A fryer can be a great way to cook up high profit menu items that are actually healthy too – but it’s important to choose the right equipment for your specific operation so you don’t end up wasting valuable time and resources.
Here’s a few things to consider when shopping for a commercial fryer.
Open pot fryers have heating conductors outside the frypot and deep internal sediment collection zones. They perform well in many frying applications, but are ideal for light- to medium-breaded items such as French fries and prepackaged foods. This type of fryer allows every inch of the frypot to be easily accessed and cleaned.
Tube type fryers have heating conductors inside the frypot and wide sediment collections zones below the conductor tubes, making them the best choice for foods that are fresh battered or heavily breaded, such as fresh fish and onion blossoms.
Flat-bottomed fryers have no sediment collection zones making this type of fryer best suited for food items that float on top of the oil during the fry cycle. Wet battered fish is ideal for this fryer.
According to Frymaster’s Fit Frying website, one of the major trends right now involves small plates, mini meals, appetizers, and little bites.
“Whether experimenting with flavors, or thinking about weight control, people are interested in ‘portioned indulgence.'”
Leading snacks include calamari, wings, cheese sticks, and fried zucchini, all of which can easily be handled by a 10, 15 or 30 lb. capacity countertop fryer.
For more information, check out Frymaster’s 5 Factors for Fit Frying.
Other models are specifically designed for preparing high volumes of breaded chicken and fish.
Next consider what percentage of your menu you’ll be using the fryer to prepare. If your establishment specializes in catfish, French fries and chicken tenders, you could be using the fryer for up to 90% of all dishes prepared. However, if you’re only using the equipment for a few small appetizers, you probably don’t need a 90 lb. fryer.
Also think about the space you have available in your kitchen and the flow from one end to the other. According to NAFEM, proper flow will prevent backtracking by personnel, decreased productivity and inefficient use of labor.
Gas vs. Electric
Ask a product consultant whether a gas or electric fryers is right for you. It may depend on how your kitchen is equipped, recovery time and energy efficiency. In addition, some gas fryers may also require an electrical connection.
What else do you need to go with your fryer? All gas fryers require a safety quick disconnect hose. The quick-disconnect prevents accidental disconnects when gas is on, eliminating the chance of gas leaks. The gas connector cannot be disconnected until the gas valve is shut off and cannot be opened until the gas connector is properly attached.
Last, most floor fryer models also offer the option of locking casters for added portability.