Ever since Roman times, deep frying or deep-cooking has been culturally prevalent. Though now a part of all cuisines across Europe, Asia, and Africa, deep-frying was chiefly popularized by the Scots & the Irish. They brought their deep-frying techniques across the Atlantic, and over the last two centuries, their technique has been improved upon by cultures the world over. As tastes developed, people soon became hooked to the taste of deep-fried items. Be it kids or adults; everyone likes fries, cheese balls, nuggets, and crispy chicken (to name a few). To add lip-smacking deep-fried items to your menu, you need the right kind of commercial fryer that is efficient, durable and serves its purpose. To help your purchase, we discuss commercial fryers, their types, the things to look out for before you buy one, and a list of the top 5 fryers you can buy from Chef Buyer.
What is a Commercial Fryer?
A deep fryer or a commercial fryer is an essential kitchen appliance for restaurants, food and beverage joints, and other commercial kitchens. Commercial fryers are primarily used for deep frying appetizers and entrees. They include a heating element that super-heats the oil to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When a raw food product is dipped in this superheated oil, moisture inside the raw food is retained and only the outer layer is affected by the oil. The purpose of a commercial deep fryer is to heat the food inside out, where the outer layer turns crispy and the interior part of the food remains tender. Commercial fryers are primarily made of stainless steel, and they may also include temperature control knobs, digital thermostats, digital timers, and complex filtration systems. They are mostly powered by electricity or gas, and you can use different types of cooking or frying oils, like vegetable oil or canola oil. The most popular commercial fryer types are drop-in fryers, free-standing fryers, and countertop fryers.
The Different Types of Commercial Fryers
It’s easy to get overwhelmed while searching for the ideal commercial fryer for your kitchen because of its variety. It’s important to carefully consider the type of fryer that best suits your needs. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you buy the commercial fryer that is perfect for your kitchen:
Commercial Fryers According to Design:
Countertop Fryers: These fryers provide a perfect blend between the utility of space and performance. If frying isn't the central part of your food business, then these commercial countertop fryers are perfect for your work. They are excellent for your restaurant, food truck, and concession stand. They deliver crispy food items while taking up minimal space.
Ventless Countertop Fryers: These commercial fryers are slightly different from the countertop model. The main difference is that the ventless fryers are enclosed from all sides, and fumes escape through an internal ventilation system. These are perfect for places that lack ventilation. Most of the ventless countertop fryers have a top-notch filtration system. Another key benefit of these fryers is that they also increase the lifecycle of the oil. Ventless fryers are best for small QSR outlets, small to mid-scale restaurants, food trucks, and taverns.
Floor Fryers: If you’re looking for fryers for large-scale restaurants and food establishments, these are the best type of restaurant fryers. They come in different shapes and sizes and are available with different power sources, as gas floor flyers, and electric floor flyers. They are best suited for fine dining restaurants, fast food restaurants, QSR or quick-service restaurants, hotels, and corporate kitchens.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Commercial Fryer
There are a few factors that you should consider before buying a commercial fryer:
1.The Power Source:
Gas or Electric Commercial Deep Fryer
While looking for a commercial fryer, you will come across gas or electric-powered fryers. There are a few differences between the two, but the primary difference is that an electric deep fryer is powered by electricity while a gas-powered deep fryer uses liquid propane or natural gas.
Benefits of a Gas-Powered Fryer:
You can use it for high-volume items
It heats quickly
It can maintain high temperatures throughout the cooking cycle
Benefits of an Electric-powered Fryer:
It’s easier to set up
It has a low carbon footprint
It is more mobile as is not linked to additional components
It is highly efficient as it can recover heat quickly
2.The Type of Burner:
Different types of restaurant fryers come with different burner configurations:
Tube-Type: As the name suggests, these fry pots have multiple tubes placed above the base of the fry pot. This section is also known as the ‘cold zone’ because sediments are collected at the base of the fry pot without any overheating issues. These are the perfect choice for highly sedimented items like cheese sticks, fish, or anything that requires frequent frying. It’s difficult to clean tube-type fry pots due to their structure, but with these fry pots you can save a lot of oil and they are pretty versatile.
