From a quick service restaurant to a high-end establishment, the better equipped your commercial kitchen is the happier your customers will be. We’ve put together this comprehensive commercial deep fryer buyer's guide to help you make the right decision to ensure you purchase a commercial fryer that meets your needs and budget.
Before you dive in, it's worth noting that there’s no such thing as standard when it comes to commercial fryers. The model you buy will have a range of different functions and features. This buyer’s guide will help you choose the right commercial deep fryer to match your foodservice business and the type of food you're preparing.
This guide will also give you the details of commercial fryer brands including size, how they work, questions to ask, and more. This will help you understand the various terms associated with commercial deep fryers and help you become familiar with the various brands available.
While this guide is thorough and comprehensive, once you're familiar with your options it’s still helpful to get advice from a professional. For example a commercial kitchen consultant or someone who has supported other businesses to choose the model that's right for them.
And remember, please don't hesitate to reach out to the team at SilverChef if you have any questions about how to buy a commercial fryer.
Here's what our commercial deep fryer guide covers
- Main things to consider when buying a commercial deep fryer
- Used commercial deep fryer versus new commercial deep fryer
- Commercial deep fryer categories
- Some of the best commercial deep fryer brands
- Questions to ask when purchasing a commercial deep fryer
- Commercial deep fryer FAQS
- Commercial deep fryer terminology
“You can count on 1.5-2 times the total weight of your fryer’s oil capacity per hour. In other words, a 40 lbs commercial deep fryer can output approximately 60-80 lbs of food per hour.”
1. Main things to consider when buying a commercial deep fryer
Now you know some of the terminology, let’s look at the factors to keep in mind when you are looking to buy, rent, or lease-to-buy a commercial deep fryer for your venue.
Type of fryer
Knowing the fuel source at your venue location is an important first step in determining the type of commercial deep fryer you need to purchase. Is it gas or electric? If gas, is it natural gas or propane? NOTE: commercial electric deep fryers typically require specialized voltage, wattage, and amperage to function properly. Be sure to check with an electrician about what type of power is available in the kitchen at your venue.
Commercial electric deep fryer
If you don't have gas outlets at your venue, you’ll need to purchase a commercial electric deep fryer. This equipment will plug into the wall and heat up to the desired temperature. Make sure the voltage requirements of the commercial electric deep fryer you order matches what's coming through the wall or speak with an electrician about how you can get these requirements to match up.
Commercial electric deep fryers can have automated settings so they don't heat past a desired temperature. They are noted for being quicker to reach the desired temperature between cooking cycles (maintaining heat) but can sometimes take longer to heat up than a gas deep fryer.
A commercial electric deep fryer can also be more energy efficient and, therefore, more cost efficient than a gas deep fryer. Check for ENERGY STAR® models as they may qualify for substantial rebates (depending which province you are in).
Gas deep fryer
Commercial gas deep fryers come in natural gas or propane models. A gas deep fryer connects to your gas outlet in the kitchen (usually with a quick disconnect hose for easy serviceability). It heats up reasonably quickly and can be temperature specific.
If you have gas available in your kitchen, you’ll likely choose a commercial gas deep fryer as they’re are generally lower in up-front costs and the most common commercial deep fryer on the market.
One thing to note is that the quality and taste of the food won't change if you use a gas deep fryer or a commercial electric deep fryer, however many chefs and restaurant owners note that electric models are more expensive than their gas counterparts.
Deep fryer power and capacity
You need to speak with your dealer or manufacturer to ensure your restaurant deep fryer can withstand being switched on all day.
The volume your deep fryer can hold will also come into play. A greater volume will allow you to cook more at once but will also take up more space in your kitchen.
If your menu doesn't have a lot of deep-fried food options, it’s wise to keep the capacity small and invest in other equipment for your kitchen.
Size and weight
Remember to have measurements on hand when ordering your commercial deep fryer to confirm the model you’re looking at will fit and allow for comfortable workflow for chefs/cooks. Make sure that the appropriate workspace is available around the fryer and ensure that you’re close enough so no oil will be dripping on the floor when moving the product into and out of the fryer.
To choose the right size, visit a couple of venues that are like yours. Look at what volume deep fryer they have and how many baskets they have in operation. Talk to the owners about how satisfied they are with their model.
You can count on 1.5-2 times the total weight of your fryer’s oil capacity per hour. In other words, a 40 lbs commercial deep fryer can output approximately 60-80 lbs of food per hour.
