A Guide to Choosing Fryers

Types

Tube Fryer:

Tube-shaped gas heating elements are permanently affixed to the fry pot, giving this type of fryer more versatility.


PROS

CONS

Best for:

  • Good for heavy batter products

  • Large sediment zone

  • Good for freshly-breaded products due to large sediment zone

  • Can be more difficult to clean between the tubes

  • Oil will become rancid if area between tubes not cleaned regularly

  • Fried Meats like Chicken and Fish

  • Onion Blossoms

  • French Fries

  • Cheese Sticks

  • Poppers

  • Hot Wings


Open Pot Fryer:

As the name implies, this type of fryer has an open, unobstructed top. Gas models heat from the outside while electric options have heating elements submerged in the oil.


PROS

CONS

Best for:

  • Easy to clean

  • Good for most basic frying needs (keep heavy batter products in a tube fryer due to larger sediment zone)

  • Narrow sediment zone

  • Fried Fish

  • French Fries

  • Hashbrowns and Hushpuppies

  • Hot Wings


Flat Bottom Fryer:

With a wide, flat bottom heated from below, these fryers have no dedicated sediment zone. Because of this, these fryers are best for delicate items and items with little sediment. If you place items in this fryer with heavy sediment, then you run the risk of flavor transfers and scorched tastes.


PROS

CONS

Best for:

  • Fries delicate items best

  • Quick recovery time

  • Good for liquid batter foods

  • No dedicated sediment zone

  • Not suitable for high-volume needs

  • Difficult to clean

  • Funnel Cakes

  • Donuts

  • Tortilla Chips

  • Churros

  • Taco Shells

  • Tempura


Models

With fryers, tube and open pot types can be purchased in a countertop or floor model. Generally, it’s best to choose the type you’ll need based on your space constraints and your output.


Countertop models are best for small service operations and smaller kitchens. Think: Delis, Sandwich Shops, and Concession Stands. Here are some popular countertop models to keep in mind:


Countertop Model

Guidelines

Light Duty Electric

These are best for low volume use and are not suited for constant, heavy usage.

Medium Duty Electric

For slightly higher volume outputs, this is just one step up from light duty models.

Medium-Heavy Duty Gas

If your kitchen has higher volumes or more constant use of a fryer but not enough to justify a floor model, then this is the size to consider.

Heavy Duty Gas

For those with constant, heavy fryer use but who simply don’t have the kitchen space, this is the closest option to a floor model.


There are a few floor model types to keep an eye out for that are available in both gas and electric:


Floor Model

Guidelines

Tube

The floor models for tube type fryers are medium-duty and are generally good for all-purpose frying needs.

Open Pot Basic

With an insulated combustion chamber, open pot basic floor models are medium to heavy duty and are also suited for most frying needs.

Open Pot Deluxe

With an insulated combustion chamber and flue, these models may be set up in battery. They’re reserved for heavy-duty purposes and are good for all-purpose frying needs.


Power Source

VS

Analyzing the differences that gas and electric fryers present can help you decide which one is right for your needs. Here are some key points to look at :

  • Heating Speed: As with many gas-powered heating items in the kitchen, it takes less time to reach temperatures and can typically achieve higher temperatures for a gas fryer than its electric counterpart.

  • Recovery Time: The time it takes to recover heat between cycles can mean a faster turn-around time for your fried items, giving you the ability to cook more items in faster succession. For this, electric fryers have the advantage.

  • Utility Cost: It used to be that gas was typically cheaper than electric, but recently, the cost of natural gas has soared, placing it at a disadvantage to its cheaper electric counterpart.

  • Efficiency: Electric fryers have a heating coil that heats the oil from within the pot which gas fryers have to heat the pot first and then the oil. Thus, electric fryers are more efficient.

  • Portability: As with all gas-powered equipment, a natural gas line will be required as a hookup, making it less portable than a simple plug-n-go electric unit.

  • Connections: If you’re replacing an existing unit, it may be easiest to stick with whatever your prior unit power source was, as the connections will already be in place.

Specialty Fryers


Type

Guidelines

Best for:

Pressure Fryer

This type allows users to cook food under pressure for faster cooking times, juicier products, and more tender meats.

  • Kitchens requiring fast turnaround frying times

Funnel Cake Fryer

Designed with wide, shallow tanks, these types are perfectly designed for funnel cakes.

  • Funnel cake concessions

  • Carnival concessions

Outdoor Fryer

These portable deep fryers are equipped with wheels and portable tanks.

  • Outdoor Events

  • Concession Stands

  • Street Fairs

  • Catering

Ventless Countertop

If your restaurant lacks the space for a hood above the fryer, then ventless countertop models are a good option. These utilize catalytic converters to filter out grease particles, so most municipalities won’t require them to have a hood installed.

  • Convenience Stores

  • Sandwich Shops


Further Reading...


Fryer Filtration


Filtration of the oil in your fryer brings with it a host of benefits:

  1. Extend the Life of Your Oil: The oil you use in your fryer can be reused a multitude of times, depending on what you’re frying and how often you fry foods. Getting the most out of your batches of oil will help to reduce the cost of purchasing new oil and thus help your bottom line. Fryer filtration systems clear your oil of debris that have been left behind from foods that have been fried. If left unchecked, these bits and pieces can become cooked and ruin the quality of your oil. Unfiltered wastes eventually burn into carbon which then breaks down the oil, making it brown and quicker to smoke. Rather than replacing the oil, running it through a filter can extend the life!

  2. Improve Food Quality: As solids and wastes such as breading, batter, and proteins build up on your oil over time, any foods that you fry in the old oil will pick up the tastes and textures of these leftover bits. The older the unfiltered oil, the more likely the quality of your foods will diminish. When you run your oil through a filtration system, you effectively remove these solid waste products, clearing the way for a clean batch of oil for your fried foods! Nobody wants their fried meal peppered with old wastes from foods that came before. Your customers will thank you for filtering your oil.

  3. Reduce Storage Needs: If you’re constantly having to replace old oil rather than simply filtering it, you’ll have to consume more storage space for your constant need for fresh oil. By investing in a filtration system, you free up storage space for other items - and we can all attest to the importance of using every inch of storage space wisely!

  4. Quicker Frying Times:As carbon builds up in your unfiltered oil, the oil breaks down and is quicker to smoke. When you filter your oil, the result is a prolonged life of efficient start-up times and better heating results.