What is dangerous about deep-frying and fire risk?

Deep fat fryer
Updated on 27 May 2023
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Deep-frying is fun to do. There is just something about it. The typical Dutch snacks that taste delicious, the smell, the cosiness, or just a nice quick bite. The deep fryer is a great invention. 

What many people just don’t know is that frying is the most one of the most common causes of fire in the kitchen. Deep-frying is easy, but it can also definitely be dangerous. If you didn’t already know, then it’s definitely important to be aware of the dangers of deep-frying. I explain it to you!


This is the most common cause of deep-frying fires. Overheating can occur because the fat you put in the fryer goes above the ignition temperature, this can cause it to catch fire.

In that case, the oil catches fire. However, some people deep-fry without a deep fryer and do it with a different pan. For any pan, when the oil rises above the auto-ignition temperature, then you get a high risk of fire.

How do you extinguish a deep-frying fire?

A deep-frying fire is best extinguished with a grease fire extinguisher.

NEVER EXTINGUISH A DEEP-FAT FRYER WITH WATER! This is an absolute no-go. Many people know this, and some don’t, but when there is a fire hazard, throwing water on grease is not a good combination, it can cause stabbing flames. So just do this with a grease fire extinguisher. The surface of the pan will then be covered with a layer of foam.

The fat is not hot enough yet

Another possible fire hazard is putting snacks in the deep fryer while it is not yet hot enough. This can be particularly dangerous with frikandells. When bubbles appear then the oil is hot enough and you can start frying.

How long can it be left on?

So how long can a deep fryer be left on? If the deep fryer’s thermostat is faulty then the oil will continue to heat until it reaches its auto-ignition point. Therefore, a deep fryer should never be left unattended when it is on. This can cause a fire hazard. When you are done, always unplug the fryer.

Some people do leave it on the countertop overnight because they are cleaning it the next day. This is in any case not advisable because of caked-on dirt, but some people also leave the plug in. This is very unwise. If the thermostat is faulty, you are in danger of fire. So always remove the plug after frying.

If you use anything other than a deep-frying pan for deep-frying, throw the oil away immediately after frying.

Can a deep-frying pan explode?

Yes, this is another possibility you should be aware of. In fact, research has shown that when combined with too much water, deep-frying can explode. Chips and snacks are often stored in the freezer, which means there is still water with them because they are then covered with a layer of ice. That is ice which in turn ends up in the pan, creating a risk of explosion.

When are you at extra risk?

Deep-frying starchy foods such as chips can create acrylamide. This is a harmful substance for humans at higher intakes. Not necessarily an extra risk, but something to watch out for. So inhaling the smoke for long periods of time can be unhealthy.

Most frying oil has an ignition temperature of 315 degrees Celsius, if the pan is left on the cooker for long periods of time, whether it is a regular frying pan or any other pan with oil and this temperature is used then the contents can boil dry and catch fire. These are the situations where you are at extra risk.

Can you deep-fry outside?

During a social gathering, sometimes you want to have a nice fry-up outside. You can, but some pans do not work as well at lower temperatures. Be aware of this and do not turn up the temperature knob extra. If the temperature is too low, it is best to put it inside because of the risk of fire. During a hot summer day, when this is done most often, you will experience few problems, by the way.

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Deep fat fryer

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