If you're looking for a countertop deep fryer, make sure your bench can withstand its weight and you have enough space as well as the correct ventilation and power connections. And check that your commercial deep fryer isn't too tall; you don't want it to be too difficult to operate.
Menu is also a key consideration.
- How much food on your menu will be cooked in the deep fryer?
- What type of product will you be processing in the fryer?
The capacity of the pot will be determined by the type of food, amount, and weight of the food you’ll be processing. For example, if you’re cooking French fries you can use a smaller pot because they don’t take as much heat out of the oil, so you don’t need as much oil or as many BTUs to keep the oil hot and cook the food. If you’re frying something with bone in, like chicken, you’ll want something that is higher in BTU’s. Fresh or frozen foods are also important to consider as frozen foods will take longer to cook and require a longer period of heat recovery than fresh foods typically do.
When considering size, think about the food you're serving and your customer numbers. If your machine is too small, you won't be able to keep up with orders. If it’s too large you’ve wasted money and space.
Do some calculations to determine the volume of deep-fried food you expect to serve each day. For example, how many portions of French fries do you expect to serve and what size are your portions?
Commercial deep fryer configuration
Countertop deep fryer
A commercial countertop deep fryer is an affordable option for a compact fryer. They can be portable and easier to maintain than larger models.
Choose a commercial countertop deep fryer if you have limited space or if you don't expect your chefs/cooks to be overloaded with orders for fried food.
Freestanding floor deep fryer
Floor or freestanding commercial fryers are ideal for QSRs and any restaurant or venue serving a high volume of deep-fried food. They are designed to operate all day and come in a range of configurations including single, double, and multi-basket capacities. These commercial fryers come in three fuel source/heating types: natural gas, propane, or electric.
Now you need to decide whether you want freestanding electric deep fryer, multi-basket gas deep fryer, single basket countertop deep fryer, or another option for your commercial deep fryer. It helps to understand some of the different settings, features and functionalities before you make your decision.
Single basket deep fryer
How many baskets you’ll need depends on the amount of fried food you’ll be preparing. A small, single basket commercial deep fryer may meet your needs if you don’t specialize in fried foods.
A larger single basket commercial fryer model can give your chefs the flexibility to serve up exceptionally large batches of the same food at once.
Double or multi-basket commercial deep fryer
If you’re expecting lots of fish and chip orders, you’ll want a multi- or double basket restaurant deep fryer. As the name suggests, these give you the option to fry different foods in separate baskets.
It can be beneficial to be continually producing batches of French fries. Some commercial deep fryer models have a twin tank option allowing you to keep the oil separate between tanks. This means you can plate up sooner and avoid putting different types of food in the one basket to cook (not recommended as different foods will have different cooking times).
With a twin tank multi- or double basket commercial fryer you can switch one side off when things aren't busy and save on electricity costs.
Settings, features, and functionality
Programmable commercial deep fryer
While programmable restaurant deep fryers are generally more expensive, they can be extremely beneficial, especially in a busy kitchen. You can use your programmable commercial deep fryer to set temperatures, notify you when food is ready, and set other programmable features to ensure your kitchen is running like clockwork.
With a programmable deep fryer, you can reduce food waste and potentially get by with less experienced staff. If your machine also features auto-lift baskets, the food will be raised after a set amount of time and won't be left to burn. As well as being convenient, auto-lift baskets on a restaurant deep fryer can reduce the strain on your cooks' wrists, which are susceptible to injury if they are lifting and turning baskets all day.
While a filtration system isn't part of your deep fryer, it’s something you’ll need to consider when purchasing a commercial deep fryer.
As you cook with your double or single basket deep fryer, small particles of food will fall off into the oil, making it dirty. Dirty oil is harder to cook with and the quality of your food will erode taking on an unsavoury smell or flavour. You’ll notice your oil is dirty when it starts looking darker in colour and you start to realize things are taking longer to cook than they should.
To eliminate this issue, you can dump your oil out and start fresh but this can be expensive, especially if you’re cooking high volumes of food, although it is up to your venue whether you clean and reuse oil or dump it. Some kitchens have agreements with biofuel companies who purchase used oil.
Your other option is to clean your oil with a filtration system. Your commercial fryer will be set up to allow you to drain oil from the deep fryer tank, circulate it through a filter, and strain out unwanted particles.
