I'll admit the shameful truth... I have never cleaned the deep fat fryer. I hear the gasps of horror. It came with the husband (over five years ago), and as I've never owned one before I've never known where to start with cleaning it, and so I haven't. I think Hubby might have done it once - he's certainly changed the oil. I never have. In my defence, it doesn't get used very often, maybe once a month at most. It's been on my "to-do" list for some time. Last week I decided to be brave and do it.
First I ordered a universal (cut to size) deep fat fryer filter from Amazon.
I emptied the oil into an old milk bottle using the cut off top of another milk bottle as a funnel. Then I wiped around the inside with some paper towels and removed the gooey disgusting mass that was supposed to be the filter. All of that went in the bin.
I then set to work with a combination of hot oil, an old nail brush, bicarb of soda and white vinegar. Inside I put some white vinegar and water and switched the fryer on, with the basket in upside down (because the crusted on grease was around the top of the basket). The hot vinegar and water solution made removing crusted on grease from the inside much easier. I rubbed a paste of bicarb of soda and water all over the outside, and then removed it with damp paper towels and then cleaned off with a damp cloth. I got into nooks and crannies with white vinegar on the nail brush.
I've now inserted the new filter and I'm good to go with some fresh oil next time that I want to use the fryer.
It's not perfect, but it's definitely a lot better than it was before, and I think that now that I know what to do I might tackle it a bit more frequently!
Any further hints and tips on cleaning fryers would be gladly received (or ovens - mine's not too bad - but any ideas to make the job easier?).