Can A Deep Fryer Explode? (What Causes Explosion + How To Avoid It)

Image of a deep fryer kept in kitchen

A deep fryer is a handy kitchen appliance if you often crave delicious deep-fried food. However, you must be very careful when using a deep fryer, as it heats the oil to high temperatures. Hot oil accidents can cause severe injuries. Improper usage of a deep fryer can also result in catastrophic kitchen fires or accidents. So, can a deep fryer explode?

Yes, a deep fryer can explode or lead to fires when used improperly. Without proper temperature control, the oil in these devices can reach the point of combustion. It can result in kitchen fires and serious accidents. However, accidents can be avoided by following the safety instructions properly.

Now, the good news is that you can avoid deep fryer accidents with suitable precautions. Let us look at it in closer detail.

What Causes Deep Fryers To Explode?

Deep fryers work on gas or electricity. Here is how it operates.

You should first fill the device with oil and then connect it to the source (gas or electricity).

The oil gradually heats up to a high temperature.

When it is hot enough, you can place the food in the fryer. Then, wait for it to cook and crisp.

Remove the food from the oil when it is done. Repeat if there are more batches to fry.

Once you complete the frying process, switch off the gas or electricity, and let the oil cool down.

As you can see, this whole process is quite straightforward. However…

The following factors can cause deep fryers to explode:

  1. Overheating of oil: You should wait for the oil to heat to the right temperature before dropping the food in it. However, if you wait for too long, the oil will reach its smoking point. At this stage, it breaks down, releasing fumes and black smoke. These fumes are highly inflammable. If you do not turn down the heat at this stage, the oil will eventually burn and erupt into flames.
  2. Presence of water: When you directly add food from the freezer into a deep fryer, the ice in the food will react with the oil. Since oil and water do not mix, the oil will splutter and spit. It can cause serious burns and scalding.
  3. Tipping over of the deep fryer: If you are careless while using the deep fryer or overload it with oil and food, it may tip over. It can be very dangerous if the oil is hot or it falls on a burner. It can trigger a fire and cause serious burn hazards.

Now that we have looked at the risk factors, let us find out how to avoid accidents when using a deep fryer.

How To Prevent Deep Fryers From Exploding?

Follow these suggestions to use your deep fryer safely.

1. Follow The Safety Instructions

Even if you have used deep fryers in the past, you should study the instructions accompanying the fryer you intend to use.

The mode of operation will vary according to the brand and type of deep fryer.

Read the instruction manual with the device to find out how it works.

You should also go through the manufacturer’s warnings and follow the guidelines to avert danger.

2. Choose The Right Spot To Place Your Deep Fryer

Hot oil can cause accidents and fires in seconds.

The risk is greater if there are inflammable objects nearby.

To reduce the possibility of an accident, choose a safe place for your deep fryer.

The safest place is outdoors. However, it may not always be possible.

If you use your deep fryer in the kitchen, keep it away from cloth and wood.

For electric deep fryers, make sure that the oil cannot splutter in the direction of the power socket.

You should also ensure that moisture and oil do not touch the power cord.

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3. Choose Oils With High Smoking Points

Since different oils have different smoking points, some of them are better suited for deep frying.

When oils reach their smoking point, it becomes unstable and breaks down.

It also leads to the formation of black smoke.

To reduce this risk, use oils with high smoking points in your deep fryer.

Peanut oil, canola oil, and coconut oil are good options.

These oils have a high smoking point and take longer to disintegrate.

Nonetheless, just a minute of oversight can make the oil go up in flames.

To avoid this, never leave the deep fryer unattended.

Always keep an eye on the oil while it heats.

4. Use The Right Amount Of Oil

If you overfill the deep fryer, the oil will spill over when it heats.

To prevent it, fill your deep fryer only up to the one-third mark with oil.

It will leave enough space for the oil to rise after you add the food to be cooked.

The extra allowance will also help to prevent accidents.

5. Always Dry The Ingredients Before Transferring To The Deep Fryer

When water touches oil, it results in explosive splatters.

It can happen if you transfer food directly from the freezer into the hot oil.

The moisture from the food will form steam bubbles.

It will splutter and cause burns or even trigger a fire.

To avoid it, do not directly add foods from the freezer into the hot oil.

Dry the ingredients thoroughly with a paper towel before placing them in a deep fryer.

Add it gradually to prevent the splashing of oil.

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6. Use The Right Accessories

A cooking thermometer will help you use your deep fryer efficiently.

It will help you identify when the oil is ready for frying.

The fried food will be crisp and less oily when you use a thermometer and deep fry at the right temperature.

If you do not have a cooking thermometer, you can also use a wooden spoon to test the oil.

When you place the spoon’s tip oil, the oil will bubble around it at the right temperature.

However, this method is not as accurate as using a thermometer.

So, it is a good idea to get a thermometer as well.

7. Be Alert When The Deep Fryer Is On

The deep fryer is not a kitchen appliance that you can leave unattended.

Even the slightest negligence can result in disasters.

When you leave it on, the temperature of the oil will continuously rise.

Before you know it, it will have crossed the smoking temperature and gone up in flames.

So, be alert throughout the time you use the deep fryer.

Avoid multitasking when you use a deep fryer.

Do not leave the deep fryer unattended, and always keep an eye on the oil.

Promptly turn the heat down if it gets too hot. Switch off the deep fryer immediately after use.

As the oil will continue to be hot, leave it to cool completely before moving it.

You should also make sure that it is out of the reach of children and pets during this time.

Interesting Further Reading:

Final Thoughts…

Although the deep fryer is a valuable kitchen tool, it has associated risks.

Improper usage can lead to accidents and fires that can quickly get out of control.

The device may tip over, overheat, spill, or even explode.

Hence, be very careful when using this device.

Nevertheless, you can safely use a deep fryer if you follow the necessary precautions.

Always be cautious and safe, and this appliance will make your cooking convenient and quick.