One option is to use a portable, in-pot filtration system. Vito Oil is a good example of this. Useful for smaller shops that don't have the space for a big filter system, Vito Oil provides a tester that acts like a thermometer but can test oil quality as well as temperature. This is great for ensuring the quality of your product.
Commercial deep fryer cleanability and usability
There's no denying deep fryers can get messy. You’ll need to know how to clean your commercial deep fryer and have a system for keeping it in good condition.
When you're planning to buy a commercial fryer, speak with the supplier about the day-to-day habits of your kitchen and how to clean a commercial deep fryer. Ideally, the equipment will have a drain valve that allows you to remove oil and get to the parts of the machine that need cleaning without having to find some way to scoop or dump the oil out.
It should be easy for your team to give your commercial deep fryer a once-over at the end of the day but you'll also need to ask about how often to call in professional cleaning teams and make sure you stick to the recommendations.
The usability and practicality of your commercial fryer will come into play as well. Before you make a purchase, check out the commercial deep fryer and ask yourself:
- How easy is it for someone with little training to operate and keep it running at the optimal temperature?
- Will the controls cause them to constantly be reaching in awkward directions in uncomfortable ways?
- Is it blocking a thoroughfare in my kitchen?
- Can it be installed easily?
There are so many commercial deep fryer brands available. Talk to your head chef about the brands they’ve preferred working with and what they consider to be the gold standard.
Maintenance and commercial deep fryer repair
Your deep fryer will need regular attention to keep it in top working condition so be sure to speak to the vendor about the maintenance and repair requirements. Also keep in mind that cleaning your commercial fryer is separate to maintenance and you may need two separate professionals to complete these jobs for you.
Sticking to your commercial deep fryer maintenance schedule will improve your chances of being able to claim warranty on parts. It will also alert you to a small issue before it becomes a big one.
You should have a routine at the beginning and end of each day and then weekly, monthly, bi-annually, and yearly for checking the equipment and having it professionally serviced.
Keep an eye out for oil build up, check that knobs are operating properly, panels are secure, and remind your staff to do the same at the end of service.
Before you buy a commercial deep fryer, talk to the vendor about the availability of spare parts that fit your model. You don't want to get a too-good-to-be-true price, only to realise it can't be repaired after an essential but irreplaceable part breaks.
Your commercial deep fryer accessories include your fry basket, skimmer, and things like sediment trays, clean-out rods, fish plates, and filter papers, as well as the tools you’ll need for cleaning the deep fryer.
Speak with your supplier about what accessories come standard with the machine you wish to purchase and which extra accessories they’d advise investing in. For example, a night cover rarely comes standard with a commercial deep fryer but the main enemies of oil are water, oxygen, soap, heat, carbon buildup, and salt. Covering your oil at night will keep these out.
First and foremost, choose functionality, safety, and performance over aesthetics when it comes time to buying one of these machines for your kitchen.
If your kitchen is open to the rest of your venue aesthetics may be a consideration as well.
Insurance, warranty, repairs, and cost of parts
Your commercial deep fryer should be covered under your overall business insurance for incidents like theft or accidental damage. Make sure your commercial fryer is itemized on your policy so you can make a claim based on its true value.
A warranty on a new machine is essential. If you buy new you will most likely have a 12-month warranty on your commercial deep fryer on parts but not on labour. Make sure you’re clear on the warranty before you buy; if there isn’t one, consider this a red flag.
When you buy, talk to your dealer about the servicing and repair schedule they recommend. At high volume, your commercial fryer is likely to need attention even as often as three or four times per year. When you buy speak to your dealer about service and continuous maintenance be sure to base it on the volume you intend to see coming through your venue and factor in the possibility of increasing or decreasing the amount of service necessary based on actual output.
Ideally, there will be a service and repair specialist nearby who you can call on in an emergency. If not, this could influence your decision about the commercial deep fryer you buy. After all, how much income would you lose if your restaurant deep fryer was out of action for a few hours, a day, or more?
And remember, when you buy a commercial deep fryer the cost and availability of parts will factor into your ongoing expenses. A premium machine may have parts that are more expensive to replace, repair, or even source.
Usability and cleaning
Ensuring that your staff understand how to effectively and properly use the machine you purchase is key to keeping it working well and in top-notch condition on a long-term basis with less service challenges. Before you buy your commercial fryer look at how to clean it. The commercial electric deep fryer or gas deep fryer you choose should be easy for a staff member to clean regularly with some simple training when they start to use the machine.
2. Used versus new commercial deep fryer
A used commercial fryer is an option for your new venue's kitchen. It can make sense to save money.
