Whether you’re looking for your brand-new business or need an update, trying to decide on the right commercial deep fryer for your kitchen can seem like a daunting task. With so many commercial fryer options out on the market, there’s a lot to take into consideration. Fortunately, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed for long, as we’ve compiled a comprehensive buying guide to help you navigate your options.
Learn more about popular types of deep fryers, basic cleaning and maintenance tips, how to determine fryer size and more below.
Designs: Countertop vs. Ventless vs. Floor
Fit is a crucial factor when deciding which type of commercial fryer to buy. When determining the design, you not only need to consider the size of your kitchen or cooking space, but you also should think about how much product you fry on a daily basis.
Countertop Deep Fryers
If you need something small and easy to operate, a countertop unit is the right fit for you. It’s perfect for an establishment that doesn’t make a lot of fried dishes or consistently yields only a small amount of product.
- Biggest benefits: Saves on space and easier to maintain over time
- Best for: Small restaurants, taverns, food trucks, concessions areas
Ventless Deep Fryers
This type of commercial fryer is a slight variation of a countertop model. The key difference is that it’s enclosed, passing fumes through an internal venting system without them escaping in the air. This allows you to use the unit in a space without a ventilation hood, and it helps maintain the life your oil better than traditional options.
- Biggest benefits: Doesn’t require an external ventilation hood and maintains higher oil quality longer
- Best for: Small restaurants, taverns, food trucks, concessions areas
Floor Deep Fryers
What if your restaurant or commercial kitchen whips up large batches of fried foods every day? Then, a floor model is the way to go. Available in multiple designs and gas or electric power sources, there are more options in terms of frypot sizes and battery operation.
- Biggest benefits: Ideal for larger establishments and more available options
- Best for: Casual and fine-dining restaurants, fast food chains, quick-service restaurants, hotels, corporate kitchens
Gas or Electric Power
When searching for a new commercial fryer, you’ll have to choose between a gas and electric model. The biggest difference between the two is that a gas deep fryer is powered by natural gas or liquid propane while an electric deep fryer is powered by an electrical source. However, there are other key factors and benefit that each option offers:
Gas Fryer Benefits
Electric Fryer Benefits
Commonly used by kitche staffs and technicians
More high-volume options
Smaller footprint and more mobile
Faster heating time and temperatures
More efficient operation between frying cycles
Get more details on commercial gas vs. electric fryers.
Pressure or Open Fryer
When trying to decide between an open fryer or a pressure fryer, it may be difficult to determine which one would be best for your commercial kitchen. However, the decision will be made easier based on what type of food you’re planning on cooking; pressure fryers are perfect for cooking proteins like fried chicken, while open fryers are best for sides like french fries and onion rings.
Still unclear on their differences? Check out the characteristics and benefits below:
Pressurized frying chamber
Open frying vat
Helps lock in flavor and moisture
Perfect for pre-breaded food
Less energy needed
Easy to clean
Learn more about open vs. pressure fryers.
ENERGY STAR Rated Fryers
Some commercial fryers have an ENERGY STAR rating. In order to receive this certification, the unit must be designed specifically to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This also helps cut down on utility and maintenance costs over time.
According to ENERGY STAR, you can save an average of $4,500 in lifetime costs with an ENERGY STAR certified gas fryers and an average of $2,600 in lifetime costs with an ENERGY STAR certified electric fryers.
Below are some manufacturers who offer ENERGY STAR rated fryers:
List of ENERGY STAR Certified Manufacturers
*As of February 2020
View all available ENERGY STAR certified commercial fryers.
How to Choose the Right Commercial Fryer Size
Determining what size commercial fryer you need requires a lot of factors to be considered, including:
- How much space you can provide in your commercial kitchen?
- How much food you’ll be frying?
- What type of food you’ll be cooking?
- What type of fryer you need (countertop vs. floor, gas vs. electric, open vs pressure, etc.)?
Space is a major factor in determining what size commercial fryer you should choose. If it’s too big, it won’t be very workable and can cost more in the long run; if it’s too small, you won’t be able to keep up with customer demands. Also take into consideration any additional features a fryer may have that can take up more space, and also factor in the vertical space you can dedicate..
In addition to space, the amount of food you’ll be cooking go hand-in-hand when determining which size to choose. A general rule of thumb to follow when deciding on the fryer size you need is determining the output, which will typically be 1½ to 2 times the weight of the fryer oil’s capacity in an hour. For example, a 50-pound deep fryer can ideally cook up to 75-100 pounds of food.
The type of food you’ll be frying is also important, as this factors into the quality of the product you’re serving your customers. If you’re planning on using your fryer for cooking sides and appetizers, picking a commercial fryer for that sole purpose is perfectly reasonable. If you are planning on also frying fish or chicken, it’s best to have designated fryers or a fryer with multiple vats so that the flavors don’t mix.
When all of these factors have been considered, this should help inform you of what type of fryer you need. If you’re cooking small batches of doughnuts on a daily basis, maybe a smaller capacity countertop fryer is best for you. If you plan on making fried chicken, consider a pressure fryer. If you’ll be frying lots of appetizers for a sports bar, a larger commercial fryer with multiple vats could be the way to go.
Maintaining a Deep Fryer
Whichever unit you choose, routine upkeep over the lifetime of a commercial fryer is important. Below are some ways to maximize the life of the unit over time.
- Boiling out – Fat and carbon deposits build up in the tank and heating element or burner. Follow a weekly boil out procedure helps clear this out. Always remember to check owner’s manual of your specific unit for the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Wiping the exterior – Oil can splash on the exterior surfaces. Use warm water and a degreaser or vinegar to clean the stainless steel. Make sure you follow the polish lines. Also, don’t use an abrasive sponge or caustic cleaner.
Check out more tips for cleaning a commercial fryer.
Filtering oil regularly not only keeps food crispy and flavorful, but it also helps save on oil and operational costs. Some machines are manufactured with built-in filtration systems. For models without this option, consider using filter paper, a filter pot or a portable pump to help remove food remnants and extend the life of the oil.
Learn more from our oil filtration guide.