Commercial Deep Fryer Buyer's Guide 2020

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From a quick service restaurant to a high-end establishment, the better equipped your commercial kitchen is, the happier your customers will be. Take a look at our comprehensive commercial deep fryer buyer's guide to ensure the deep fryer you buy is ideal for your venue.


Before you dive in, it’s worth noting that there is no such thing as ‘standard’ when it comes to commercial deep fryers. The model you end up buying will have a range of different functions and features that match your establishment and the type of food you’re preparing.


This buyer's guide will give you the ins and outs of the different sizes and brands of commercial deep fryers. It is intended to help you understand commercial deep fryer ‘lingo’ and get to know the different brands out there.


While this guide is thorough and comprehensive, once you’re familiar with your options, it is still helpful to get advice from a professional. This could be a commercial kitchen consultant or someone who has supported other businesses to choose the model that’s most suitable.


Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at SilverChef if you have any questions about how to buy a commercial deep fryer.


Here’s what our commercial deep fryer guide covers

1. Commercial Deep Fryer terminology
2. What are the main things to consider when buying a commercial deep fryer?
3. Second hand vs new commercial deep fryer
4. Some of the best commercial deep fryer brands
5. Ten questions to ask before you buy a commercial deep fryer
6. Commercial deep fryer FAQs

'You can count on 1.5-2 times the total weight of your fryer’s oil capacity per hour. In other words, a 18kg deep fryer can output about 30-35 kg of food per hour.'

Commercial deep fryer terminology


Commercial deep fryers have so many features and capabilities. Take a look at some of the important terms you will hear when you’re shopping for a commercial propane or commercial electric deep fryer.


Autolift: If your commercial deep fryer has autolift features, it raises the fryer basket (see below) automatically after a specified period of cooking time.


Basket lift: This is the ‘rod’ or ‘arm’ accessory on deep fryers where you hang your fryer baskets when they are not submerged in oil.


Boil-out: You ‘boil out’ when you empty the vat of oil and boil water + a cleaning solution (always use the cleaning solution the manufacturer recommends). This breaks down the fat and carbon buildup which can damage your equipment.


Burner: On a gas fryer, this is the part that produces the heat.


Commercial double basket deep fryer: aka ‘twin basket’ deep fryer, this has two separate baskets for frying food.


Electric commercial deep fryer: A deep fryer that runs on electricity.


Flare-ups: If oil is splashed onto a burner, it can cause a dangerous fire/flare-up.


Freestanding fryer: This larger model of deep fryer stands on the floor of your kitchen.


Fryer basket: The mesh or grid basket that food goes into before it is deep fried.


Fryer basket rack: 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: The frypot is where the oil in a fryer is held and where food is cooked. It is also called a ‘tank’ or ‘vat’.


Gas/propane deep fryer: 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 so it doesn’t overflow.


Heating elements: The part of a commercial electric deep fryer that produces heat.


Hood: The ventilation above your fryer that extracts vapours and heat while you work


Oil: Ingredient #1… you can’t fry without oil.


Oil capacity: The amount of oil your commercial deep fryer can hold.


Oil transporter: When you remove the oil from your commercial deep fryer for cleaning or maintenance, you will need to store it in something. Your oil transporter takes care of this job and can withstand high temperatures.


Sediment: Food remnants that remain in oil after cooking burn and carbonise, becoming sediment.


Skimmer: This long-handled accessory is used to scoop out free-floating food.


Splash guard: The part of the fryer that protects other equipment in your kitchen from being splashed with oil


Ventless: If your commercial kitchen can’t accommodate a hood, a ventless fryer may be an option.




What are the main things to consider when buying a commercial deep fryer?


Now you know some of the terminology, take a 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


Size and weight

If you buy a commercial deep fryer that is too big for your kitchen it will be either impossible to install or it will make workflow difficult for your chefs/cooks.

Remember to have measurements to hand when ordering your commercial deep fryer and to confirm the model you are looking at will fit where you need it to. Look at how extraction will take place and make sure it is suitable for the deep fryer.


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. Too large and you have 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 hot chips do you expect to serve up and what size are your portions? This will help you buy the right model of commercial deep fryer in terms of size.


To choose the right size, visit a couple of venues that are similar to yours. Take a 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.

According to Wasserstrom, You can count on 1.5-2 times the total weight of your fryer’s oil capacity per hour. In other words, a 18kg deep fryer can output about 30-35 kg 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 correct ventilation and power connections. And check your deep fryer isn’t too tall; you don’t want to find it too difficult to operate.


Type of commercial deep fryer

Once you know what size you’re looking for, consider the type of commercial deep fryer that is right for your venue.

