Whether you’re frying chips, fish, doughnuts or chicken, a commercial deep fat fryer is the ideal appliance to produce deliciously crispy and succulent foods. However, selecting the right fryer from such a vast range could seem overwhelming at first. For some businesses, a professional fryer is the primary cooking appliance, so it’s vital to understand the features and limitations of the machine before purchase.
FEATURES & BENEFITS
Power and Capacity: Whether you are expecting spikes in demand or a consistent, high turnover of food, careful consideration needs to be made to the power and oil capacity of the fryer. Higher power fryers generally heat up and recover temperature faster (sometimes called the response time), meaning more food can be cooked in a smaller time frame. Likewise, if you only use the fryer occasionally, a smaller light duty fryer could be more efficient in the long term. Although using a higher capacity fryer gives you the facility to cook more in one frying cycle, it also generally means a bigger fryer, which could use a considerable amount of valuable kitchen space.
Power type: Commercial fryers typically use gas or electricity connections, with the most powerful versions requiring a direct, permanent hardwired connection to the mains to operate effectively. With the difference between the performance of gas and electricity versions being marginal, the decision would generally be down to user preference and the availability of a gas or electricity connection.
Single tank or twin tank: The majority of commercial fryers are available in single or twin tank configurations. This relates to how many separate oil compartments there are. The main benefit of twin tank fryers is the ability to independently fry two separate food types at different temperatures without the risk of cross-contamination. In addition, a twin tank fryer is sometimes considered more efficient as you can use only the tanks that you need. Conversely, a single tank fryer can accommodate larger or more frying baskets, allowing bulk frying during busy periods.
Number of baskets: Multiple baskets allow you to cook more than one food type at a time, albeit with smaller quantities than large single baskets. Using a large single tank fryer gives you the option of using either single or multiple basket configurations depending on your menu options.
Manual or Programmable: Commercial kitchens can be pretty hectic places, so some fryers have the option to notify you when the cooking is completed. Some of the very top end fryers even raise the fryer basket for you once the food is cooked. Although programmable fryers can cost more, they can save you a significant amount of time.
Running costs: Without doubt, the most costly ongoing expense when operating a professional fryer is the cooking oil. Once oil is spent, the quality and taste of fried food can deteriorate – so oil should be changed on a regular basis. Therefore many modern fryers are designed to extend the life of its cooking oil by intelligent filtration or by implementing cool zones which prevent food sediment from burning and contaminating the oil. Due to the size and complexity of filtration systems, they are mainly seen within the stand on free standing fryers. Oil life can also be extended by manually removing food debris using a skimmer.
Used oil can usually be recycled. some companies may even pay you to collect it. Note: Used oil can quickly block drains, so make sure to dispose of it responsibly.