There are two components to proper maintenance when it comes to commercial deep fryers. The fryer itself has to be properly cared for so it functions properly. Also, the oil need to be filtered and changed regularly to maintain food taste and quality. Fryer maintenance involves regular cleaning and inspection of both the machine and the oil.
Commercial Deep Fryer Cleaning Tips
General cleaning and maintenance are the best way to assure years of trouble-free service from your commercial fryer. Reference your owner’s manual for more product-specific cleaning tips, but read on for a few general cleaning procedures that are synonymous across all brands.
- Clean the element whenever the oil is filtered or changed. Any time the oil is drained or filtered from the vat, heating ribbons or elements that are submerged in the oil should be brushed clean in order to maintain proper heat transfer. Also, scrub food crumbs and particles off of the fry-pot walls.
- Wipe down the exterior at the end of the day. At the end of the day, be sure to wipe off the exterior of the commercial deep fryer, especially around the rim of fry vat. This is mostly a cosmetic and worker safety consideration as the oil could drizzle to the floor and cause a slip-and-fall hazard.
- Clean the fry baskets at the end of the day. Be sure to remove the fry baskets from the vats at the end of the day and run them through the dish machine. Wait until the baskets are dry before placing them back over the oil because water will cause the hot oil to splatter.
- Boil out every 3-6 months. A boil out is an intense cleaning of the fry pot and should be performed every three to six months. The old fryer oil is completely drained and the vat filled with warm water and mild cleaning solution. Next, turn the fryer on until the water is simmering, but not boiling, scrub the vat with a long-handled soft-bristled brush, take care not to splash the hot water on your skin or submerge your hands and allow the solution to simmer for an hour. Finally, drain the solution and rinse the vat with warm water before refilling it with cooking oil.
- Inspect the fryer annually. The yearly inspection procedures vary per manufacturer, but you should at least check all fittings to make sure they are tight and inspect the fry pot for leaks. Tighten and replace anything that is loose or worn out.
Fryer Oil Maintenance and Usage Tips
It is as important to maintain the oil as it is the fryer itself. Follow these recommendations when handling your fryer oil.
Servicing Your Commercial Deep Fryer
- Stay within recommended cooking temperatures. Each type of fryer oil has an ideal cooking temperature, usually between 300 °F and 350 °F. If you go above this range in an effort to decrease cooking time, the oil can burn and cause unpleasant tastes in the food. Also, the oil will not last as long, increasing your oil replacement expenses.
- Regularly filter the oil. The best way to prolong the life of your oil is to filter it regularly. The filtering frequency depends on your cooking volume and the type of oil, but it should be filtered at least once or twice a day.
- Change the oil when needed. No matter how frequently you filter your oil, eventually it will have to be replaced. When the oil turns dark brown, starts to smell or makes the food taste bad, then it is time to replace the oil.
Manufacturer-authorized service agencies are the best places to go if your commercial deep fryer is on the fritz and you can’t figure out what is wrong. If the unit is still under warranty, the manufacturer will cover some of the repair costs, depending on what is wrong.