A Filter a Day Keeps the Commercial Fryer Repair Person Away
Best-practice recommendations call for filtering the oil in your commercial fryer every single day, twice if your fryer gets heavy use. But, we recognize that in the real world, most places just don’t dedicate the time – or maybe don’t realize the value of it – to filter fryer oil that frequently. While it may seem like filtering every day is excessive, ignoring the process can ruin your food, and force you to spend more on fryer oil and utility bills. In worst-case scenarios, it can shut down commercial fryers and even cause grease fires.
The most expensive part of operating a restaurant fryer isn’t buying the unit or paying for the power; it’s keeping the thing supplied with fryer oil. Not filtering regularly will increase those costs by shortening the life of your oil, which will become dark or foul-smelling as sediment in the unit carbonizes. It will also thicken, which will decrease the efficiency of your commercial fryer. Meanwhile, the compromised oil decreases the quality of your food, which could cost you your most important asset: Customers.
Regular filtering can easily double the life of your fryer oil. So, if you’re changing out your oil twice a week now, a filtering plan can cut that to once a week. That means you’re using half the oil, which will save you big. Plus, you’re not expending the employee hours to change out the oil in your commercial fryers as frequently, which also helps you save money and helps your kitchen run more efficiently.
If you’re comparing two similar commercial fryers, one priced for $900 without a filtration system and another for $5,000 with one, it might seem easy to sacrifice that option. But, you should know that more expensive model is likely to save you as much as $15,000 over the life of the unit through efficiency improvements and reduced oil costs.
Using a Commercial Fryer Oil Filter System
The best bet when it comes to oil filtering is to keep the manual handy and follow its directions. If your unit has a filtration system built-in, it should come with a manual on usage. If not, the portable fryer filter you purchase should be shipped with that document. For commercial fryers with an integrated filter system, the process will be little harder than pushing some buttons, pulling a knob, and replacing the filter paper. There are only a couple more steps when using a portable filtration system.
For manual filtering, the process will vary by filtration system. However, the process is likely to include most or all of the following steps:
- Turn the commercial fryer off and allow the fryer oil to cool. To avoid losing time while you wait for that to happen – it can take upwards of 7 hours – consider allowing this to happen overnight.
- Don your protective gloves and, if available, an apron to prevent splatters, particularly if the oil has not completely cooled. However, you should not filter if the temperature of the fryer oil is above 105 degrees.
- Using the manual, determine where the oil will drain from the unit. Depending on what type of commercial fryer you have, you may be dealing with a drain valve, a removable spout, a lifting container, or even the instruction to tilt the entire unit.
- Place a piece of fryer filter paper over a metal or heat-resistant plastic container that is big enough to accommodate all the oil in your fryer. Empty the fryer oil through the filter paper and into the container while that basin is sitting on the floor or another level surface. When all the oil has drained, be sure to shut off the valve or other control that keeps oil in the frypot so it’s ready to be refilled.
- While the fryer is empty, use the provided rod in the case of a tube type fryer or a clean cloth to clear the frypot of sediment. On a regular basis, wash the inside of the frypot using a cleaning product like Pitco frialator cleaner or soapy water. Simply close the drain and fill the frypot to about 3 or 4 inches from the top, then turn the burners on and allow the water mixture to come to and stay at a boil for about 15 minutes. Be sure to drain any runoff into a different container than the one holding your fryer oil. Make certain you thoroughly rinse any soap out of the frypot and the drainage system and dry the frypot completely. Remember, water and hot oil don’t mix.
- Once the fryer is clean, enlist another person to help you lift the container of filtered fryer oil and pour the liquid back into the frypot. Once your commercial fryer achieves proper cooking temperatures, you’re ready to fry again.
The process for keeping commercial fryers clean really is not complicated. However, if you have any questions, please feel free to call one of KaTom Restaurant Supply’s helpful customer service representatives at 800-541-8683.