Is your deep fryer smelling worse than a wet dog?

That’s a stinker! But you might find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. In fact, thousands of people face the same issue every day and are left scratching their heads.

Deep fryers are supposed to cook delicious, crispy foods and provide us with a pleasant experience whenever we use them, which makes it a shame when this is not the case.

But don’t worry, you came for answers, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Below, you’ll find a list of 6 easy steps you can follow to get everything smelling wonderful.

When your deep fryer is smelling bad, try breaking it in, checking the oil you’re using, or lowering your frying temperatures. If that fails, you can also try storing the appliance somewhere dry, deep cleaning it, and checking for leaks.

Keep reading to get rid of the smell!

#1 Break It In

Let’s start off by talking about a little-known fact.

Most cooking products are coated with protective layers of chemicals to keep them from getting scratched or damaged during transportation from the factory they’re made, to the final consumer. This substance works wonders when it comes to preservation, but it also smells a little funky, especially when heated up.

French fries
There might be nothing wrong with your appliance

Typically, you’ll see this done on deep fryers, air fryers, waffle makers, crock pots, and many other household appliances.

A bad smell coming from a brand-new deep fryer is not always a bad sign. In fact, more often than not, it’s expected. In most cases, the situation should resolve itself after one or two cooking sessions, as the protective substance will have been burned off by then.

However, if your deep fryer keeps smelling bad after many more sessions, try contacting your manufacturer, as it won’t be normal at that point.

#2 Check Your Oil

The next thing you’ll want to consider when trying to address your deep fryer smelling bad is the type of oil you’re cooking with.

A bottle of cooking oil
It’s a good idea to look closely at the type of oil you’re using

Believe it or not, some oils (like peanut) have a stronger smell than other alternatives, such as vegetable oil, for example. I know the former has many health benefits that the latter doesn’t, but if you’re really interested in minimizing odor levels, using a different cooking substance might make a night and day difference.

#3 Lower Your Temperatures

What if you’re already using a mild-scented oil, but your deep fryer is still smelling bad? Well, in that case, you might want to take a look at your cooking temperatures.

For most deep-frying purposes, your oil should be at 350 – 370 degrees Fahrenheit (187.78 °C, give or take). This will give you the best results and the nice golden-brown exterior that everyone loves.

A thermometer showing the temperature
You don’t need extreme temperatures for crispy results

Going above those temperatures will not only ruin your food and burn it, but also start degrading the oil, which can lead to the bad smell you’re experiencing. Not to mention that it could also cause the appliance to shut off as a protective measure.

Solution: If you’re not sure how to measure your oil’s temperature, there are many gadgets out there to get accurate readings. And the best part is that many of them go for as little as $10!

Any of these devices will ensure that your oil is always spot on, which will not only render better-looking and tasting dishes, but also prevent any bad smells related to burning.

#4 Store the Appliance Somewhere Dry

Next, let’s talk about where you’re storing your appliance.

Believe it or not, this could be playing a key role in how it smells, as humidity, dampness, and mold might have already taken hold of the unit. This is not only undesirable due to the aromatic factor, but also due to the potential it has to cause a short circuit and permanently damage your fryer.

After all, you’re making electricity pass through humid components.

Solution: The best way to prevent this is by making sure to store the appliance somewhere dry and not too cold. I know this might be a challenge if you live in an area with high humidity, but it’s the only way to guarantee that the unit will last for as long as possible while working under the best conditions.

I’d start by checking the cupboards to see whether they’re suitable for storage. Take a close look at other items you’re storing there and try to determine if they’re dry enough to make the area a good starting point.

#5 Deep Clean the Fryer

Moving on, let’s cover another very important aspect of keeping your deep fryer from smelling bad – proper cleaning after use.

This appliance, like any other, does a wonderful job when cooking delicious meals and savory crispy treats, but sadly, it can’t keep itself spotless and pristine. That’s where you come in. While you might be cleaning the unit every time you finish using it, there’s a chance that you’re not being thorough enough.

That’s ok, it happens to everyone now and then!

However, it’s essential to make sure you’ve left no food residue or oil stuck to the walls and the bottom of the appliance’s container to ensure a nice-smelling experience.

A sponge with dishwashing soap
It’s recommended to deep clean your fryer at least once a week

Solution: To properly clean your deep fryer, try following these steps:

  1. Unplug the appliance and let it cool down completely.
  2. Remove any oil that remains on the unit’s container after cooking (please try to avoid pouring it down the sink at all costs, as this contaminates hundreds of liters of water).
  3. If the frying container on your model is removable, go ahead and separate it from the fryer’s body to make cleaning easier.
  4. Scrub the frying pot thoroughly with a sponge, soap, and water (if you find some residue difficult to remove, try filling the container with warm water and letting it soak for about 10 minutes).
  5. Once you’re done scrubbing and rinsing, try using baking soda paste to clean tough grease spots.
  6. Let the paste sit for about 5 minutes, and then repeat step 4.
  7. When you’re certain your deep fryer pot is spotless, wipe it down with a dry towel and place it back on the appliance.

One of the most common causes of a stinky deep fryer are grease spots that were not properly removed while rinsing. The process above should take care of them and rid you of the terrible smell.

#6 Check for Leaks

Lastly, let’s make sure your appliance is in good condition.

Most deep fryers are made out of plastic and stainless steel, the latter being the most popular choice for the frying pot. This could trick anyone into thinking that there’s no way on Earth that there could be leaks present, as the material is very resistant.

But believe it or not, wear and tear over the years, as well as accidental drops and other potential sources of damage could make leaks possible.

Now, how does this relate to your deep fryer smelling bad?

Well… the answer is simple. No matter how well you clean the pot and the rest of the appliance, if you have oil and food particles leaking onto the inner components of the unit, you’re bound to get a bad smell eventually.

I mean, imagine the unpleasant aroma that comes from 2 month-old frying batter crumbs and rancid oil!

Solution: The best way to prevent this is to take good care of your appliance, but if the damage is already done, all you can do is take a closer look at the frying pot. See if you can spot any indications of tearing or puncturing to determine whether a leak is possible at this time.

You can also try filling the pot with water and keeping an eye on even the tiniest sign of the liquid seeping out of the container.

Note: please remember that all materials expand when hot. Stainless steel does not change as dramatically as other materials, like plastic, but there’s always a chance that an almost invisible tear on the pot might become larger when deep-frying.

This is something you don’t want to put off checking, as leaks could also cause short-circuiting and trip your breakers.


That about covers it!

When your deep fryer is smelling bad, what should be a fun and delicious cooking experience can quickly become a reason to lose your appetite.

Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned from this piece, addressing the most common causes behind this is very easy and quick. More often than not, all you have to do to get rid of the unpleasant smell is clean the appliance thoroughly, watch your frying temperature, and select your oil carefully.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article was helpful and piqued your interest, it’ll make you glad to know that we have tons of resources to learn from on the site. Make sure to check them out to find solutions for everyday appliance issues.

Have a beautiful day!