Why does my deep fryer overflow? 

  • By: Emma
  • Date: July 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Table of Contents

Why does my deep fryer overflow?

Users of deep fryers often ask this question: ”why does my deep fryer overflow?”

Although it is there are many factors that lead to fryer-overflow. But the most common reason for oil overflowing from the deep fryer filling is too much oil in it.

The good news is that the issue can be fixed. Today’s blog post will help you know why does overflowing happen.

If you have been experiencing too much oil overflowing from the fryer, then the solutions in this blog post will hopefully help.

Read More: Can an air fryer cause carbon monoxide?

10 most common causes of an overflowing-fryer

Although oil capacity is the most common cause when it comes to an overflowing deep fryer, there are numerous other causes that need your attention. Let’s see what they are:

Frying frozen food

Although frozen foods are a great choice for your deep fryer, it is important to remember that they should be completely thawed before being put into the fryer. When you use a frozen food item in a deep fryer, it will cause an overflow since there will be excessive steam formation.

Foods having moisture

We all know that deep-frying works on the principle of moisture. Now, if there is too much moisture in your food item, then you should expect it to overflow. This occurs when you try to fry foods containing a lot of water like pastries or doughnuts.

Dirty oil

When someone fails to change the oil in the deep fryer, then it will become dirty over a period. This oil is more likely to overflow from the fryer because of its extra-thick consistency.

Another way dirty oil can be a cause of overflowing is the food that is fried in it. Since frying certain foods can cause some of the oil to cling to them, even this may result in an overflow.

Food items containing batter

When you are deep-frying doughnuts or other wet food items, there is more chance for the oil to bubble up and flood your kitchen.

The science behind this phenomenon is that the batter on these food items increases the surface area. This allows bubbles to form more easily, thus creating an overflow potential.

Addition of too much seasoning

When you are deep-frying your favorite fries or chicken wings, it is advisable that you do not add excess salt. Overflowing will happen because salted oil will interact with the food, resulting in excess water formation.

Too many food items

There are many deep fryers available on the market that comes with a food capacity of ¾ gallon to 4 gallons. So if you try to fill your deep fryer with too much food, there will be a significant overflow because the oil volume will be too much.

Overfilling the fryer

When you are filling your deep fryer with oil, it is better that you fill it to only ¾ of its capacity. Filling it to more than that might result in oil spilling out onto the surface. This may even cause an overflowing.

In general, 3-4 cups of cooking oil is considered a good amount for most home deep fryers. 

Foods having starch content

Starches are very absorbent in nature. So, when you try to deep fry foods that contain starch like potatoes or French fries, it will soak up excess oil. This will cause the oil level to increase beyond its capacity resulting in overflowing.

Oil temperature

This is the most common cause of overflowing after oil amount. If your deep fryer has an adjustable thermostat control, then you should be able to fix this problem.

However, if your fryer does not have an adjustable thermostat, then you should buy an external one for it. This is because the temperature of the oil can never exceed 180 degrees Fahrenheit in a conventional deep-fryer. But if you find that your oil is too hot, then you will need to reduce the heat.

Changing cooking time/temperature

This problem can arise when you are cooking new food items. When you change the kind of food item that is being fried in your deep fryer, it might alter the inherent temperature of the oil exceeds its safety limit, then it can lead to overflows.

Over-cooking the food

Another reason that causes the deep fryer to overflow is over-cooking the food because it causes the particles of the food to dissolve in oil which causes to increase in the oil volume of oil and causes the oil to expand more and the deep fryer to overflow. Here, we present a table that shows the temperature and frying time of some widely fried food items.

Read More: Can you cook a frozen breakfast sandwich in an air fryer?

FoodTemperatureFrying Time
French Fries370 F Then drain and fry at 390 F5 min to 7 min 2 min to 4 min
Croquettes, Fish balls, and all previously cooked food390 F2 min or until brown
Small Fish370 F3 min or until brown
Fillets370 F4 min or until brown
Oysters, calm370 F2 min or until brown
Temperature and frying time of some widely fried food items

Preventive measures you need to consider today!

Here are a few ways you should follow, to avoid overflowing your fryer.