Open-Pot: These fry pots have a narrow ‘V’ shape container, which translates into a smaller-than-average cold zone. Open-pot is heated externally and is suited for foods that generate small amounts of sediment like chicken wings, chicken nuggets, French fries, onion rings, hash browns, or cheese balls. They’re effortless to clean and maintain, and they’re the most affordable fry pots in the market. These fry pots are generally less energy-efficient but are quite durable.
Flat-Bottom: These fry pots are also externally heated, but the base of these fry pots is flat. These are best for making doughnuts. Here you need to place the battered content at the base of the fry pot, as it gradually rises while cooking. They do not include a cold zone, and this may occasionally result in a burned taste. As a result, the flat-bottom fry pot is not recommended for other types of frying or cooking.
Ribbon: A ribbon fryer has a ribbon-like element that is placed at the base of the fryer, which is excellent for heating and heat recovery. But these burners are difficult to clean behind the ribbon since food items can touch the element and get burned.
It’s important to consider the durability factor before buying a commercial fryer. Commercial fryers offer any of the three below usages according to their requirements:
Light-Duty: These are best for low-volume requirements, like in a deli, food trucks, and small restaurants.
Medium-Duty: They can handle low volume requirements, but can also be used continuously.
Heavy-Duty: Heavy-duty commercial fryers are perfect for large-scale restaurants and fast food joints where the focus is on fried items. These are entirely robust and can handle continuous usage throughout the day.
Space is a tricky issue faced by small, medium, and large-scale restaurants alike because the usage of a fryer can vary by business type and size. Most fryers come in 11” to 34” variations, but a few large fryers can go up to 94”. The capacities of these fryers may also vary and can go up to 400-500 lbs.
5. Functionality and Controls:
Programmable Controls: Some of the most advanced deep-fryers can send notifications based on cooking time and other factors.
Oil Filtration: The best commercial deep fryers have an advanced oil filtration system that saves a lot of time and increases the fryer's durability.
Energy Efficiency: The best energy-efficient models have internal blower systems that are powered by an electric motor that can push or pull heat from the combustion unit.
The Top 4 Commercial Fryers for Restaurants
In this list, we rank and discuss the four most popular commercial fryers available at Chef Buyer.
Vulcan 1GR85M 85-90 lb. Natural Gas Floor Fryer
The Vulcan 1GR85M-1 Fryer has an oil capacity of 85-90 lbs., and is packed with great features that make frying an easy experience. It has a 19 ½”x19” frying area and the tube-fryer can deliver 150k BTUs of power to its twin fry baskets. The fryer is equipped with advanced millivolt controls, and the temperature of the fryer can be adjusted between 200-400 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes a high-limit indicator for safety that shuts off the gas supply if the oil temperature exceeds a specific limit.
Anets GoldenFry 3 35-50 lb. Gas Floor Fryer with Filter Mate Filter System
The Anets GoldenFry Gas Floor fryer comes with three baskets for continuous cooking. It can deliver 333,000 BTUs worth of power and it comes with a FilterMate filtering system. The fryer is made of stainless steel and is highly durable. It also comes with five envelope filter papers for advanced filtration and millivolt controls for setting the temperature and thermostat.
Frymaster RE14 High-Efficiency Fryer
The Frymaster fryer has ASTM energy efficiency ratings of 83% and more. It exceeds the ENERGY STAR standards and is incredibly energy efficient. It has a CM3.5 controller, 8-½” adjustable legs, and twin fry baskets. It also has a large cold zone with a sloping base to collect sediments that can be removed later. The thermostat provides precise temperature readings, and it also has electronic switching devices.
Pitco SSH60 Solstice Supreme 51 - 90 lb
The Pitco Solstice supreme gas fryer comes with a 14”x18” tank area with 80,000 BTUs/hr power delivery because of PITCO’s patented Solstice Burner Technology. The fryer is equipped with advanced solid-state controls and an optional digital controller that includes two timers and 12 adjustable timers provided by the Intellifry I12 system. The fryer has a 1-¼” full port drain, which helps in emptying the tank immediately.
There are a lot of options in the market when it comes to deep fryers, but in the end, you should choose the right commercial deep fryer according to the needs of your food business. Chef Buyer provides complete commercial kitchen solutions along with buying guides and informative content so that you can make the right choice for your commercial kitchen.