Browse SilverChef’s Certified Used range of equipment, which is often less than 18 months old and comes with a warranty. Our Certified Used range can also be rented through our Louer-Essayer-Acheterᴹᴰ finance product, allowing you to see how the equipment fits with your business before deciding whether to purchase it.
"Never purchase a brand-new commercial fryer without making sure the parts are covered by warranty and that you have insurance in the case of theft or damage."
3. Commercial deep fryer categories
Economy and value level commercial fryers
These fryers are low-cost options because they typically don’t have as many added features and benefits as commercial fryers in higher categories. They are perfect for establishments featuring low-cost, easily fried foods (French fries), or foodservice operations that are not doing any high-volume amount of frying.
If you’re operating a bar or brewery venue you might not want to invest a lot of money in your commercial deep fryer so a smaller deep fryer that specializes in this market and other small venues is worth checking out.
Mid-range commercial deep fryers
Mid-range commercial deep fryers tend to have more options available and boast higher oil capacities. They’ll also be more efficient at cooking items that take longer or require more BTU’s (frozen meats or bone in food).
Premium level commercial deep fryers
Quick service/Fast food restaurants and establishments serving fried food at high volume are best off investing in a high quality, high volume commercial fryer that is very safe to use, energy efficient and easy to maintain. If you specialize in fried chicken, you will need a premium level fryer to optimize your cooking process.
Commercial electric countertop deep fryers
If your cafe or restaurant doesn’t feature fried food on the menu a great deal, you can get by with a commercial countertop deep fryer. Many companies are now offering these countertop options (see below for some options).
There are lots of electric and gas commercial fryers on the market today so deciding on which model to buy can be a complex process. The model you choose will depend on commercial fryer price, features, capacity, and availability.
4. Some of the best commercial deep fryers
If you’re looking to purchase a commercial deep fryer, you’ll need to go through a food equipment company. Here are some of the top brands and companies along with the types of commercial fryers they sell.
Note: Information on these products is from the company. Be sure to do your research referring to our suggestions on what to consider when purchasing a commercial deep fryer.
The top three companies are Welbilt International represented in Canada by Garland Canada, Hobart Canada ITW (International) represented by Hobart Canada, and Middleby, which represents several brands in Canada.
Garland’s website is a great place to start when looking for features, benefits, and technical specifications for their line of commercial fryers.
The Welbilt line includes economy, value, midrange, and premium commercial electric fryers and gas deep fryers. Dean and Frymaster restaurant deep fryer models have special features including oil conserving and filtering models.
Welbilt commercial electric deep fryers and gas countertop fryers come in a range of sizes and watts including a gas designer series.
The Welbilt high efficiency value gas fryer exceeds ENERGY STAR® guidelines and qualifies for energy-saving rebates, reducing cost of ownership.
Commercial restaurant fryers are also available with Frymaster brand built-in and portable filtering systems, which extend oil life to ensure quality fried food. For the green-conscious consumer, Frymaster oil-conserving commercial fryers use less oil and have lower energy consumption.
Represented by ITW Group, features an extensive line of Vulcan commercial deep fryers and filtration systems. There’s a wide range of free-standing gas deep fryers and commercial electric fryers to suit many restaurant’s commercial kitchen fryer needs. These models are built to last and easy to clean and operate. They also have their KleenScreen PLUS® patented self-contained oil filtration system.
Vulcan has a range of freestanding to commercial countertop deep fryers for operations looking for low volume output (infrequent use or 55 lbs. or less French fries per hour) up to super high volume (operations producing more than 81 lbs. of French Fries per hour).
Their website offers detailed spec sheets on each product, which is a great place to learn more about their products and narrow down the type of commercial deep fryer you need for your venue.
There are several commercial deep fryer brands under the Middleby banner.
The highest volume seller and most recognized brand of commercial fryers in this category is PITCO with small, medium, and large floor models as well as a ventless, odorless, countertop deep fryer. Like many companies today they focus on reduced oil volume, auto filtration, touch control, and cost-saving features.
Also under the PITCO banner, entered the foodservice equipment industry with its thermostatically controlled countertop deep fryer. They now have a line of automatic lift gas fryers.
FriFri is recognized for high-end commercial fryers designed for minimum floor space including countertop deep fryers with high output capabilities.
Perfect Fry produces ventless, odorless, small footprint restaurant deep fryers for small or specialized output. Their target markets include bars and breweries, convenience stores, cinemas, food kiosks, sushi bars, and similar venues.
