putting ice in a deep fryer

What Happens when you Put Ice in a Deep Fryer?

In Food, In-depth Guides January 20th, 20210 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links for products I mention. If you click a link and buy something we may receive some compensation. This does not change the price you would pay. Learn more

So, what happens when you put ice in a deep fryer? Have you ever tried putting ice in a deep fryer intentionally or otherwise? If not, you should not try that without reading this post first. You should know exactly what to expect when the ice gets in a deep fryer before you attempt to do it.

This article tries to provide an answer to that question, coupled with an explanation and other useful information.

However, the short answer is that the ice will violently react with the oil. The cause of this reaction is the huge temperature state difference. The ice will try to change from the frozen state and become a liquid in a very short period. The attempt to turn to a liquid in such a short period will result in a violent reaction. If you put a lot of ice in a deep fryer, there is a possibility of a fire. There is also a different reaction when it is dry ice and not regular ice. So, let us look deeper into the cause of ice in a deep fryer explosion.

What Happens?

You understand a bit about the science that is behind this reaction. Boiling oil and water are in different states. The ice has some dormant molecules while the oil has some molecules in a very hyperactive state. When ice and the boiling oil come in contact, they have to stabilize by one overcoming the other.

Naturally, the hyperactive molecules in the oil will overcome the molecules in the ice. These two naturally have that transition between the states. However, when it happens in nature, the states change gradually. The sudden and rapid change will result in an instance in which the solid matter cracks because of a sudden hot spell.

The reason behind that is the sudden molecule activation. The ice in a frozen state and the oil in a hot liquid state has a huge temperature difference.

Why does ice explode in a deep fryer? When you put the ice in hot oil, a violent reaction will happen. The temperature of the ice will start rising rapidly. The molecules will change from a very low vibration state to very high vibration, all in a very short period.

Putting one ice cube in the deep fryer with boiling oil, you will get a very small boiling reaction. Sounds exciting, isn’t it? When you add a lot of ice to the boiling oil in the deep fryer, the reaction will be intense to a point in which a flame bursts out.

Warning: This flame burst is a very real possibility of a house fire. You must be careful about this. You should also make sure to be far from the deep fryer if this happens.

The deep fryer usually runs at temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit and can reach 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice, on the other hand, will start freezing at as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature difference is usually above 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the ice starts approaching the boiling oil, it will start melting. The ice tries to expand to steam the exact point at which it touches the oil. This will result in that fiery explosion.

If it does not result in a fire, there is a possibility that it will have chaotic pops and the oil might even boil over the deep fryer.

What should you do if this happens?

The first thing you should know is that you should not keep boiling oil and water or ice even close to each other. Do not keep water or ice close to a deep fryer. It is simply a bad idea.

Think of it this way. You have a cup filled with ice-cold soda and are close to a deep fryer. Unfortunately, your dog comes at you so fast that it scares you, which then leads you to jump, and your ice soda heads for the deep fryer.

The first thing you should do when you note that the cold soda is heading for the deep fryer is to go as fast as you can away from the deep fryer.

The main reason is that immediately the soda touches the ice, it will result in a huge flame. If that flame does startup, you do not want to get burnt.

If your deep fryer catches fire for any reason and you think it might be a containable situation, the first thing you should try is smothering the fire. If you can access the deep fryer’s lid, try covering the deep fryer.

Caution: Chances are that the fire will burst into a big flame, which will not be safe for you even when the deep fryer is covered.

Is it Possible to Deep Fry Water?

Let me guess. You think that is a weird question, right? To be honest, it is a weird question. However, it is possible to deep fry water. It is something that several chefs have tried out and successfully done.

So, how do you do it?

First, you should know that the process of deep-frying water is known as spherification. To make spherification possible, you need to create a layer around the water. For that to happen, you need calcium alginate, calcium chloride, and finally sodium alginate. When you bring these three components together, they will form a membrane liquid that will eventually become solid.

Simply put this in your deep fryer and voila! Deep frying water.


You should have a rough idea of what would happen if water or ice gets in contact with boiling oil. We recommend watching a video that shows this experiment. However, we do not recommend that you try this. We highly advise against it. Your safety is very important and you should not risk it.

It is worth noting that the dry ice will have a smaller reaction. With that said, we also advise against deep frying frozen meat. There is a possibility of a very bad accident. Additionally, the meat will not cook properly, which might cause food poisoning.

Also Read:

Feel free to share your observation with me in the comments section!

Also, if you find the information in this post to be useful, be sure to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.