Top commercial fryers for restaurants
It doesn’t matter what type of restaurant you have. No commercial kitchen can be equipped if it doesn’t have a deep fryer. This is because basically every cuisine has some deep-fried foods, and nearly all people crave them at some point.
Before heading out and buying a commercial fryer for your restaurant or food stand, though, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider. The initial decisions to make are whether you want a gas or electric model and what kind of heat-distribution system is best for your needs.
The CookRite ATFS-40, which has a thermo-tube design, is a top choice for high-volume restaurants because it comes up to temperature quickly and maintains it as you cook batch after batch of food. Plus, its high-capacity tank and dual baskets mean you can pump out plenty of fried food in a short amount of time.
What to know before you buy a commercial fryer
Commercial fryers use one of four types of heat distribution systems. These are tubes, open-pot, flat bottom and ribbon.
Tube fryers have heating elements inside the vat of oil with a large surface area. This enables them to heat the oil quickly and efficiently keep it at a consistent temperature as you drop batch after batch of food into it. There is a cool zone at the bottom of the vat in tube fryers where sediment collects to not burn.
Open-pot fryers have heating elements hidden inside the fryer’s walls rather than directly inside the oil. Though this design makes them take longer to heat up and recover the proper temperature between batches, it increases their capacity. If you compare an open-pot fryer with a tube fryer with a vat of the same size, the former will be able to accommodate more food. They are also the easiest to clean.
Flat-bottom fryers are best for liquid foods or those with a wet batter, such as donuts, funnel cakes and tempura. The design reduces the chances of food sticking to the bottom or the heating elements and maximizes capacity, eliminating the cool zone, so sediment at the bottom can quickly burn.
Ribbon fryers have elements that resemble the coil heating elements seen on traditional kitchen stovetops. The element submerges directly into the oil and may connect to the bottom of the fryer or to a control unit at the top. Ribbon elements in portable electric fryers can heat oil quickly.
Floor-standing vs. countertop
The majority of commercial fryers are either floor-standing or countertop models. Floor-standing fryers have a large capacity that makes them well suited to high-volume applications and are generally gas-fueled. Conversely, most countertop models are electric and have a lower capacity. A countertop model may be best if you have limited space in your kitchen and fried foods are only a small portion of what you serve. However, if you pump out a lot of fried food and have space in your kitchen, a floor-standing model is the way to go.
Gas vs. electric
As touched on in the previous section, fryers are either gas-fueled or electric. Depending on the model, gas-fueled fryers may use natural gas or liquid propane, both of which are more affordable energy sources than electricity. Gas also tends to heat up oil quicker. However, when it comes to natural gas models, installation can be tricky and requires a professional. Natural gas-fueled fryers also aren’t portable.
Electric models can easily be picked up and moved anywhere there is an outlet, making them a good choice for caterers. They are also an ideal option for food trucks that have generators but not natural gas connections.
Features to look for in a quality commercial fryer
British thermal units are a way of measuring how much heat a burner produces. The higher the BTU rating of a fryer, the more heat it has and the quicker it can bring the oil to the proper frying temperature.
The size of the vat dictates how much food a fryer can cook at one time. Though it may seem like a larger vat is automatically better, as it gives you the ability to cook more food when needed, you should note that it also increases the amount of oil needed.
Though rarely found in floor-standing fryers, some countertop models have a built-in timer. This can help reduce the chances of burning a batch of food in a busy kitchen.
Lids serve two purposes on commercial fryers. They help you bring the oil to the proper frying temperature more quickly, and they can help oil retain heat between uses if you turn off the fryer between batches of food.
How much can you expect to spend on a commercial fryer
Most countertop commercial fryers cost $75-$300. Floor-standing models are considerably more expensive and tend to cost $400-$3,000.
Commercial fryer FAQs
How often do I need to clean my commercial fryer?
A. How often you need to empty and clean your fryer depends on how often you use it. If you only use your fryer once every week or two for events, it is best to clean it out and empty the oil after each use.
If your restaurant uses the deep fryer daily, it is generally acceptable to empty the tank, change the oil and clean the fryer just once a week, depending on how much food you cook in it. Very high volume restaurants may need to change the oil twice a week, while lower volume restaurants may be able to go up to two weeks between oil changes. That said, it is essential to dredge out the oil of food particles daily.
Do commercial fryers require ventilation?
A. Whether or not your fryer requires ventilation depends on the model. Gas-fueled fryers should have ventilation to remove fumes and excess heat. The exception is ventless fryers that have a built-in filtration system. Most electric fryers do not require ventilation, though it is still recommended. That said, it is essential to check with your local jurisdiction, as some cities have codes that require all fryers, no matter their type, to have adequate ventilation.
What is the best commercial fryer to buy?
Top commercial fryer
CookRite ATFS-40 Commercial Deep Fryer
What you need to know: With a high capacity and powerful burners, this model is ideal for high-volume restaurants that cook many fried foods.
What you’ll love: It has a thermo-tube design that allows it to heat up quickly and maintain a consistent temperature batch after batch.
What you should consider: Its large size and heavy weight mean it takes two people to move it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top commercial fryer for the money
Bayou Classic 4-Gallon Bayou Fryer
What you need to know: This propane-fueled fryer offers the perfect balance of capacity and portability for those who set up at outdoor events regularly.
What you’ll love: It comes with two frying baskets so you can cook separate batches, and it has a V-bottom design that prevents batter and other bits that have fallen off the food from burning and giving your oil an acrid taste.
What you should consider: You need to regulate the temperature manually.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Mega Brand Dual Basket Stainless Steel Electric Countertop Deep Fryer
What you need to know: A convenient and affordably priced countertop model with a middling capacity, this fryer is a good option for food trucks and caterers.
What you’ll love: The nearly 5-foot power cord allows for placement versatility, and each tank has a separate lid that can help trap heat and odors when the fryer is not actively in use.
What you should consider: It draws a lot of power and can pop standard breakers. You can solve this by installing high-amp breakers or plugging each burner into a separate circuit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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