Do I Need a Silicone Mat for my Deep Fryer?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A silicone mat is a very useful kitchen tool with dozens of possible applications. A silicone mat can withstand extremely high temperatures, which makes it ideal as a potholder or trivet for hot cookware. A silicone mat also resists liquids very well, which makes it suitable as a protective barrier between a work surface and a deep fryer or boiling pot of water. Many cooks also enjoy the non-slip feature of a silicone mat, which makes it a good stabilizer under cutting boards or sheet pans.

Deep fried French fries.
Deep fried French fries.

But do you need a silicone mat when using a deep fryer? It's not a bad idea to invest in one, but it may not be strictly necessary. Some deep fryers already feature silicone rubber knobs to reduce the chances of accidental slipping. These knobs on the feet of the fryer do not protect the work surface from excessive oil or spatters, however. A silicone mat placed under a freestanding deep fryer provides greater stability, along with a heat-resistant barrier that will not absorb grease or oil.

A silicone mat used as a protective base for deep frying should be larger than the fryer itself. A large deep fryer placed over a small silicone mat would not receive much benefit. Ideally, the proper silicone mat would extend at least several inches or centimeters in all directions from the fryer. Any hot oil spilled over the side would land on the silicone mat itself, not the more vulnerable surface beneath it. The legs of the fryer should also be supported evenly.

One of the main concerns when using a freestanding deep fryer is clean-up. Hot oil or grease from a working deep fryer seems to reach all the inaccessible nooks and crannies of a stovetop or kitchen counter. By using a silicone mat, clean-up after a long frying session should be much easier. The hot oil will not damage the mat, and the silicone mat can be washed in a standard dishwasher or scrubbed by hand with hot, soapy water. Using other absorbent materials, such as paper towels or newspaper, may also work, but this could also present a fire hazard or leave a significant amount of grease on the work surface.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments


I try to put a silicone mat under any appliance that generates heat, like a deep fryer or a toaster oven or a slow cooker. It just makes me feel better about leaving a hot item on a countertop for hours at a time. I don't think it's strictly necessary if the appliance is well-designed and has its own ways of protecting countertops. My deep fryer has silicone-covered feet that keep the main frying chamber several inches above the countertop, for example.


I already have a large silicone mat that I use as a chopping board, so whenever I need to do any deep frying, I'll put it under the electric fryer to protect my countertop. I don't know that I would go out and buy another silicone work mat just for that purpose, though. Sometimes I'll use a large metal baking sheet to catch any excess oil that might bubble over while I'm frying.

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