Commercial Deep Fryers – A Comprehensive Guide

Commercial Deep Fryers with boiling oil in a restaurant
By – The Editor
As a restaurant owner, if there’s one thing you know, it’s that fried foods are hugely popular and profitable. Efficient and high-quality food is achieved through frying consistency, and to achieve that, fryer maintenance is essential. Here General Parts Group offers a comprehensive guide for commercial deep fryers to help you understand the types available, how to use them to create crowd-pleasing dishes, and how to care for your deep fryer for optimized performance and flavor.

What is a Commercial Deep Fryer?

Commercial deep fryers are professional-grade fryers designed to prepare flavorful, deep-fried food efficiently and safely. They are available in different capacities, each with its own recommended use for specific types of foods.

How to Choose a Commercial Deep Fryer

The main considerations when choosing a deep fryer include:
● Capacity: How much food do you need to prepare each day?
● Workspace: How much space is available in your kitchen for your fryer?
● Budget: What are your budget limits and financing options?
● Menu: What are the types of food you offer on your menu, and do you need to accommodate sweet and savory options?
● Power: Can your kitchen accommodate a gas or electric fryer?

Once you decide on these factors, you can narrow down your choices.

Commercial Deep Fryer Burner Types

The most common commercial deep fryer models offer three burner types:

1. Open-Pot Fryers
Featuring an open design, this fryer’s heating element is below the fry pot for easy cleaning and maintenance.
Common use: Best for fast foods such as fries, onion rings, chicken fingers, etc.
● Open design manages high-volume cooking
● Easy cleaning and maintenance
● Not suited for high-sediment foods
● Takes longer to preheat

2. Tube-style fryer tank
This fryer gets its name from the tubes running inside the pot.
Common use: Ideal for heavier batters and high-sediment food such as mozzarella sticks.
● Helps extend oil life due to large cold zones
● Fixed heating tubes make it harder to clean

3. Flat Bottom Fryers
Flat-bottom fryers allow battered food to float without worries about the food sticking to the pot or tubes.
Common use: These fryers are best for wet batter, dough-based foods like funnel cakes and donuts, and low-density items like battered fish and shrimp.
● Free-floating frying
● No tubes obstructing the tank for easy cooking and cleaning
● Takes longer to pre-heat
● Not for high-volume cooking
● Not suited for high-sediment foods
● No cold zones call for frequent oil replacement

4. Pressure Fryers
Pressure fryers use a lid to create a pressurized cooking environment allowing you to fry at lower temperatures for less time.
Common use: This is considered the ultimate fryer for fried chicken.
● Good for high- and low-sediment foods
● Good for high-volume cooking
● Built-in oil filtration
● Cooks quickly
● Reduces greasiness
● Keeps meat moist
● Difficult to clean between elements
● Food can’t be modified while the lid is sealed

Floor Model vs. Countertop Commercial Deep Fryers

You also have your choice of floor and countertop models. Here is a comparison of the two to help you find the best model for your needs.

Countertop Fryers

Compact fryers can sit on the countertop, making them more versatile for unusual or limited kitchen designs.

Common uses: Best choice for lower budgets and kitchens with smaller kitchens such as food trucks and take-out restaurants.
● Affordable
● Easy to clean
● Takes up very little space
● Cooks smaller amounts of food

Floor Models

A floor fryer takes up a larger footprint in the kitchen as a stand-alone appliance.
Common uses: Ideal for larger, higher-volume kitchens.
● Best when selling larger quantities of food
● Designed for higher-volume cooking
● More advanced features
● Quick and efficient
● Takes up more space
● More expensive

Electric vs. Gas Commercial Fryers

If you don’t have a gas line and don’t want to worry about installing one, you only have one choice: an electric deep fryer. However, if you have a gas line or are willing to pay to run one, you can also consider a commercial gas fryer. Here is a comparison of the two:

Electric fryers provide quick, efficient cooking, offering both pros and cons for your kitchen:
● Easier to control than gas with adjustable thermostats
● Perfect for a menu that offers deep-fried items that must be cooked at different temperatures
● No open flame makes it safer
● Uses slightly less energy
● Offers models with built-in timers to shut off when food is cooked
● Easy installation and use
● Good for smaller kitchens
● Not as powerful as gas
● Doesn’t reach as high a temperature as gas, so it can limit what you cook
● Longer heat-up times
● Sometimes, it can decrease productivity, so not as good for larger batches
● More costly than gas models
● Requires a dedicated power outlet, which can be costly if you need to hire an electrician to install proper wiring and outlets
Best for: Smaller or mobile kitchens and simplified menus, such as fast food or pub classics.

Gas commercial fryers are designed for quick heat-up and larger batches cooked in a shorter time. They, too, have pros and cons, including:
● Many prefer the taste produced with gas frying
● Some view brands available as higher quality
● More efficient and productive than electric
● Lower monthly costs
● Lower maintenance
● Works well for versatile menus requiring different cooking oils or temperatures
● Reach higher temperatures
● More control when cooking
● Requires a natural gas or propane fuel source
● Can be more dangerous when used incorrectly compared to electric
● Higher maintenance than electric
● Parts are more costly for replacement or restaurant fryer repairs
● Not as suitable for smaller kitchens

Best for: Busy restaurants and commercial kitchens producing higher-end menus or larger volumes of food.

How to Improve Deep-Fried Food Quality

There are a few things you can do to improve the flavor and quality of deep-fried foods:
● If you use disposable filters, change them each session
● Oil should not be kept for longer than three months, especially in slower kitchens
● Busy kitchens should be changing the oil every week and never beyond every two weeks
● Keep the fryer clean
● Store your new oil in a dark, cool place
● Filter used oil
● Store used oil in a closed container
● Only salt food after frying

Fryer Maintenance & Boil Out Cleaning Method

To optimize your deep fryer’s performance and life, you should have a regular maintenance schedule based on a monthly, 90-day, and yearly plan. You should also regularly clean your deep fryer using the boil-out method. Boiling out residue removes stale food and grime that can contaminate food or impact flavor. It requires the following steps:
● Cool the oil
● Drain the grease
● Remove noticeable residue with a cleaning rod
● Rinse with hot water
● Fill the fryer at least 3-4″ of the top with cold water
● Add your deep-fat fryer cleaner
● Put on slow boil for 20 minutes
● Drain slowly
● Rinse

Don’t Forget the Coils

Whenever you drain your oil, make sure you brush and clean your heating coils. A long-handled fryer brush eliminates all the food debris clinging to the coils. Keeping the elements clean is essential as it ensures you aren’t burning food particles stuck on the coils as you cook. Your food tastes better and also cooks to a consistent golden brown. In addition, clean coils ensure your heating elements are performing effectively.

To help provide the highest quality food, increase efficiency, and avoid contamination, book your commercial fryer maintenance or restaurant fryer repairs using our convenient submission form or give us a call at (888) 498-1238.