Improve Commercial Fryer Efficiency with These Tricks
There are some simple tricks and tips you can apply in your kitchen to get the most out of your commercial fryers. Whether that means increasing production, which in turn boosts your profits, or extending the life of your fryer oil, this advice can yield great returns.
To help you ensure you’re putting your commercial deep fryer to the best use, we worked with our friends at fryer manufacturer Pitco to compile this list.
Commercial Fryer Preparation
- Do not overfill the frypot with fryer oil. Doing so will reduce the efficiency of your commercial fryer, can cause serious burns and even fires if there is overflow, and can lead to degradation of the quality of your oil.
- Before first use, scrub the frypot out with a commercial fryer cleaner or soapy water to remove any residue from manufacturing or shipping. Fully rinse the frypot, then boil it clean by filling it with water and using the fryer element to bring it to a rolling boil for about 15 minutes, then turn the element off. When the water cools, completely drain the frypot and wipe it dry. After that, there are two schools of thought. The folks at Pitco recommend allowing the frypot to air dry for several hours or, preferably, overnight before adding fryer oil. Others will advise you to dry the pot thoroughly and then fill the pot immediately with oil to avoid the potential for rust development. The best guidance can be found in the manual for your fryer.
- Position your commercial deep fryers away from any water source. Water splashing into hot fryer oil can splatter the boiling liquid onto those nearby.
- Oil splatters can make the floor around your fryer very slippery. Put slip-resistant mats on the floor around it to prevent serious injuries.
Getting Food Ready for Commercial Fryers
- Allow the fryer to reach the proper cooking temperature, typically 350 degrees, before adding food to the oil. This will ensure even cooking and promote efficiency.
- Fill fry baskets over a bin for catching crumbs, rather than over the frypot. Sediment from the food building up in the unit will reduce the efficiency of your fryer and give your fryer oil a burnt taste, which ruins your food. Additionally, ice crystals can fall off the food, which significantly lowers the temperature of the oil and can cause splatter that can burn the operator.
- Don’t overfill your fry baskets. Filling to the right level, between half and three-quarters full, will provide a properly fried product and help keep food from “swimming” out of the basket during cooking.
Safe and Efficient Commercial Fryer Cooking
- Always place the first basket of food over the frypot’s temperature probe. As it brings the temperature of the fryer oil down, the sensor will turn the elements up, giving a pulse of heat that will help maintain the set temperature. Wait a few moments, then add the second basket.
- Frying foods that are not properly thawed can be risky. Build-up of ice on the outside of the product can cause violent fryer oil splatters that can burn people. However, some foods come with the recommendation that they be cooked frozen. When dealing with those, shake the fry basket away from the fryer after you’ve put the food in it to get rid of any ice crystals.
- Move the basket to a dump station to dump and season the product. Never season it over the frypot.
Steps to Keep Commercial Fryers in Optimal Condition
- Filter your fryer oil at least once a day to remove crumbs that can carbonize in the fryer oil, degrading its quality and flavor. Replace the filter paper and powder after each use. This will extend the life of your fryer oil and protects the flavor of your food.
- Thoroughly scrub out the frypot weekly to remove any sticking debris on the tank sides and on or around the element. The Pitco folks equate this to the ring of residue that can form around the inside of your bath tub, though soap scum doesn’t degrade the flavor of food and reduce the efficiency of commercial deep fryers.
- Every couple weeks, while the fryer oil is out of your commercial fryer for filtering, use a fryer cleaner or soapy water and a rag to wipe out the frypot. Thoroughly rinse the frypot and fill it with clean water, then boil that water by turning on the heating element. Turn the heat off, allow the water to cool, drain the frypot, and wipe the tank out with a dry cloth. As noted above, follow your fryer manufacturer’s instructions on either allowing to air dry or filling immediately with oil.
- Clean the fryer, hood, and surrounding equipment regularly to remove any grease that may have accumulated there through splatters or vapors.