How to Pick a Commercial Fryer for Your Restaurant

Every great restaurant needs a great commercial fryer, an appliance designed to deep-fry large quantities of foods like French fries, cheese sticks, chicken and more. What should you look for when considering a fryer purchase? There are several factors that you should consider, and this article will help you find the perfect fryer for your needs.

Fryer Types

How will you use your fryer? Do you have a traditional commercial kitchen, or are you in a food truck? The space you have to work with will largely determine the specific model you purchase. Regardless of the model, all deep fryers heat oil to the desired temperature and contain a basket for submerging your foods in the hot oil. Once fully cooked, raise the basket out and drain off the excess oil for deep-fried deliciousness.

Countertop fryers are great if you don’t prepare a lot of fried foods or if what you fry it in small proportions. They take up minimal space and some models are ventless because they come with top-tier filtration.

Floor fryers are the units more commonly seen in large restaurants that sell a high volume of food in general and fried foods specifically. If you need a constant-use fryer, this is your best option. Floor fryers come in either gas or electric models; the electric ones can have a regular 110V power source or can come in a 220V source as well, so be sure to pay attention. Many floor fryers have one basket or can have multiple baskets to handle a much higher volume. Some of the baskets are manual lift while others have programmable controls to lower, time and lift the basket.

One important consideration for your fryer unit will be to ensure proper ventilation, which is mandated by the city or state for specific pieces of kitchen cooking equipment. Make sure you pay attention to requirements for hood ventilation or invest in a ventless fryer model that features a filtration system, thus eliminating the need for a hood. Ventless fryers are more versatile because they can be used anywhere. Drop-in fryers are designed to fit inside a countertop cutout, and you might consider this great space-saving option. The fryer stays flush with the counter so it makes prep easier and it looks great if you have an open-kitchen restaurant concept.

Depending on what you are cooking, you may need a specialty fryer. Donuts, for example, need to be cooked in shallow oil pots, and there are specialty fryers built just for this purpose. Perhaps you need a fryer for outdoor use, such as catering or large group functions. Outdoor units are mobile and typically gas-powered to be more convenient for this specific type of use.

Important Considerations

When it comes to fryers, consider power source, durability and configuration.

Depending on your kitchen layout, the power source may be an important deciding factor or even a limiting factor regarding the fryer you ultimately purchase. Electric fryer heating elements directly contact the oil and are typically much more heat-efficient once they heat up. They’re also easier to install because they don’t have to be hooked up to a gas line.

A gas fryer can be fueled by a natural gas line or a propane tank. The heating elements sit inside or outside the pot. Gas is a very efficient heating source; these fryers heat up faster. However, their location in your kitchen is dictated by the gas line, and you will likely not be able to ever reconfigure your kitchen to move the fryer elsewhere.

You should also pay attention to the burner configuration, which can include open pot burners, tube burners, ribbon burners or flat-bottom burners. Additionally, consider the durability of the unit. Fryers are rated for light duty, medium duty or heavy-duty, so choose the one that best fits your cooking volume. Fryers usually range from 11 to 34 inches wide, but can be special ordered up to about 95-inch widths.

Finally, consider the controls that come with the unit, and select those that best fit your needs, such as programmable cooking times, automatic basket lifts, and automatic oil filtration systems.

At Texas Restaurant Supply, we know fryers! We hope we’ve given you a lot to think about. Here’s to fabulous frying!