Here are some of the different options, starting with electrical/gas commercial deep fryers:


Commercial electric deep fryers

If you don’t have gas outlets at your venue, you will need to purchase an electric commercial deep fryer. This equipment will plug into the wall and heat up to the desired temperature. Make sure the voltage requirements of the 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.

Electric commercial 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.

Choose an electric commercial deep fryer and it can also be more energy-efficient and therefore more cost-efficient than a gas deep fryer. The drawback of this model is that they can sometimes take longer to heat up than a gas deep fryer.


Gas commercial deep fryer


Gas deep fryers connect to your gas outlet. They heat up reasonably quickly and can be quite temperature-specific.

You may choose a gas commercial deep fryer if your kitchen is close to capacity for electricity and you have gas available to cook with.


Pros and cons of a commercial deep gas fryer: The quality and taste of the food won’t change if you use a gas deep fryer or an electric deep fryer, however many chefs and restaurant owners note that electric models are more expensive than their gas counterparts.


Single basket deep fryer

This type of fryer may be all your venue needs if you don’t specialise in fried food. A small, single basket commercial deep fryer may meet your needs.

A larger single basket model can give your chefs the flexibility to serve up very large batches of the same food at once.


Multi or commercial double basket deep fryer


Are you expecting lots of fish and chip orders? You will benefit from having a multi or double basket commercial deep fryer.

As the name suggests, these give you the option to keep different food in different baskets. It can be beneficial to be continually producing batches of hot chips.

Some models of commercial deep fryers have a ‘twin tank’ option, which allows 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 (which is not recommended).

With the multi or double basket commercial deep fryer option that has twin tanks, you can switch one side off when things aren’t busy and save on electricity costs.


Commercial countertop deep fryer


Countertop deep fryers are 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 deep fryer

Floor or freestanding commercial deep fryers are ideal for QSRs and anywhere serving deep fried food at high volume. They are designed to operate all day and come in a range of options, including single, double and multi-basket, and with gas or electric capacities.


Now you need to decide: do you want freestanding electric, multi-basket gas, countertop single basket or another option for your commercial deep fryer? It helps to understand some of the different settings, features and functionality before you make your decision.


Settings, features and functionality



Deep fryer power and capacity

You need to speak with your dealer or manufacturer to ensure your commercial deep fryer can withstand being switched on all day if that’s what you need it to do.

As mentioned earlier, the volume your deep fryer can hold will also come into play. Consider that a greater volume will allow you to cook more at once but that it will also take up space in your kitchen.

If your menu doesn’t have a great deal of deep fried food options, keep the capacity small and invest in other equipment for your kitchen.


Programmable commercial deep fryer

In a busy kitchen, it helps for things to be automated and for notifications to sound when food is ready. While programmable commercial deep fryers sit at the more expensive end of the scale, they can be so helpful to keep your kitchen operating at its best.

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 commercial deep fryer can reduce the strain on your cooks’ wrists, which are susceptible to RSI’s if they are lifting and turning baskets all day.

Use your programmable commercial deep fryer to set temperatures and timing, and help your kitchen to run like clockwork.


Filtration

While a filtration system isn’t part of your deep fryer, it is something you will need to consider.

As you cook with your commercial double basket 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 start to drop. You’ll notice your commercial deep fryer oil is dirty when it starts looking darker in colour and you realise things are taking longer to cook than they should.

To eliminate this issue, you can dump your oil out and start fresh constantly. This can be very expensive, especially if you are 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 deep 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 have 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 deep 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 deep fryer will come into play as well. Before you make a purchase, take a look and ask yourself:


  • How easy is it for someone with little training to operate the deep fryer 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 team about the brands they have preferred working with in the past and what they consider to be the gold standard.


Aesthetics

If your kitchen is open to the rest of your venue, commercial deep fryer aesthetics may be a consideration.

However, it’s more about keeping the equipment clean and safe than its design as your commercial deep fryer is a practical tool that is there to serve delicious food, not be admired by your customers.

Choose functionality, safety and performance over aesthetics when it comes time to buying one of these machines for your kitchen.


Accessories

Your commercial deep fryer accessories include your fry basket, your skimmer and things like sediment trays, clean out rods, fish plates and filter papers, as well as the bits and pieces you need to keep it clean.

Speak with your supplier about which accessories come standard with the machine you wish to purchase and which extra accessories will come in handy. For example, a night cover rarely comes standard with a commercial deep fryer. The main ‘enemies’ of oil are water, oxygen, soap, heat, carbon buildup and salt. Covering your oil at night will keep these out.


