Unlike other cooking equipment, fryers require minimal maintenance.
Use hot, soapy water or a grease-cutting solution to wipe down the units’ interior daily or as necessary, depending on use. Use a clean cloth and stainless-steel polish to regularly wipe down the fryer’s exterior. High-efficiency fryers with blowers have louvers and vents that should be cleaned often.
For more extensive cleaning, use a boil-out cleaner added to water after bringing the water to a rolling boil. Because oil and water don’t mix, thoroughly wipe and dry the vat’s interior before use. Never hose down a fryer with water.
Oil quality and regular filtering or replacement of oil is very important when using a fryer for optimum product quality.
When utilizing a digital thermometer for testing the operating thermostat, first empty the vat and then bring it up to the set temperature and cycle a few times. Compare the digital thermometer to the set point on the thermostat; if these temperatures are not within 10 degrees F to 15 degrees F, the thermostat will need to be adjusted. Temperatures off by more than 25 degrees F indicate the thermostat may need replacing.
Due to fire safety issues, high-limit thermostat testing should only be done by an authorized service agent. Also, 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.
The most common sign a fryer needs replacement is a leaking tank or well caused by carbon buildup. Not only will this cause leaks, but it will also impact the fryer’s productivity and can be a fire hazard. This is signified by hardened oil under the fryer and behind the unit’s door.
While most fryer components, such as thermostats, are inexpensive to replace, vats or tanks are cost-prohibitive to install. 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.