Char is a creative writer, artist, and inventor—in and out of the kitchen.
Clean Oil Is Best
I deep fry quite a few home-coated foods in my deep fryer, and sometimes I have to pour the old oil out, wash the fryer bowl, clean the immersion heater, refill with oil, and start with fresh oil.
I looked at my fryer oil and decided it was time. There was an overbearing smell when you put your nose close to the fryer, and the color was a deep brown color. There was a lot of sediment in the bottom of the fryer; pieces of coating that had fallen off and settled to the bottom. All those pieces of sediment were getting deeper and deeper, and the heater was heating them up and adding flavor to the oil.
Yep. Time to dump it out and start over.
Soak Parts in the Sink
Since all the parts of my fryer are removable, I remove the basket and the immersion heater and place them in the sink. They need to be cleaned off and I'll do that after I change the actual oil.
The immersion heater usually has a layer of brown slime that can be wiped off with a paper towel. The basket has a little bit more things embedded in the screen. If you really wish to get it clean, use a brush. After you clean it, dry it off with a paper towel.
To clean them, I use a dish soap made by Dawn. Be sure to rinse the residue off with water.
Remove the Sediment on the Bottom
The sediment in the bottom is referred to as crud. It will add flavor to your oil. Usually, a burnt flavor, which does not enhance the flavor of your deep-fried foods.
Many times, I will dump out the fryer, and I will remove the extra sediment and reuse the same oil. Some people suggest cutting up a raw potato and deep-frying it in the brown oil since a potato will absorb the 'bad stuff'.
I hardly ever use a potato anymore, since a gallon of oil is about $7 and is well worth the money spent to have clean oil.