Fryers get a workout in food service kitchens, and they can get really dirty in the process. Developing a cleaning and maintenance program for large equipment like your fryers can ensure that they work even longer and harder for you! Here are four steps to cleaning and maintaining a fryer in your food service operation:
1. First thing’s first. Filter your fryer oil at least once per day. If you are using freshly-breaded items, you should filter your oil at least every couple of hours to prevent food from burning and cutting the oil life dramatically. In addition, the more product you drop, the more often your oil should be filtered.
2. Make cleaning your fryer a part of your daily cleaning schedule. You should use soap and hot water, and you may want to use a grease-fighting cleaner, as well. Then, finish by drying the fryer thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Finish with a stainless steel cleaner, as well, when needed.
3. Next, clean the inside of your fryer using a boil-out cleaner about every 3-6 months. This will help your fryer last even longer and improve the quality of your fried food, since carbonized grease that has accumulated on the interior surface of the fryer can otherwise impart a rancid flavor onto foods. Regular boil-out cleaning will also help your shortening stay fresher and work longer.
4. Clean all louvers and vents to ensure safety and efficiency.
5. Use a digital thermometer to test the fryer’s thermostat at a set temperature after allowing the fryer to cycle a few times without any product in it. Compare the digital thermometer reading to what the fryer’s thermostat is set to. The temperatures should be within about 10°F of each other. If the readings are not that close, the fryer’s thermostat must be adjusted or replaced. Making sure that your fryer is running at the set temperature will ensure the quality of your fried foods.