In almost every type of restaurant, you’ll find a need for a fryer. Whether you’re building a new kitchen from scratch, or you’re a seasoned professional, you’ll eventually find yourself in the market for a new fryer. Shopping for a new fryer can be an ominous task. There are so many different types, sizes and brands, it’s hard to know where to start!
Fryers are available in both gas and electric models. If you’re buying your first one, you should look at the costs of gas versus that of electric fryers. It used to be commonly thought that gas was the most popular and economical way to fry foods, but with the rising costs of natural gas, that may no longer be true for you.
Fryer size is usually measured by its oil capacity, meaning the amount of oil the basin can hold. General purpose floor fryers have oil capacity between 30-50 lbs. Large chicken/fish fryers have 60-80 lbs. capacity.
What do you need? While that definitely depends on what kind of output you’re looking for, we suggest that you opt for a larger capacity for faster recovery. Recovery is the amount of time it takes for the fryer to heat the oil back to starting temperature after the cold food is dropped in. A faster recovery means the fryer oil temperature drops less and recovers faster to maintain proper cooking temperatures and greater production. Low oil temperatures and low recovery fryers result in soggy and longer cooked products.
Always buy a stainless steel pot. They are easier to clean and last much longer. Look for a minimum 5 year warranty on the stainless steel pot. Most higher quality brands offer a lifetime warranty. Avoid the expense of a leaky pot by always getting a stainless steel pot.
A sediment zone is where the excess breading and small pieces of food collect as they fall off during cooking. There are three different types of sediment zones or “cool zones” for the fryer, open-pot, tube-type and flat bottom.
These fryers have an open bottom and unobstructed heated area. They have fast recovery and are easier to clean than a tube type fryer. They have a smaller sediment zone which makes them ideal for lightly breaded foods, such as french fries.
Tube type fryers are best suited to heavily breaded products like fish and chicken because they capture the sediments that occur while frying in a larger cool zone. This larger zone is a bit harder to clean because the tube shaped heating elements are permanently fixed in place.
These fryers have no sediment zone and are designed for frying delicate items that float to the top, for example, tortilla chips and funnel cake. Because there is no defined sediment zone, the food can cook to the bottom and possibly burn, ruining the flavor of the food, and making it difficult to clean.
Casters are a must – for mobility and easier cleaning. Oftentimes, casters are required by health departments.
A pot cover when the fryer is not in use is an inexpensive and useful tool.
Consider a filter to get the most life out of your oil. Specially woven filter paper allows the free flow of oil while capturing food particles, sediment and other contaminants.
As with any gas appliance, be sure and include a new AGA commercial gas flex hose. They are designed extremely heavy duty, usually with a brass quick disconnect. Standard, plumber supplied home-type flex hoses are not designed for commercial applications and are not NSF approved.
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