Southbend specializes in commercial cooking equipment. Their focus is energy saving, cooking speed, and more. They offer economy, mid-tier, and sectional fryers.
Offers a large range of gas and electric commercial deep fryers from one to six vats, with multiple control and filtration systems and numerous vat sizes.
Here are some other products to consider depending on your budget and the specific features and benefits that you need for your establishment.
Henny Penny (Canada: TFI Canada).
Known for their built-in oil filtration systems to help extend oil life, Henny Penny’s open fryer models range from three-basket to a one-basket ‘workhorse.’ They also sell both 4-head and 8-head pressure fryers.
High-end to mid-range commercial fryers
Imperial (Canada: Permul)
Imperial is known for their gas deep fryer systems ranging from tube fired to open pot, as well as filter systems for both.
Economy to mid-range commercial fryers
Sierra (Canada: MVP Group)
Also has a range of gas fryers including tube fired with one and two-basket models.
American Range (Canada: GBS Food Equipment)
American Range offers countertop and heavy-duty commercial deep fryers as well as a continuous filtration fryer. If you’re looking for a portable fryer filtration system and dump station, they have those too.
Royal Range (Canada: Distex M&M)
Royal Range offers high efficiency, energy efficient commercial deep fryers as well as a countertop deep fryer model. Some of their fryers have built-in filtering systems. They also sell a portable oil filter.
Value and economy commercial fryers
Omcan and EFI have a range of natural gas and propane gas floor fryers.
Countertop deep fryers
Vollrath’s 10 lb. double basket standard-duty electric fryer and 15 lb. medium duty four-basket countertop deep fryers are great for quickly cooking products in a limited space profile.
Eurodib has an electric model and a gas model, single basket countertop deep fryers.
Waring Commercial (Canada: Serve Canada)
Waring Commercial offers a compact 8.5 lb. deep fryer for tight spaces. They also have a heavy-duty double basket 10 lb. countertop deep fryer. The largest countertop deep fryer is 15 lbs. with four baskets.
5. Questions to ask when purchasing a commercial deep fryer
When it comes to purchasing a commercial deep fryer there are dozens of brands and models to choose from. It may seem overwhelming but if you focus on your needs it will be easier to decide which commercial deep fryer is right for your venue.
As part of your research, speak to other restaurant owners with venues like yours, and reputable dealers/suppliers.
Some important considerations are whether you’ll need a commercial electric deep fryer or gas deep fryer, double basket deep fryer, or a countertop deep fryer, to name a few (refer to information above for details).
Vulcan suggests that, before shopping for a restaurant deep fryer be sure to ask yourself the following questions about your menu so you can share this with your supplier:
- Can your foods share the same cooking oil?
- Do you need to use separate temperatures and multiple fry times?
- What state will the food be in when you fry it - fresh or frozen?
- Are you using a fryer for one specific type of food?
- What about food allergies?
Seeing your menu broken down will help you better understand the commercial fryer type and size that best suits your kitchen.
Ten questions to ask other venue owners and reputable dealers/suppliers before you buy a commercial deep fryer:
- Which commercial deep fryer model do you use and why?
- Did you choose electric or gas for your commercial fryer and was this based on power source at your establishment or a specific preference?
- Do your chefs/cooks/staff find the machine easy to use?
- How easy is it to clean and maintain your commercial deep fryer?
- How often does your commercial fryer break down or need repairs?
- Is the provider reliable and available when you need their help?
- Would you recommend the commercial deep fryer you have to others?
- What do you feel is a good price to pay for the type of commercial deep fryer you purchased and why?
- How much/amount of food and type of food do you prepare with your commercial restaurant fryer?
- If you purchased a used or used commercial deep fryer why would you recommend going this route and what was the experience like?
Ten questions to ask your dealer or supplier before deciding what commercial deep fryer is best for you:
- What machine will suit the needs of my venue given the type of and amount of food I’m preparing?
- What size do you recommend given my food output and the type of food I prepare in the deep fryer?
- Why do you recommend this commercial deep fryer over others you or your competitors offer?
- What are the benefits of this commercial deep fryer for this price point?
- How easy is this machine when it comes to operating and cleaning?
- What warranty is included?
- How easy is it to get parts from the factory if they are needed?
- What happens if I need an urgent commercial fryer repair?
- How much are hourly maintenance call fees? What about on weekends?
