A Guide to the Right Floor Model Commercial Gas Fryer or Electric Commercial Fryer for Your Kitchen

Find the Best Fryer for Your Food Service Operation
Potatoes in a commercial fryer

It’s a well-established fact that frying makes most foods more delicious, whether it’s chickens or candy bars. That’s why essentially every commercial kitchen worth its salt has at least one boiling vat of oil in the kitchen. But picking out the best fryer for your fine diner can be a little daunting. Fortunately, KaTom is here to help!

KaTom offers thousands of floor model commercial fryers at great prices, but choosing the perfect one – or more – for your kitchen all comes down to one question: What’s for dinner? That’s because what you’re cooking is the main consideration in choosing the best fryer for your needs, so set aside thoughts of BTUs and automatic filtration for a minute, and think only about delicious fried foods.

Comparing Open Pot, Tube Type, Flat Bottom, and Ribbon Fryers

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Open Pot FryersTube Type FryersFlat Bottom FryersRibbon Fryers
Gas or Electric?Fryer Maintenance

The Open Pot Fryer

Open Pot Fryer Diagram

The best fryer for foods like: Most pre-breaded edibles, from cheese sticks to poppers to the beloved French fry. Open pot fryers are best for commercial kitchens preparing low-sediment foods, those that don’t shed a lot of breading, but they can be used for high-sediment dishes as long as you’re ready to clean your fryer very regularly.

Frymaster MJ45E-SD

How open pot fryers work: These units are called open pot fryers because the commercial gas fryer has heating elements outside the frypot, which means the whole space is clear. The electric commercial fryer has an element inside the pot, but the majority of the frypot space is still open. That’s why they’re perfect for fryer baskets, which should be shaken prior to bringing them into the cooking area to reduce sedimentation.

Open pot fryers are also fairly easy to clean for the same reason, with a sediment collection area, or cold zone, at the bottom, right next to the filtration drain. The heating elements in the electric commercial fryer swing up and out of the frypot to allow for easy cleaning.

Pros: Open pot fryers are easy to clean and great for pre-breaded foods.

Cons: An open pot fryer can have slow heat recovery; the frypot drain can become clogged if not cleaned regularly or if your commercial kitchen is producing high-sediment foods.

You can learn more about choosing the right open pot fryer, shop KaTom’s full selection of open pot fryers, go back to the top of this buying guide, or keep reading for information on other types of commercial fryers.

The Tube Type Fryer

Tube Type Fryer Diagram

The best fryer for foods like:These units are the jacks of all trade in the commercial fryer family, capable of handling almost anything battered or breaded your commercial kitchen could throw at them. They’re great if you’re planning to prepare foods like chicken or catfish by hand, make onion rings or cook anything else high sediment.

Vulcan LG300LP

How tube type fryers work: Again, the name says it all. Each tube type fryer has tubular heating elements contained in the frypot, with large sediment collection zones below them. That gives them the ability to handle foods that drop more, although it can be tough to completely clean a tube type fryer because material can get stuck under the tubes. That’s an issue not only because it can impact the flavor of the food you’re preparing in your commercial fryer, but also because that sediment can promote the breakdown of the oil, shortening its useful life and leading to more expense from replacing it.

KaTom sells tube type fryers that can handle normal demands, as well as large capacity ones, that are great for busy commercial kitchens and bigger items like fish filets. However, you won’t find an electric commercial fryer among the mix when it comes to tube type fryers; your only option in this category is a commercial gas fryer.

Pros: Tube type fryers can handle both low and high sediment foods; large collection area keeps sediment away from cooking items.

Cons: A tube type fryer can be more difficult to clean and the frypot drain in this type of commercial fryer can become clogged, requiring a rod to clear it.

You can learn more about choosing the right tube type fryer, shop KaTom’s full selection of tube type fryers, go back to the top of this buying guide, or keep reading for information on other types of commercial fryers.


The Flat Bottom Fryer

Flat Bottom Fryer Diagram

The best fryer for foods like: Funnel cakes, tempura and wet-battered fish do great in these fryers, as do unusual things like fried butter, and candy bars. Basically, either a flat-bottom fryer or a ribbon fryer is likely the best fryer for you if you plan to sell a lot of food at state fairs or if you intend to fry battered foods.

Gold Medal 5099NS FB

How flat bottom fryers work: If you haven’t noticed the trend by now and guessed, the frypot on a flat bottom fryer is a big square with a flat bottom. That means there is no sediment zone as there is on each commercial fryer detailed so far, so while some of those remnants will float to the top and can be scooped out – some commercial kitchens have built reputations on those delicious little pieces – the rest will collect at the bottom. Like those little bits, foods that are right for a flat bottom fryer may initially sink in the oil, but will float at the top by the time they’re ready.

Like the tube type fryer, the flat bottom fryer is only available as a commercial gas fryer; there is no electric commercial fryer model of the flat bottom fryer. That’s because there is no element in these models; gas is burnt below the frypot to provide the heat needed to cook in this type of commercial fryer. If you want a similar design but you need an electric commercial fryer, read on to learn about the ribbon fryer.

