How to clean a turkey fryer: get rid of oil and stubborn grease

A Masterbuilt Butterball turkey fryer
(Image credit: Masterbuilt)

Wondering how to clean a turkey fryer? You’re in the right place as we’ve got all the advice on how to remove oil from a turkey fryer, and we’ll answer whether vinegar removes grease.

If you’ve got one of the best turkey fryers, it’s more than likely that you’re going to be using fairly large amounts of oil to cook your turkey, but with high temperatures resulting in oil splatters, grease is bound to build up in your turkey fryer if you don’t keep on top of it. 

Turkey fryers are a popular way of cooking up a festive turkey in time for Thanksgiving or for creating crispy roast meals for the family. Not only are they convenient for cooking up large quantities in less time, but they are also versatile to provide tasty treats all year round. The only thing that is not so enjoyable, though, is cleaning your fryer and other equipment after use. 

Cleaning your fryer regularly is important and ensures you get the most out of your fryer in the long run. You should aim to clean your fryer and change the oil once or twice a week for optimum performance. After all, you don’t want to deal with a build-up of oil, grease, or food debris over time.

So, here are some tips on the best way to clean your turkey fryer with sparkling results. 

How to clean an indoor turkey fryer

How to clean a turkey fryer basket

The basket is probably the most essential part of your fryer that needs proper care and cleaning in order for it to work properly and be hygienic. 

Once your turkey fryer has completely cooled down, remove your frying basket and place it in the kitchen sink. Squeeze a few drops of liquid dish soap around the basket and leave to soak in hot water. This will help to loosen any food particles. After 10 minutes, run under warm water, and with a soft scouring sponge, scrub the basket using a back-and-forth motion to help lift any oil or food particles. Continue to do this until completely oil-free, adding more soap as you go along if need be. Once you’ve all finished scrubbing the oil, place the basket on a dish drain or towel dry.

 How to clean the turkey fryer  

The first thing you need to do is remove any leftover oil. Even if you have an in-built oil collector or tray, you may still get some excess oil resting in places. Pour the leftover oil into a container with a lid to either store for future use or dispose of. 

Next, scrape the sides and bottom of the fryer with a plastic utensil or sponge to remove any stuck-on food and empty it out. Be sure not to use metal utensils for this bit, as it could damage and scratch your fryer. Now for the cleaning! You can squeeze drops of dish soap into the bottom and sides of the fryer. With a damp sponge, start scrubbing from the bottom in circular motions to create a soapy lather, and work your way up to the sides.   

Once you’ve scrubbed, fill the fryer with hot water in the sink and leave it to soak for approximately 30 minutes to lift off any grease. Then rinse the fryer thoroughly until the water is clear, dry the outside with a towel, and leave inside to air-dry.  

How to clean an outdoor turkey fryer 

Outdoor turkey fryers require just as much attention, especially since they cook larger quantities and hold more oil. 

Before you do anything, shut off the gas supply to your fryer and let the oil cool completely for a few hours. Once the fryer is cool, open the oil valve to drain all oil into a suitable container using a food-grade funnel to prevent any messy spills. After the oil is drained completely, you can store the oil to either recycle it or get rid of it. 

The next step is to squeeze some dish soap into your fryer before filling it with hot water. Let the soap and water sit in the fryer for about 10 minutes to lift any oils.

If your fryer has a valve, it’s best to open it to let some water flow through. This will help loosen any debris.

Empty out the water and clean the inside of the drain valve using a small bottle bristle brush to remove any particles. Once you’ve done that, give your fryer a good rinse down with a hose and leave it to air-dry outdoors. 

Fryer basket

First, use a bristle dish brush to scrub off any dried debris or oil inside, paying particular attention to dried food stuck in the holes or the mesh design. Continue scrubbing until you’ve dislodged any stuck-on food. Then, using a soft sponge, scrub the inside of the fryer and outside with warm, soapy water until all the grease is removed. Rinse thoroughly afterward and leave to air-dry.

How to remove turkey fryer grease

(Image credit: Shuttershock)

How to remove turkey fryer grease 

If you find that good old soapy water and elbow grease, just don’t cut it to lift off stubborn grease; you don’t have to spend a fortune on cleaning products. You can easily create a homemade solution with some basic things in your kitchen cupboard. 

To make your own grease-busting solution, add one cup of vinegar to three cups of warm water and let your fryer basket soak in the solution so that it loosens the grease. 

Give the solution a helping hand by using a sponge and scrubbing gently to remove any stubborn parts. Once you’re done with scrubbing, rinse with clean water. 

Leave your basket out to air dry to tidy away. 

Cynthia Lawrence

Cynthia Lawrence is a freelance lifestyle and interiors journalist, writing for national publications and websites. Obsessed with homes and garden content, she spends her time writing about interiors inspiration, savvy solutions, buying guides, and exciting product reviews. In more recent months she has written about dishwashers and other home appliances for Top Ten Reviews.