- Do you provide commercial deep fryer training for my team?
6. Commercial deep fryer FAQs
When it comes to the menu, what are the considerations for buying a commercial fryer?
The type of food you’re cooking, volume, and type of establishment will all be important considerations when deciding on what type of commercial fryer you should purchase.
How much is a commercial deep fryer?
The cost to buy a floor model commercial deep fryer depends on what you’ll be using it for, the features it has, and the model you choose. A top range deep fryer may sell for over $10,000, while a reliable larger model will cost at least $2,500. Value/low-capacity models start at about $1,000. Talk to your dealer or browse our SilverChef Certified Used equipment to find the best brands at better prices, or consider our Lease-to-Keep or Rent-Try-Buy options if you prefer not to pay cash upfront.
What is the Energy Savings Rebates Program (ENERGY STAR®) and benefits?
ENERGY STAR® products qualify for the Energy Savings Rebate Program. Every province has a different energy savings rebates program. Be sure to check out programs available in your province and ask your sales representative/supplier as well.
How do you use a commercial fryer?
Special training is required to use a commercial fryer safely however, put simply, the process usually involves switching the fryer on, setting it to the desired temperature, waiting for the oil to reach desired temperature, then adding food to your basket and lowering it into the oil for a specific amount of time. For additional information refer to your owner’s manual and speak with your supplier.
How much oil does a commercial deep fryer use?
The amount of oil your commercial fryer uses will depend on how large it is. As a reference, most countertop commercial fryers typically have a capacity of between 4 to 6 litres of oil. Standard floor models hold up to at least 60 litres of cooking oil and there are many sizes in between.
In terms of oil use it depends on how much and what type of food you’re cooking. Menus with a higher volume of fried food may need to have the oil topped up each day.
For less used commercial deep fryers, expect to filter or clean your oil minimum once per week. For higher volume menus you should be filtering your oil once a day for the oil to last longer and reduce the chance of it getting dark, rancid, or taking on a bad flavour. If you don’t do this you run the risk of having to change the oil instead of topping up and filtering.
NOTE: You should refresh or clean your oil once the substance has darkened and/or takes on a smell or flavour.
How do you filter commercial fryers?
Depending on the type of fryer you’re buying, you may have an internal filter that can be hooked up to an outside oil receptacle. In this case filtering is as simple as pushing a button and letting the automated filter cycle run.
External automated filters will work in a similar fashion but require more hookups and more steps to complete, depending on the filter.
Manual filtration requires that you ensure your oil is cool enough to handle safely, then drain it through a sieve lined with filter paper (cheese cloth or coffee filter), and then cleaning the actual frying pot out before returning the oil to the fryer.
IMPORTANT: Please refer to the specific fryer’s operating manual to do these steps, below, properly and prevent any accidents.
How do you drain a commercial deep fryer?
Your commercial fryer should have a drain valve to allow the liquid to flow out. Before you drain your commercial deep fryer ensure it’s switched off and that the equipment and the oil are cool to prevents bums from hot liquid.
Place an oil transporter or a container with sufficient capacity under your deep fryer to hold the contents, then open the drain valve. Wear protective clothing so you aren't impacted by oil splashing. Use a non-slip cleaner if any oil gets on the floor.
How do you clean commercial fryers?
Your commercial deep fryer needs to be cleaned regularly and boiled out. Failing to keep your equipment clean means it won't work efficiently and increases fire risk. Create a regular cleaning schedule for your staff to stick to that includes daily, weekly, and monthly cleans.
To give you an idea of what might be involved in cleaning your commercial fryer here are some generic instructions for a monthly deep clean of a commercial fryer.
NOTE: This is generic advice. Speak to your supplier for specific instructions. Remember that the cleaning process involves burn, slip, and fall hazards, as well as working with hazardous chemicals. Wear protective clothing where necessary.
- Switch your commercial electric fryer off; tum off the pilot light if you’re using a gas deep fryer.
- Let your deep fryer unit and oil cool completely.
- Remove baskets and accessories to be cleaned separately.
- Place an oil pan drum under the drain and drain cooled oil.
- Remove large debris from inside including anything blocking the drain valve.
- On the outside of the fryer, wipe it down regularly with a cleaning and degreasing solution made specifically for your type of restaurant deep fryer.
- Use a synthetic pad to scrub stubborn spots.
- Wipe down the interior of your commercial fryer to remove residual oil and grease.
- Make sure the equipment is dry when you’re done.
