Fast food chicken dynasties have been built on the speed and efficiency of this fryer. Like a traditional fryer, these cook using hot oil, but can achieve quicker cooking times with the addition of pressure and steam, which speeds up the cooking process. This quick cooking is what makes these so valuable for fast food chains. Before them, chicken couldn't be cooked rapidly enough be a viable quick service concept.
Sizing should be the first factor to consider when shopping for one of these fryers. The most common way to describe the size of a commercial pressure fryer is by its oil capacity. Capacities range between 48 and 75 pounds, and should not be confused with the capacity of products that can be fried in the unit. That number is smaller, typically around 1/4 the oil capacity of any given unit. For example, a fryer with a 48-lb. oil capacity will cook approximately 14-lbs. of products in one batch.
Based on that number, choose a fryer that's large enough to accommodate as much as you intend on frying per batch. It is sometimes better to go with two smaller fryers instead of one large one, especially if you're frying two different recipes or two types of products. Either way, having two fryers will let you stagger your batches for quicker order turnaround. It's important never to exceed the capacity of your fryer. Overloading a pressure fryer cooker will lower the temperature of the oil, slow down cooking, and create a soggy product as a result.
An automatic top off feature will keep oil at the ideal level, saving on labor time and preventing you from ever frying in oil that's too low. Low oil levels can cause your fryer to overheat, potentially burning food and damaging your equipment.
Programmable controls allow you to create custom cooking programs for specific menu items. Once they've been stored in the machine, these programs can be recalled at the press of a button. These make operation simple, so training on the machine will take less time, and they can bring you more consistent results from one batch to the next.