  1. Oil should be used within one month of its first use. Also, make sure that the oil is not stored in a hot place since it can lose its quality and even become toxic. When you want to reuse an oil, make sure that it has cooled down first.
  2. To prevent overflowing with a deep fryer, follow the oil level instructions that are contained in your manual.
  3. When you are deep-frying doughnuts, potato chips, or other foods containing lots of water, it is advisable not to overfill the fryer. The food will soak up excess oil which will cause an overflow.
  4. When trying to fry frozen foods, make sure that you do not add too much of it at a time. It will cause the oil to overflow.
  5. If your fryer has an adjustable thermostat, then make sure that you increase the temperature when cooking certain food items like French fries or chicken wings and reduce the temperature if you are trying to deep fry doughnuts or vegetables.
  6. If you are cooking food that has a high starch content, then reduce the amount of oil that you add to the fryer.
  7. You should always try to cook one type of food item at a time. If you feel that your fryer is taking too long to heat up for this particular food, then you can switch off the heat and wait for a while till the temperature becomes normal.
  8. Bonus tip: To ensure that your deep fryer does not overflow, you must know the oil capacity of your fryer. Here, we present a table that shows you the oil capacity of the most widely used deep fryers.
Deep FryersOil Capacity
Presto 05420 FryDaddy Electric Deep Fryer, Black10 – 12 cups
Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Cool-touch Deep Fryer8 cups
T-fal Deep Fryer with Basket Model FR800014 – 15 cups
Cuisinart CDF-100 Deep fryer4 – 5 cups
De’Longhi D895 DeLonghi D28313UXBK Roto Deep Fryer4 – 5 cups
Masterbuilt MB20010118 Electric 3 in 1 Deep Fryer33 cups
Commercial Deep Fryer 136000 Btu/h109 cups
The oil capacity of different air fryers

Can a deep fryer explode?

Yes, a deep fryer can explode if it is not handled or used correctly. Following are the factors that can lead to the explosion:

Overheating of oil

Without proper temperature control, the oil can reach a very high temperature which can lead to overflow and eventually an explosion.

Presence of water

The presence of water can also lead to an explosion. When cooking food soaked in water, some of that water can drip into the hot oil. When you are cooking two or more batches of food at a time, the water from the first batch will rise to the surface. This can cause sputtering in hot oil and lead to an explosion.

Improper handling of the fryer

If your deep fryer is not handled or used with care, then there is a high risk that it can explode. In an effort to remove food items from the fryer as soon as they turn golden brown, you will keep removing them from oil even when they are not done yet. This can cause oil to splash and ultimately lead to an explosion.


Believe it or not, overloading your deep fryer with too much food might also result in an overflow of oil. And overflowing of hot oil can ultimately lead to an explosion.

So what can you do? Well, prevention is better than cure!

How do you keep oil from spitting in the deep fryer?

Oil spitting is another common problem that can cause damage to your deep fryer. It happens when the deep fryer has already some water droplets in it and you pour in the oil.

If you are cooking food that contains water in it, like French fries or potato chips, then there is a high risk of oil spitting.

If you want to keep oil from spitting in a deep fryer, then make sure that the deep fryer is dry, clean, and oil-free. Use an empty deep fryer to heat up oil for at least three minutes on medium heat before you start cooking food in it.

How do you stop hot oil from splashing?

When cooking food in a deep fryer, it is important to follow the given instructions with regard to adding items.

First off, It is also advisable to use less oil which will reduce the chances of overflow and splashing. In general, four cups of oil are enough for a medium to large size deep fryer. Another thing that you can do is to minimize the number of food items you are frying in the fryer.

Secondly, don’t use a wet spoon/ spatula to remove food from the fryer.

And lastly, avoid frying frozen chips. When you put frozen food in hot oil, the oil will be pushed to the top and it will start sputtering.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, a deep fryer overflows when the oil volume exceeds its capacity or if your fryer’s temperature is too high for cooking certain food items.   

But, it is mandatory on your part to follow some safety measures while using a deep fryer in order to avoid any untoward accidents caused by the overflow of oil.

So the next time you want to fry something in your deep fryer, recall the above-mentioned tips and precautions.

Happy frying!

Read More: Can you have a deep fryer in a food truck?

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