Pros: Flat bottom fryers are great for battered and specialty foods.

Cons: Cleaning a flat bottom fryer is a challenge; sediment can carbonize if not cleaned out, giving a burnt flavor to food; oil takes longer to heat and recover heat between batches than in other types.

You can learn more about choosing the right flat bottom fryer, shop KaTom’s full selection of flat bottom fryers, go back to the top of this buying guide, or keep reading for information on other types of commercial fryers.

The Ribbon Fryer

Ribbon Fryer

The best fryer for foods like: These commercial fryers are sort of a hybrid between a tube type fryer and a flat bottom fryer, so the menu is sort of an amalgam of what those two are good at: funnel cakes, French fries, and breaded foods, among other things.

Gold Medal 8078 Ribbon Fryer

How ribbon fryers work: A thin, ribbon-like metal element circles through the bottom of these commercial fryers, providing heat in a similar method as a tube type fryer. With more surface area to the element than in a tube type fryer, however, the oil can be heated faster and recover its heat more rapidly.

Ribbon fryers offer wider, shallower frypots than other floor model fryers, which makes them especially well-suited for foods like funnel cake, but they could be the best fryer for you if your commercial kitchen mostly produces foods that float in the fryer. Those that sink can get burnt by the shallow elements in some ribbon-style fryers. As mentioned above, that sediment can also speed the breakdown of the oil in your commercial fryer, which can mean you end up spending more money on replacing it if you don’t perform regular cleaning.

Also as noted above, the ribbon fryer is an electric commercial fryer; there is no commercial gas fryer in this category.

Pros: The element in ribbon fryers allows for quicker heat up and recovery of heat; wide frypots allow for multiple fryer baskets or foods to be in the oil at the same time, both of which are important for a busy commercial kitchen.

Cons: Food debris can become lodged under the fryer element in a ribbon fryer, requiring draining and cleaning; food can come into contact with element, leading to burning; while shallower than some other types, requires more oil than a flat-bottom fryer because of the element being in the frypot.

You can learn more about choosing the right ribbon fryer by reading on. You can also shop KaTom’s full selection of ribbon fryers or go back to the top of this buying guide.

Bringing the Heat: Is a Commercial Gas Fryer or an Electric Commercial Fryer the Best Fryer for You?

Commercial Fryers

For years, this was an easy choice for many restaurateurs, with gas considerably cheaper for high-demand uses like cooking. That’s changing now, with the variable price of the fuel and the relative stability of electricity in many areas, it may not be immediately clear which is the best fryer power for your area. If you want help comparing the sources and potential costs of each, please feel free to contact us at info@katom.com.

A commercial gas fryer can offer clean, efficient heat that is even and dependable. Gas is also the only source that will work with all four types of fryer. As noted earlier in this guide, electric isn’t an option for those who want to operate a tube type fryer.

The open pot fryer and ribbon fryer are both available as an electric commercial fryer, the ribbon fryer exclusively as such, and can provide an attractive alternative, with several advantages over gas. These commercial fryers keep the kitchen cleaner and cooler because they don’t have a flue, and operate more quietly for the same reason. They also recover heat more quickly than gas between batches and after filtration, putting them in the running for best fryer for busy kitchens.

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Keeping Commercial Fryers Clean: Filtering and Maintenance

Provided you take regular steps to maintain whichever commercial fryer you choose, it will work better for longer, as will your oil, meaning cost savings and a better food product.

Pitco fryer filter

There is daily work that must be done to extend the lives of commercial fryers and the liquid gold they heat. The oil must be filtered regularly, sometimes multiple times a day, depending on how heavy the usage is. Even the best fryer needs that attention. Fortunately, filtration is an easy process, which involves draining the oil through a system that cleans out impurities. It’s such a quick effort that it can be completed even during the lunch hour rush, provided there’s an alternate fryer to take over the workload for about 10 or 15 minutes.

Once every day or two, again depending on usage, commercial fryers should undergo a serious cleaning. That involves not only clearing out all the sediment, but regularly washing the frypot out by boiling water in it. After that process, it’s critical to ensure that all water has been removed from the frypot, because leaving it there can cause the oil to pop when it’s heated, potentially burning those around or even starting a fire.

Katom has a wide range of filtration systems for every commercial fryer, along with the accessories that go with them. Some of them come built in with the fryer, while others are portable. Built-ins are typically cleaner and allow for a quicker change out of the oil, with many equipped with automatic pumps to push the oil back into the pot. Portables can be cheaper for restaurants with multiple fryers because one can service all the units and are also easier to replace.

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Trust KaTom to Help you Make Your Commercial Fryer Choice

If you want more help choosing the right commercial fryer for your kitchen or if you're ready to buy, please contact one of our helpful customer service representatives at 1-800-541-8683 or by e-mail at info@katom.com.