A deep fryer can be a great addition to your kitchen, especially if you like to cook. But at the same time, you may have heard that it can easily catch on fire. Is that really the case? Safety is always a top priority when cooking, so it’s important to answer this question.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at deep fryers and whether they’re more dangerous than other kitchen appliances. So, can a deep fryer catch fire? The answer may surprise you!
Are Deep Fryers Dangerous?
Before anything else, keep in mind that deep fryers can be dangerous. First of all, the oil used in them can reach extremely high temperatures, which can easily cause burns. Some units tend to tip over easily, spilling many gallons of hot oil into the cooking pot.
You may have heard of incidents involving a deep-fried turkey fire. Placing a turkey or whole chicken in a cooking pot that’s overfilled with oil may also cause oil to spill out of the unit. A spillover effect can also occur when partially frozen turkeys are placed into the fryer.
In case you don’t have properly working thermostat controls, the oil may be overheated by the unit to the point of combustion. If you notice that the deep fryer keeps shutting off, check to make sure that all components are working properly.
All the aforementioned factors have the potential to cause a fire outbreak. If not anything else, the sides of the cooking pot, its handles, and lids can get incredibly hot, paving the way for burn hazards.
What Causes Deep Fryer Fires?
Here are some of the causes of deep fryer fires:
Overheating of Oil
One of the most common causes of deep fryer fires is overheating of oil. When oil is heated to its smoking point, it produces a large amount of smoke. This smoke contains many small droplets of oil, which can easily ignite and cause a fire.
Tipping Over of the Deep Fryer
Another common cause of deep fryer fires is tipping over of the deep fryer. This can happen if the deep fryer is not properly secured, or if it is placed on an unstable surface. When the deep fryer tips over, the hot oil can spill out and ignite, causing a fire.
Presence of Water
For obvious reasons, moisture and frying pots don’t work well together. This is because water can easily ignite hot oil and cause a fire. It is important to make sure that there is no water present in the area before using a deep fryer.
Is Leaving a Deep Fryer on Overnight OK?
We strongly advise against leaving a deep fryer on overnight, simply because it puts you and your family in a dangerous situation. The oil present can accidentally become overheated, thereby triggering fire. At high temperatures, oil activates fat burning processes, and becomes volatile, toxic, and unstable.
Hence, if you’ve left your fryer on overnight, dispose of any oil in it and wash the fryer thoroughly before using it again.
Why Can’t You Put Ice in a Deep Fryer?
Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation by putting ice or anything frozen in your deep fryer. Depending on the quantity of ice placed, an instant explosion may occur due to the temperature difference between ice and hot oil. The freezing point of ice is 32°F, while deep fryers often hit 300°F, going up to 375°F.
With temperature differences of over 300°F, ice reacts with the oil, quickly transforming from a frozen to liquid and gas state, resulting in an extreme, powerful effect.
On top of that, water doesn’t mix with oil. Therefore, when ice melts, the water molecules are quickly expelled by oil. Even if a fire doesn’t occur, there’s a great chance that oil bursts out of the fryer.
Can You Put a Lid on a Deep Fryer?
As anyone who has ever cooked with a deep fryer knows, they can be pretty messy. Food splatters everywhere, oil gets everywhere, and it can be hard to clean up. Putting a lid on your deep fryer can help to prevent splatters and make clean up a breeze.
Just be sure to choose a lid that fits snugly on your fryer and has a hole in the center for the vent. This will allow the hot oil to circulate properly and prevent any fryer accident. So, next time you’re cooking with a deep fryer, don’t be afraid to put a lid on it. It can help to make your cooking experience much safer and easier.
How to Prevent Deep Fryers From Exploding
If you’re worried about your deep fryer exploding, follow these preventive measures:
Follow Safety Instructions
Deep fryers can be dangerous if not used properly. Always follow the safety instructions that come with your deep fryer. Some common safety tips include not to overfill the deep fryer with oil, ensuring that the deep fryer is turned off and unplugged when not in use, never leaving the fryer unattended, and so on.
Select Oils That Have High Smoking Points
When it comes to deep frying, oil with a high smoking point is key. This type of oil can withstand higher temperatures without breaking down or exploding. Not only does this help to prevent accidents in the kitchen, but it also ensures that your food remains crisp and flavorful.
Use the Right Quantity of Oil
If you’re using a deep fryer, it’s important to use the right amount of oil. Too little oil can cause the fryer to overheat and potentially explode. On the other hand, too much oil can waste money, spill out and make a mess.
Use enough oil to completely cover the food you’re cooking. This will ensure that your food cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the fryer. If you’re cooking multiple items in the fryer, make sure there’s enough space between them so that the oil can circulate properly.
Place Your Deep Fryer at the Right Spot
One of the most critical things to consider when cooking with a deep fryer is the placement of the appliance. Most accidents involving deep fryers occur when the hot oil is splashed or spilled. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to place your deep fryer on a stable and level surface, away from the edge of the counter or stove.
Placement is not just important for the fryer itself, but also for other kitchen items. For example, flammable items shouldn’t be placed in the area around your deep fryer. This includes things like paper towels, wooden utensils, and anything else that could easily catch fire.
Leverage the Right Accessories
Using inappropriate accessories for your deep fryer can easily cause it to explode, causing serious damage to your home and putting you and your family in danger.
So what are the right accessories? First and foremost, you need a good thermometer. This will help you keep the oil at the perfect temperature, which will prevent it from splashing.
You also need a good filter. A lot of people deep fry without one, but this is a big mistake. A filter will catch any bits of food that fall into the oil, which can prevent them from causing a fire.
Finally, you need a good lid. A lid will help to prevent oil from splashing out of the fryer, and it will also help to keep the heat in. This will make your fried food come out crisp and delicious, without any risk of explosion.
Properly Dry the Ingredients before Putting Them in the Deep Fryer
When deep frying foods, it is important to dry the ingredients before putting them in the hot oil. If the ingredients are wet, they can cause the hot oil to splatter and possibly cause burns. Therefore, always be sure to pat dry your ingredients to remove any excess moisture before cooking them in a deep fryer. To do this, simply pat the ingredients down with a paper towel or clean cloth. If you’re deep frying something you took out of the freezer, make sure it has fully defrosted and patted dry.
Stay Alert When the Deep Fryer Is On
Never leave the fryer unattended while it’s in use. If you’re not there to watch it, the oil can easily overheat and start a fire. If there’s any food in the fryer, it can quickly burn. And if you have children or pets, they could easily knock the fryer over and cause a major disaster. So, always be sure to stay close by when you’re deep frying, and stay alert!
What to Do if Your Deep Fryer Explodes or Catches Fire
If your deep fryer explodes or catches fire, it is important to take quick and decisive action. Turn off the power to the fryer if possible, and smother any flames with a fire blanket or baking soda. Do not use water, as this can cause the oil to splatter and spread the fire.
If the fire is small and contained, you can try to extinguish it with a fire extinguisher. However, if the fire is large or out of control, evacuate the area immediately and call 911.