Regularly used fryers need to be kept clean but, how do you clean a deep fryer using vinegar? We’ve researched several fryer cleaning methods to give you the answer.
Follow these eight simple steps to a clean your deep fryer with vinegar:
- Turn off/unplug the fryer - wait until the fryer and oil are both completely cool before cleaning.
- Drain oil.
- Remove, soak, and scrub the frying basket. You’ll want to use a cleaning solution of a 1:1 ratio of hot water and white vinegar for soaking and scrubbing the fryer’s components.
- Wipe excess oil from the outside of the fryer and inside of the cooking chamber.
- Soak the fryer’s cooking chamber.
- Gently scrub the fryer’s cooking chamber.
- Wipe the fryer’s lid and, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean and/or replace filters (if applicable to your fryer).
- Let fryer components dry before reassembly.
Keep reading, and we’ll take a closer look at each step of the fryer cleaning process. Let’s get started!
How To Clean A Deep Fryer With Vinegar?
1. Unplug/Turn-Off Fryer - Wait Until The Fryer And Oil Are Cool Completely Before Cleaning
It is absolutely essential to allow time for the fryer and the oil to cool completely before you begin to clean because you can easily be burned by hot oil or any hot components of the fryer.
NEVER pour water into hot oil because it will create a small explosion and you could risk being severely burned.
2. Drain The Oil
Once the fryer and oil are completely cool, drain the oil from the fryer into a resealable container to either store and reuse later or to dispose of.
To store used cooking oil:
- Strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Pour strained oil into a resealable container.
- Store in either a cool, dark location or in the refrigerator.
To dispose of used cooking oil:
- Drain oil into a resealable container.
- Either throw away contained oil into the trash or find a recycling center near you that accepts used cooking oil.
- DO NOT pour used cooking oil down the drain because it will clog your plumbing.
If you are wondering how much oil a deep fryer should hold, check out our post How Much Oil Do You Put in a Deep Fryer?
3. Remove, Soak, And Scrub The Frying Basket
Fill either your sink or a dishpan with equal parts of hot water and white vinegar. Remove the frying basket, place it into the sink or dishpan, and let it soak in the solution while you begin to clean the fryer.
Return to clean the frying basket by using a scrub brush or scouring pad. The water and vinegar solution will have loosened the grease and any stuck particles for an easier scrub. Rinse with clean water. Let the frying basket air dry.
4. Wipe Excess Oil From The Outside Of The Fryer And Inside Of The Cooking Chamber
Use a cloth or sponge that has been wetted with just warm water or a cleaning solution of equal parts water to vinegar.
Removed caked-on grease by adding a few drops of dish detergent to the fryer’s sides and lightly scrubbing to create soap suds. The dish detergent will cut through tough, hardened grease.
You can use a sturdy plastic utensil, like a spatula or pan scraper, to gently scrape off any stuck-on food from the fryer’s sides.
Wipe the fryer’s heating element, a pair of thin metal rods extending into the fryer’s cooking chamber. Take care to not bend the heating element as you wipe. Some fryers feature a removable heating element for the purpose of cleaning. If so, you can remove the heating element after the cooled oil has been drained from the fryer.
5. Soak The Fryer’s Cooking Chamber
Fill the fryer’s cooking chamber to the max fill line with a 1:1 solution of hot water and white vinegar. DO NOT expose the fryer’s exterior electrical components to water by placing the entire fryer into the sink. Instead, either remove the cooking chamber or transfer boiling water from a tea kettle or other container.
Let the fryer soak in the solution for approximately 30-minutes. This is a great time to return to the already soaking fryer basket to give it a scrub.
6. Gently Scrub The Fryer’s Cooking Chamber
Soaking the cooking chamber will help to loosen any grimy grease. After the soak, dump approximately half of the cleaning solution out. Then, gently scrub the inside of the cooking chamber with a sponge and the remaining water. Dump all of the water when finished and if the cooking chamber still appears greasy, repeat the process.
If the water seems excessively oily when you dump the soaked solution, dump the entire contents of the cooking chamber into a resealable container to discard in the trash rather than risk clogging your sink’s plumbing with residual oil. Refill the cooking chamber halfway with a fresh batch of hot water and white vinegar to scrub clean.
7. Wipe The Fryer’s Lid, And Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions To Clean And/Or Replace The Filters (If Applicable To Your Fryer)
Wipe the fryer’s lid by using a clean cloth or sponge wetted with either hot water or 1:1 ratio of water to vinegar cleaning solution.
Some fryer lids are equipped with filters. Depending on the type of filter and its purpose, you may or may not be able to saturate the filter into a cleaning solution. Check the manufacturer’s instructions that are provided with the fryer in order to properly clean paper, charcoal, or oil vapor filters.
8. Let Fryer Components Dry Before Reassembly
You can let the fryer’s components air dry while separated after you have wiped, soaked, and scrubbed all of the components. If you prefer to expedite the drying process, wipe dry the fryer’s cooking chamber, basket, and exterior with a clean cloth.
Does Vinegar Remove Grease?
Acidic, white vinegar helps to soften grease, making it easier to wipe clean. Pre-soaking grease in a 1:1 ratio of hot water and white vinegar will give you an advantage toward an easier clean.
If you are dealing with stuck-on grease, spray on white vinegar directly to the area and let it sit for 15-30 minutes before you begin to wipe or scrape the area clean.
How To Clean Grease Caked Onto A Deep Fryer?
Patience is a virtue when it comes to removing caked-on grease. You’ll want to have plenty of time to let your fryer’s cooking chamber and frying basket soak before you start to scrub.
Caked-on grease can be hard to remove, but allow the grease to soak in a solution of 1:1 water to dish detergent first. Then, scrub free hardened grease by adding baking soda to your cloth or sponge to form a paste. Baking soda is an abrasive, natural cleaner that will help to scrape off the grease while not damaging your fryer’s surfaces.
How Often Should You Clean A Deep Fryer?
If you frequently use your deep fryer, clean it on a weekly basis to prevent grease build-up. But, if seldom used, it's a good idea to clean the fryer after each use.
Love fried foods? If you want to purchase a deep fryer to use at home, check out this guide: How Much Does a Deep Fryer Cost?