What to look for in a commercial deep fryer
Which size do you need?
Before going for a particular brand or model, it’s important to figure out how much food will you be frying in one single batch. While most people choose these appliances for cooking french fries, they can also cook other foods like chicken wings, chicken nuggets, onion rings, and more.
Commercial deep fryers come in various sizes: 2 pounds, 4 pounds, 6 pounds or 8.5 pounds. Depending on the size you pick, you can serve about 4 to 7 customers with a single batch of fried foods. If your business is more on the catering side where you’ll be serving meals for around 5 people, then anything from 2-pound up to 6 pounds should be perfect. However, if you’re planning to cater and sell fries at the same time, you should look for a fryer with a higher capacity.
When choosing the size of unit you need, keep in mind that most manufacturers will suggest that you buy the largest unit possible. This might feel counterintuitive because if you think about it, smaller units are more energy-efficient and they’ll fit nicely on your food truck or stand. However, there are plenty of reasonable arguments in favor of a bigger capacity fryer, more on that later.
Electric or Gas Fryers?
If you have a gas line on your food truck, there’s no need to worry about choosing between an electric or gas fryer. If not, then it will come down to personal preferences and the power source that’s available to you.
Electric deep fryers are more energy-efficient than gas, but if you’re in a place with no easy access to an electrical outlet, you may need to consider a generator to run it. Otherwise, you’ll either need to run an extension cord or risk cooking during off-peak hours. They also require a larger footprint and although they don’t cost as much as gas-powered fryers, the initial investment can be quite high considering other factors.
Gas-powered fryers are more powerful and they’re suitable for remote areas where you can’t connect to a power source. They’re also better when it comes to cooking large batches of food as fast as possible and don’t require an extension cord if the space is available, but this depends on how many burners you have. If you’re looking for a gas-powered unit with 3 or more burners, then you’ll end up paying more than what you would for an electric one.
Countertop or a floor model?
The choice between a countertop or floor model mostly depends on the space you have available. When it comes to price, countertop fryers tend to be cheaper compared to floor models because of their compact design and size. Floor fryers, on the other hand, are better in terms of functionality and capacity.
Unless you have a very large food truck, then you have no room to accommodate a floor fryer with its table-like stand. So if your kitchen is already cramped and cluttered up, then opting for an indented tabletop unit will save you the hassle.
Ease of use and safety features
While modern deep fryers are very easy to use, you’ll still want something that’s easy to clean and doesn’t require much maintenance. No one wants a unit that will break down after 3 or 4 years because it can be quite costly at times. If you’re worried about the risk of fire while cooking with oil, then go for an explosion-proof model with a built-in fire detection system. One of most reliable brand is Henny Penny, an American manufacturer of commercial grade food equipment based in Eaton, Ohio.
In a busy kitchen, you want something that will not only save time and effort but safety. Having to put on gloves just to check the oil level or lift a heavy container of hot oil can be dangerous and take its toll on your back in no time. Look for a fryer with detachable baskets and an outside hook if possible because it’ll make things much easier for you.
Price vs performance ratio
This is a general rule for nearly every commercial kitchen equipment and choosing a high-quality product that delivers better value for money is always the best choice.
Price: Deep fryers range in price from $50 up to $500 depending on capacity and brand, but you should probably stay within the upper-middle tier (around $200) if you want something that’s practical and will last long enough to make it worth the investment.
Performance: As mentioned earlier, how much food It can fry at once can be quite important for mobile deep fryers because you don’t want to come back after 10 minutes to check on it and not find anything done yet. So if you want something that will cook batches of fries quickly, go for a unit with 4 or 5 burners, otherwise a 3-burner fryer will do just fine.
Do some research and read some deep fryer reviews online before buying one because it’ll help you get a better idea of what’s on the market. Also keep in mind that to prepare delicious fried foods, in addition to a fryer you will also need oil, a cooking thermometer, storage, and ventilation. Take look at our list of appliances any commercial kitchen needs. We hope that our guide and reviews will help you pick the perfect model for your setup.