The “Boil-Out Method” Is the Best Way to Clean a Deep Fryer at Home

published Sep 9, 2023
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Modern home deep fryer with nuggets and french fries on table in kitchen
Credit: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

As someone who enjoys the convivial nature of entertaining at home, I’m usually the first member of my family to volunteer for hosting duty whenever there’s an occasion to celebrate. Generally, we opt for a potluck-style meal, so it doesn’t fall on one person to do all of the cooking. And while the type of cuisine varies at each gathering, there is one dish (being from a family that is half Filipino) that is almost always on the menu: lumpia.

Quick Overview

Use the Boil-Out Method to Clean a Deep Fryer

The boil-out method is how many commercial kitchens clean their deep fryers — and it’ll work in your home, too. It requires letting your fryer cool down, removing the basket and oil, wiping the basin down, filling it with water and soap, then turning it on to boil and clean. After 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll turn it off and let it cool, then dump the soapy water and rinse out the basin. Wash and clean the basket separately.

Even though it’s a somewhat labor-intensive dish to prepare, I don’t mind rolling the lumpia wrappers, as my mom, sisters, and I usually enjoy doing it together. And I certainly don’t mind sinking my teeth into the deliciously crispy wrappers once they’re cooked. However, I tend to be the last member of my family to volunteer to fry them. Why? Because it means having to clean the deep fryer afterward — a task I find particularly dreadful, especially the parts that involve sopping up the sticky oil and scrubbing off all of the blackened bits.

But then I discovered a hack that makes the job a heck of a lot easier. It’s called the “boil-out method,” and it’s how many commercial kitchens clean their deep fryers. Not only does it significantly cut down on the amount of scrubbing that is usually associated with the task, but it’s also very effective at removing grease.

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

How to Use the Boil-Out Method to Clean a Deep Fryer

Here’s how it works. I start by unplugging the fryer and allowing it to cool completely. Then I remove the fryer basket and soak it in a sink full of hot water and a few drops of dish soap. Next, I drain the cooled oil into a container such as an empty jar or bottle (you should never pour oil down your sink drain), which I either dispose of or save for reuse, if the oil isn’t too old.

Now it’s time to clean the frying basin. I use a damp paper towel to wipe the sides and bottom of the basin. If there are any stubborn caked-on bits, I’ll use a silicone spatula to scrape them off without damaging the finish. I then fill the basin up with water until it reaches the maximum oil line and add several drops of dish soap. At this point, I plug the fryer back into the wall, turn it on, and bring the soapy water up to a boil. I usually allow it to boil for 10 to 15 minutes (and up to 30 minutes if it’s really dirty). 

While the soapy water is boiling, I wash the fryer basket that has been soaking in the sink, rinse it clean, and let it dry. Once the soapy water is done boiling, I turn the fryer off, unplug it, let the water cool for about half an hour, and dump it out. After that, I rinse the basin with warm water, and let it dry. I also like to wipe down the exterior parts of the deep fryer with a damp paper towel before calling the job officially done.

Even though cleaning a deep fryer still takes more effort than washing regular dishes, this method definitely reduces the amount of labor required. Boiling the water works well to loosen up the burned bits and dissolve the grease, so I don’t have to spend much time scrubbing. And ever since I discovered this hack, I don’t mind volunteering for frying duty anymore.