Shopping for a commercial fryer can be tricky. You’ve got a lot of options. Start with the basics. Which type or fryer do you need? Gas or electric? Not sure? Here’s a quick guide to the types of fryers and the pro’s and con’s of your power source options.
Types of Fryers
The term “open-pot” refers to the unobstructed heated area of these fryers. Gas models heat the fry pot from the outside. Electric models have a ribbon-shaped element immersed in the oil, which folds upward for easy cleaning.
|Open-pot fryers are easiest to clean, but have a smaller sediment zone than tube-style fryers, making them best for lightly breaded (lower sediment) foods. The construction of these fryers allows for the best visual monitoring of sediment status.|
Tube-style fryers can accomplish the same tasks as open-pot fryers, but are slightly more difficult to clean because the tube-shaped heating elements are permanently fixed in the vat.
|Tube-style fryers have larger sediment zones below the burners than other fryers. The wide sediment areas below the burner tubes allow particles to settle and accumulate. However, because tubes are generally fixed in place, it can make cleaning more difficult and time consuming.|
Flat-bottom fryers are designed for frying delicate items that float near the surface of the oil, such as tortilla chips, taco shells and tempura. These fryers don’t have a sediment zone, so they aren’t as suited for the high volume tasks accomplished with tube-style and open-pot designs.
Flat-bottom fryers lack an area devoted to capturing sediment. Contaminants remain more in contact with foods throughout the frying cycle. Patrons may complain about a blackened appearance or a difference in taste due to carbonized contaminants.
Electric commercial fryers take longer to get up to temperature and typically can’t reach the same maximum temperature as their gas-powered counterparts.
Once up to temperature, electric fryers recover more quickly between frying cycles than their gas counterparts.
In the past, gas fryers were the least expensive to operate. However, in recent years natural gas has outpaced the cost of electricity in some areas.
Slight Edge: Gas
Electric fryers house a heating element inside the oil, increasing efficiency. Conversely, gas commercial fryers must heat the metal container holding the oil first, which in turn heats the oil – this uses more energy.
You can choose gas or electric power for open-pot, tube-style or flat-bottom fryers
Electric fryers have the edge because they are not tied to a gas line. Relocating them however, still might require a visit from your electrician.