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"Everything you wanted to know about frying"


Welcome to a page dedicated to frying and specifically deep fat fryers.

There are two popular way of frying chips/fries, chicken, fish etc.,

1. - the traditional chip pan which is placed on a gas or electric hob

2. - the stand alone deep fat fryer


There isn't much explanation of a chip pan, it's placed on electric/gas hob and filled with oil. The major drawback is the oil/food capacity they offer and the lack of any safety features. The safety guidelines listed below specifically deal with chip pans.

Deep Fat Fryers

This is my guide to understanding deep fat fryers, there are lots available from brands such as Tefal, Delonghi, Breville, Kenwood, Russell Hobbs and Philips. The deep fat fryer has become a very common kitchen appliance, they are used to fry food like chips, battered fish and chicken. The benefits they offer families is a larger capacity to fry more food in one serving, free up a hob on a cooker and usually come with a few safety features like a coolwall. Some of the things to look for when buying a deep fat fryer is of course the capacity, most manufacturers list the oil and food capacity a fryer can hold. Out of the two it's probably most important to take note of the food capacity, as this tells you how much food the deep fat fryer can handle at any one serving. There are a couple of standard safety features to look for when buying a deep fat fryer, the first being a coolwall which means you can safely touch the side of the fryer when it's heated up. A mechanism to raise and lower the basket is also important, the food will be gradually dropped into the oil to ensure no splashes of hot oil. A large and clear viewing window is another important aspect of a deep fat fryer, it means you can close the lid and keep a close eye on the food and avoid any oil splashing out. A major drawback of chip pans is you usually have to leave the lid off and your worktop gets splashed with hot oil which can stain and burn. Now we get onto the advanced features offered by some fryers, and adjustable thermostat control being key. They can cut out the power when the temperature gets too hot, and when packaged with an inbuilt timer can fry food to perfection.


The traditional chip pan has been the cause of many household fires and has resulted in many burns injuries. Reports have estimated that one fifth of accidental fires attended by the Fire and Rescue services are caused by chip pans and deep fat fryers. Accidental fires started in the kitchen kill on a daily basis, therefore most people should be concerned by deep fat frying. Enough to read up on how to minimise the risks and fry in a safe manner.

Both have safety issues, but with the advent of technology the stand alone thermostat-controlled electric deep fat fryers promise to fry your food to perfection in total safety. The most advanced of these come with safety features like,

  • Ready to use indicator so you know exactly when the oil is at the correct temperature.
  • Adjustable thermostat control to cool down the oil in seconds.
  • Cool wall so you do not burn your hands when touching the outer shell.
  • Safety cut out so the fryer will cut out if in risk of over heating.
  • Safety locking lid so oil does not splash out and burn.

Of course the problem is that not all stand alone deep fat fryers come with all the above features, in fact very few do. Therefore the security cautions listed later will be of value to owners of all but the most advanced deep fat fryer.

I will first highlight the common safety guidelines of frying,

  • Never increase the level of oil over 1/3 of the pan.
  • Once the oil is hot never move the pan suddenly.
  • Test the oil temperature by dropping small bits of food into it.
  • If the oil is smoking then it is too hot, and you should not put any food into it. As oil gets hotter, it will start to smoke a bit, and will finally burst into flame if enough heat is supplied.
  • Never leave the pan unattended for any amount of time.
  • With deep fat fryers watch the electrical cord carefully. If someone can snag it, then the fryers falls off the worktop and dumps lots of hot oil.
  • If your deep fat fryer does not contain a adjustable thermostat then be doubly careful when adding food. Like with a chip pan if the fat is too hot it can spray about.

What to do if a fire occurs?


  • Move the chip pan.
  • Never use water on chip pan fires, this causes a fireball and will only make the problem much worse.
  • Use a fire extinguisher unless you know which type it is.


  • Turn the hob off. But only if you can safely reach the controls.
  • Put a blanket over the fire - this restricts the oxygen needed by the fire to continue.
  • If you manage to do the above then leave the pan to cool completely.
  • If you cannot then leave the building and phone the fire service immediately