- Use a no-slip floor cleaner and degreaser to clean the floor surrounding your commercial deep fryer.
- Drain your oil into an oil transporter or into the container it came in and check for any large food objects that are stuck. You might need to use a cleaning rod to dislodge some pieces or reach into tight spaces.
- Fill your commercial fryer tank with a combination of cleaning liquid and water, as recommended by your supplier, and slowly bring it to boil. Keep an eye on your fryer during this process so the water doesn't boil over.
- After the recommended amount of time (usually around 30 minutes), switch off the water and allow it to cool before draining it into another vessel.
- Give the inside a hot water rinse and another wipe down and let it dry. You may also have to manually scrub off any stubborn debris.
- Refill your fryer with recycled/filtered or fresh oil. Make sure you close the drain valve first so it doesn't flood through and hit the floor.
- If you're refilling your tank with fresh oil, dispose of the used oil responsibly.
How do you dispose of the oil?
Automated high-capacity commercial deep fryers can automatically pump the oil out of the building and deposit it into a used oil disposal tank that will be picked up by an oil recycling company.
For manual disposal follow the steps for draining the oil as you would for filtration or cleaning. In the oil transporter or oil caddy remove the oil from the fryer the same way you would for filtration. This goes into the oil transporter or oil caddy and taken safely outside and manually dumped, or pumped, into the used oil receptacle to picked up by an oil recycling company.
7. Commercial deep fryer terminology
It’s important to note that, depending on where you’re located in Canada, we have three fuel sources - natural gas, propane, and electric - so be sure to know what type of commercial fryer your establishment will support – natural gas deep fryer, electric deep fryer, or propane deep fryer - before you start shopping.
Commercial deep fryers have many features and capabilities. Here are some of the important terms you’ll hear when shopping for a commercial deep fryer.
Autolift: The autolift commercial deep fryer raises the fryer basket (see basket lift below) automatically after a specified cooking time. With a simple push of a button the commercial deep fryer takes over, cooking to the right consistency without having someone monitoring the commercial deep fryer. These are useful for businesses that regularly set a timer for food products like chicken or French fries, for example, and are often used by fast-food restaurants. For guaranteed product consistency this is the best choice but these fryers also have a much higher price point.
Basket lift: This is the standard feature also called the rod or arm accessory on commercial deep fryers where you hang your fryer baskets when they’re not submerged in oil. This is used to both stage foods in the fryer baskets before they get submerged in oil and it's also where you’ll hang the fryer baskets on once the product is cooked. It helps to ensure that you’re not immersing the food in oil for long periods of time. Also ensure that you’re close by the restaurant deep fryer while oil is still draining from the basket.
Boil-out: A boil-out is done when you clean the commercial deep fryer. The process begins with emptying the vat of oil, then boiling water in the commercial deep fryer with a cleaning solution (NOTE: always use the cleaning solution recommended by your commercial fryer manufacturer). This removes the sediment and breaks down the fat and carbon buildup that can damage your equipment, ultimately ensuring top production of your commercial deep fryer with a consistently quick return for heating the oil and cooking food, so it’s important to do a boil-out on a regular basis.
BTU’s: British Thermal Unit (BTU) refers to the amount of energy required to heat up your oil. The more BTUs, the faster and more efficient your commercial deep fryer will run.
Burner: On a gas deep fryer this is the part of your fryer that produces the heat.
Countertop Deep Fryer: Countertop commercial fryers are perfect for kitchens with a small footprint that don’t require or can’t fit a full-sized commercial floor model deep fryer. Countertop deep fryers are good for frying anything that would go into a floor model deep fryer but are versatile because they can be moved around a kitchen for different types of food when needed.
Double basket deep fryer: This twin basket deep fryer has two separate baskets for frying food. NOTE: Most commercial deep fryers are double basket fryers.
Drain valve: The fryer drain valve is where you drain the oil or water when you’re cleaning, filtering, and servicing the unit.
Electric commercial fryer: As the name indicates, a commercial electric deep fryer runs on electricity as opposed to natural gas or propane.
Flare-ups: If oil is splashed onto a burner, it can cause a dangerous fire/flare-up.
Freestanding fryer: This larger model of commercial deep fryer stands on the floor of your kitchen. NOTE: Most commercial deep fryers are free standing.
Fryer basket: The mesh or grid basket where the food goes for deep frying.
Fryer basket rack: This is where fryer baskets are stored when you're not using them.
