What happens if you put ice in a deep fryer? (2 outcomes)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “what happens if you put ice in a deep fryer?”, discuss the different forms of ice and what to do if you accidentally put ice in a deep fryer.

What happens if you put ice in a deep fryer?

If you put ice in a deep fryer, the following two outcomes are expected:

  • A very vicious reaction
  • A burst of flame

What are the types of ice?

Depending on nature, we can categorize ice into two major types:

  1. Normal ice 

This type of ice is obtained by freezing water at 0 degrees celsius. And this is the type of ice that is used commonly in every house during summer.

  1. Dry ice

Technically, it is not the ice but a solidified form of carbon dioxide that is obtained by storing the gas in a small place at a low temperature. The temperature of dry ice is lower than that of normal ice. It works as a cooling agent and therefore it is used in factories.

What happens with ice in a deep fryer?

In thermodynamics, the answer to this question is described in terms of the specific heat capacity (the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of a substance per unit of mass)

  • In the case of normal ice, the boiling temperature of the water is 100℃which is effectively very less than that of oil (boiling temperature of the oil is ~200℃-210℃)

When you put normal ice in the deep fryer, the exceptionally high temperature of the oil will provide a significant amount of heat to the ice and an instant change of state (solid-cold-steam) will occur. Resultantly, a large amount of heat will be released along with a change in pressure and volume.

  • In the case of dry ice, the solid carbon dioxide changes to gaseous carbon dioxide when it comes in contact with the atmosphere (more precisely atmospheric oxygen molecules). You can also see gas being left-off by the piece of dry ice, as you take it out of the deep fryer.

Which ice form is better to use?

If you want to check what happens when you put ice in a deep fryer, you should better use normal ice because it is:

  • Readily available
  • Cheaper
  • safer

Why oil and water do not mix in a deep fryer?

Deep fryers usually work at 300 Fahrenheit and can reach up to 375 Fahrenheit while ice is usually formed at 32 Fahrenheit. This means the temperature difference is 300 Fahrenheit.

So, as soon as the ice approaches oil, it already starts to melt. And the moment when the ice hits the oil, it is trying to expand into steam. Due to the lack of space to go anywhere, the ice and oil turn into a fiery explosion. Considering the least of what could happen, the oil will start to go chaotic and pop. The oil can even boil over. Either the oil goes up into flames immediately or not, surely depends on the amount of ice that you put into the fryer at once.

What to do if you accidentally put ice into a deep fryer?

First of all, it is a bad idea if the ice or even cold water is placed near the deep fryer. But in case, due to some reason, you accidentally put ice into the deep fryer, the first thing to do is, take yourself at as much distance from the fryer as possible.  Because as the ice hits the oil, chances are thee that the flame may come up immediately.

In case the deep fryer catches fire and it is containable, you are supposed to smoother the fire first. For this, you can use the lid of the deep fryer to cover the fryer and break the connection between oil and flame.

But in case if the fire immediately burns into a big enough open flame, then it may not even be safe. So try not to keep ice even at a remote distance from the deep fryer!

Can you deep fry frozen food?

Based on the information that is provided in this guide, it is surely not advisable to deep fry frozen food (including chicken, turkey, etc.). Because if you try to do this, you will be at a higher risk of getting yourself injured and the possibility of the great fire is also there.

Still, if you deep fry frozen food, there is a high likelihood that your food is not cooked well from the center and so you can be at risk of acquiring food poisoning.

So if you are going to use frozen food, make sure to thaw it first before you deep fry it.

Other FAQs about Deep Fryer that you may be interested in.

Can I leave the oil in my deep fryer?


In this brief guide, we answered the question, “what happens if you put ice in a deep fryer?”, discussed the different forms of ice and what to do if you accidentally put ice in a deep fryer.