Caution: Hot! A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean a Commercial Fryer

Caution: Hot! A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean a Commercial Fryer

Burns due to hot oil are a serious threat due to oil's high boiling point, potential combustibility, and high viscosity.

Hot oil can do more damage to skin than hot water of the same temperature. Even in residential cooking, hot oil burns can cause serious injuries that require surgery and skin grafts.

If you work in a commercial kitchen, you need to be careful when working with commercial fryers. Especially when you are changing the oil and cleaning the fryer.

Read on to learn how to clean a fryer safely and effectively.

Gather Your Fryer Cleaning Tools

The first step in cleaning a deep fryer is gathering your fryer cleaning supplies.

The most important supplies are protective gear.

You'll need nitrile gloves. These kinds of gloves will protect your delicate skin. Also, wear a pair of safety glasses to prevent hot oil from splashing into your eyes.

Oil causes grease stains on clothes and can burn your skin. Wear a heavy vinyl apron to protect your clothing and skin.

You will also need a scrub brush with a long handle. This will allow you to reach the small parts when cleaning a deep fryer.

If you can, also buy a fryer coil brush. This small brush can get into spots that the other brush can't reach.

A fryer rod is a neat tool that helps you pick out leftover food bits out of the drain tube.

A drain valve extension is a metal tube that can thread onto the drain flow tube to empty the fryer oil. You'll also need a stock pot or use a stainless steel bowl or bucket to catch the used frying oil.

How to Clean a Fryer

Once you've gathered your supplies, it's time to start cleaning the deep fryer.

First of all, unplug the fryer and let the oil cool. Use a thermometer to make sure the oil is less than 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take out any baskets and move them to the sink.

Next, carefully drain the oil into the container it came in. Use a slotted ladle to scoop out any crumbs from the bottom of the fryer.

Once the oil is out, use a metal spatula to loosen the gunk on the sides of the fryer. Wet a paper towel and use it to wipe up the sides.

Now you can put the commercial fryer into the sink and fill it with hot water. Add a squirt of dish soap.

Use your scrubbing brushes to scrub the fryer. Pour out the soapy water and refill the fryer with clean water.

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the fryer. Dip a clean rag into the fryer and wipe all the inside surfaces.

Rinse the fryer with hot, clean water one more time.

Dry all over the fryer with a lint-free cloth. Wipe the heating element with a damp rag. Then dry it.

Clean the Counter and Fryer Baskets

While you're cleaning a deep fryer, you'll also need to clean the frying baskets and the counter in front of the deep fryer.

Use a degreasing spray and liberally apply it to the counter. Let it soak in for at least 10 minutes while you work on the fryer baskets.

Fill the sink with hot water and a squirt of dish soap. Soak the frying baskets and scrub them with a wet rag.

Deep fryer cleaning is a task that should be on your restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist.

What Is a Deep Fryer Boil-Out?

A deep fryer boil-out is a method you can use to deep clean the inside of your commercial deep fryer.

Grease build up and old food in the deep fryer can affect the flavor of the things you cook. Completing a deep fryer boil out is a great way to protect the taste of the food you deep fry.

Plus, a deep fryer boil-out helps your oil last longer. This will cut down on your replacement oil costs.

It also prevents grime from building up making cleaning the fryer much more difficult.

How to Do a Deep Fryer Boil-Out

A deep fryer boil-out is a simple process that involves boiling water and a special cleaning solution in the fryer. This process lifts stuck-on grease and grime.

To do a deep fryer boil out you'll need a fryer cleanout rod, a high-temperature fryer brush, and deep fat fryer cleaning solution.


First, drain all grease from the fryer. Next, use a fryer cleaning rod to clean out of the drain line. Rinse the fryer with hot water to remove any leftover fat.

Then, fill the deep fryer with cool water up to 4" from the top. Check the instruction on your deep fryer cleaner and add in the specified amount of solution.

Bring the deep fryer to a gentle boil for 20 minutes. Let the fryer to drain slowly.

Once the water has emptied, use a long brush to scrub the insides of the fryer. Rinse with clean water and add your fresh oil.

Final Thoughts on Cleaning a Commercial Fryer

A commercial deep fryer is one of the greasiest pieces of equipment in the kitchen. Without proper cleaning, a deep fryer becomes a fire hazard.

That's why it's so important to do a deep clean of your commercial fryer every three to six months depending on how much you use it.


  1. comment authorWarner Feb 22, 2019

    Absolutely right and good that someone left a note to this issue. But I would go one step further, cleaning your fryer is as dangerous as operating it or taking care of hot oil. You need to work with strong alkaline harzardous chemicals to do the job properly. If not an residues are left in the fryer it has consequenzes : your fryer will not heat up properly, worst case operate at not optimal frying temperatures, needs more energy - then food or burnt residues will oxydate quickly with your new filled oil, so your oil degrades fast, that is a hygiene, taste and cost issue ! Imagine you pay 10 USD for filling your fryer, the more and faster you need to fill it the more it costs. Now to the point of safety, operating with high alkaline powder or liquids means contact risks, burns on the skin up to a loss of your eye if you get a splash into it !

  2. comment authorEve Mitchell Mar 1, 2023

    It's good to know that protective cleaning is important when dealing with commercial fryers. I run a small bakery, and I want to start offering deep-fried foods as well, so I need to buy some commercial fryers. I'll make sure to train my staff on the safety measures that need to be taken.

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