Fryer brush: The angled brush you may use to scrub beneath the deep fryer's burner tubes.
Frypot: Also called tank or vat, the frypot is where the oil in a fryer is held and where food is cooked.
Gas/propane deep fryer: This is a deep fryer that runs on natural gas or propane. These fryers can heat up quickly, just like a gas or propane stovetop.
Grease trap: Not strictly part of your commercial deep fryer, the grease trap is the plumbing device that collects grease and other solids before they enter wastewater systems. It needs regular attention and cleaning to prevent overflow. Check your local municipal guidelines for your establishment’s requirements.
Heating elements: The part of a commercial electric deep fryer that produces heat.
Heating tubes: These are on gas deep fryers and transfer the heat to the oil. There are many variables when it comes to type and placement of heating tubes. Some are more efficient. Some are easier to clean. Positioning of tubes helps determine how quickly the oil heats up or reheats. With all these variables it’s important to ask for details when deciding which commercial gas deep fryer to purchase.
Hood: The hood is the ventilation unit above your fryer that extracts vapours and heat while you work. Inspectors are especially interested in whether your hood is robust enough to handle the BTUs that your fryer produces (hood efficiency is measured in CFMs - cubic feet per minute) and how quickly the hood allows for air movement.
Legs or castors: Commercial deep fryers are available with legs or castors. This is an important consideration when looking at the placement of your restaurant deep fryer in the kitchen particularly when planning for cleaning, maintenance, and service.
Oil: What you use to fry your food. There are many types of oils to choose from depending on your application.
Oil capacity: The amount of oil your commercial deep fryer can hold and is typically measured in pounds, for example, a 40-pound fryer typically holds 35 to 40 pounds of oil.
Oil filtration: The way oil is filtered in a commercial deep fryer is through an internal or external filtration system. Internal filtration is typically automatic. External filtration requires a manual process (although there are automatic external oil filters).
Oil transporter: When you remove the oil from your commercial fryer for cleaning or maintenance you will need to store it. Your oil transporter takes care of this job and can withstand high temperatures. It’s also used to transport the oil for disposal.
Pilot light: This is the ignition system for gas deep fryers. It typically stays lit all the time. If the gas deep fryer isn’t firing up it’s probably because the pilot light has gone out and needs to be lit again.
Pressure frying: Commercial pressure frying is like open frying except that after the food is placed into the hot oil a lid is lowered over the frypot sealing it in to create a pressurized cooking environment.
Sediment: These are pieces of food that have detached during the frying process. Sediment typically settles on the bottom of the pot or tank and tends to burn. It will eventually turn into carbon and settle on the bottom of the pot or tank. It’s important to clean the sediment from your commercial deep fryer because the carbon will create a residue that will stick to the pot or heating tubes making the commercial deep fryer difficult to clean. Excess sediment will also reduce the lifetime of your oil.
Skimmer: The skimmer is typically long handled and almost always made of stainless steel with a mesh or wire material to strain or scoop out free-floating food and foam from the commercial deep fryer.
Smoking point: The point at which the restaurant deep fryer oil will combust.
Splash guard: This is a flat piece of stainless steel that protects other equipment in your kitchen from being splashed with oil from the commercial fryer.
Tank Cover: Made of stainless steel, the tank cover acts like a lid for your commercial deep fryer and helps maintain and increase the life cycle of your oil keeping it from oxidizing. The tank cover can also be used as a work surface when the commercial deep fryer isn’t being used.
Ventless: If your kitchen can't accommodate a hood, a ventless fryer may be an option. This is typically a six- or eight-inch extension on the back of the commercial deep fryer with a vacuum inside that sucks and filters the air coming out of the fryer. On some models the extension may be on top. These use an internal filtration system. A ventless commercial fryer has a higher price point but if this is the only cooking element you need ventilation for it may be a worthwhile investment.
Thanks for reading this commercial deep fryer Buyer's Guide
This guide has hopefully helped you understand what to look for so you can narrow down your decision about what really is the best commercial fryer for your venue.
If you'd like the advice and guidance of a professional don't hesitate to reach out to the team at SilverChef. We have dedicated restaurant and cafe industry experts available to support you.
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This Buyer’s Guide was prepared using the expertise provided by Industry’s Best Consulting Canada, an independent consultant firm with over 25 years’ experience. Their team of professionals provide consulting services for every facet of the Foodservice and Hospitality Industry with a particular specialty in the choice and application of commercial restaurant equipment.