Unlike other cooking equipment, fryers require minimal maintenance. On a daily basis or as necessary, use hot, soapy water or a grease-cutting solution to wipe down units. When necessary, the fryer’s exterior should be wiped down with a stainless-steel polish and a clean cloth. All louvers and vents on high-efficiency fryers with blowers should be kept clean.
Use a boil-out cleaner added to water for more extensive cleaning after the water temperature is brought up to a rolling boil. It is important that the vat’s interior is thoroughly wiped dry before use since oil and water don’t mix. Not doing so presents a burn risk from oil popping. Fryers should never be hosed down with water for this reason.
Oil quality and regular filtering or replacement of oil is very important when using a fryer for optimum product quality.
A digital thermometer can be used for testing the operating thermostat. The vat must first be emptied and then brought to the set temperature and cycle a few times. The digital thermometer should then be compared with the set point on the thermostat. If these temperatures are not within 10 degrees F to 15 degrees F, adjust the thermostat. If the temperature is more than 25 degrees F off, it may be time to replace the thermostat. Note that high-limit thermostat testing should only be done by an authorized service agent due to fire safety issues.
If it takes longer for a fryer to heat to a ready temperature or it has difficulty maintaining required temperatures during normal use, it should be serviced.
There are a number of signs that a fryer needs replacement, but the most common issue is a leaking tank or well caused by carbon buildup. This is signified by hardened oil under the fryer and behind the unit’s door. Not only will this cause leaks, but it will also impact the fryer’s productivity and can be a fire hazard.
Cooking at too high a temperature can compromise the unit. If the fryer does not hold proper oil temperature, resulting in greasy, dark and/or burned food, it is time for a new unit. Also, the fryer should be replaced if weekly oil usage increases dramatically and/or food fry times increase.
While most fryer components, such as the thermostat, are inexpensive to replace, vats or tanks are cost prohibitive to install.