Insurance and warranty

Never purchase a brand new commercial deep fryer without making sure the parts are covered by warranty and that you have insurance in the case of theft or damage.

Take a look at the fine print of the warranty closely. Some won’t cover faulty installation or an issue like the fryer being placed so close to a source of water that it ends up being damaged. It’s also likely you won’t be correctly covered if your commercial deep fryer isn’t connected to power correctly or if it has obviously not been cleaned and serviced properly.

Mostly, commercial deep fryer warranties cover faulty manufacturer parts so be aware that a warranty isn’t a fail-safe for when things go wrong.

Maintenance and commercial deep fryer repair

Speaking of things going wrong, your deep fryer will need regular attention to keep it in top working condition.

When you buy a commercial deep fryer, speak to the vendor about the maintenance and repair requirements. Also keep in mind that cleaning your commercial deep 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 build up of oil and check that knobs are operating properly and 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 commercial deep fryer price, only to realise it can’t be repaired after an essential but irreplaceable part breaks.


Second hand vs new commercial deep fryer

A used commercial deep fryer is definitely an option if you are kitting out your new venue’s kitchen. It can make sense to save money, however be aware of false economy.

Looking on a website like Gumtree for a second hand or used commercial deep fryer can be risky. Even if it looks like a good deal and the vendor says it has hardly been used, check for a service history and try to have someone with experience look over the machine.

Another option is to browse SilverChef's range of Certified Used equipment, which is fully refurbished, run tested and tagged so you can be confident it will go the distance. Certified Used equipment is often less than 18 months old and comes with a warranty. Our Certified Used range can also be rented through our Rent-Try-Buy finance product, allowing you to see how the equipment fits with your business before deciding whether to purchase it.

'Another option is to browse SilverChef's range of Certified Used equipment, which is fully refurbished, run tested and tagged so you can be confident it will go the distance.'

Some of the best commercial deep fryers


There is a plethora of electric and gas commercial deep fryers on the market today and making a decision on which model to buy can be a complex process.

The model you choose will depend on commercial deep fryer price, features, capacity and availability. Here are some brands to keep an eye out for as part of your search, based on product information and commercial deep fat fryer reviews and commercial gas deep fryer reviews.

Keep in mind that many brands have different models which can be suitable across categories.


Entry level commercial deep fryers

If you’re operating a venue like a canteen you may not wish to invest a great deal in your commercial deep fat fryer. Cobra, Dean and True Heat are three brands to investigate. Take a look at their pros and cons.


Cobra deep fryer pros and cons

Cobra commercial deep fryers are regarded by many as being durable, robust and reliable in a commercial kitchen. Lower cost models of the Cobra deep fryer are less likely to fulfil requirements for a high-volume venue in the way some other commercial deep fat fryers will.


Dean deep fryer pros and cons

Many Dean deep fat fryer models have a wide cold zone to capture the natural fall-off, or sediment, that occurs during frying. They also use electric elements to transfer heat directly to the oil so the kitchen stays cooler.

Models at the lower end of the scale may not live up to expectations in a very busy, high volume kitchen.


Trueheat deep fryer pros and cons


The Trueheat RC Series Gas Deep Fryer model combines power, functionality and clever open pot design to deliver a commercial deep fryer designed specifically with Australian restaurant and café kitchens in mind. It features a high grade stainless steel open pot tank and a premium fast action thermostat for a perfect fry, time after time.

Check before you buy if the Trueheat model is suitable for your kitchen.


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. The following are some of the pros and cons of different models you can find in Australia:


Woodson deep fryer pros and cons

Woodson’s Countertop Single Pan Fryer is built for quick, energy efficient short runs of fried food. This unit has an over temperature safety cut-out that ensures safe usage every time.

It is a reliable, efficient, and valuable addition to any kitchen.

The small size of Woodsen’s countertop deep fryers make them unsuitable for large venues.


Roband deep fryer pros and cons

Available in 5 or 8 litre tank options, with single or double capacity, Roband deep fryers have precise thermostat control, insulated basket handles and tanks that are easy to remove.

As with other countertop models, this deep fryer may not be suitable for a high volume venue.


Anvil deep fryer pros and cons


A cost-effective Anvil countertop deep fryer has a removable stainless steel tank with carrying handles for easy cleaning. Choose a single or double pan model, depending on your requirements. Features include a reset switch and extra safety thermostat, plus a hinged element box for easy lifting of elements

A countertop model of Anvil deep fryer won’t meet your needs if you serve fried foods at high volume.


The above brands are all quite similar, with Woodson and Roband being made in Australia.


Commercial auto fryers

If you want a commercial fryer almost anyone can operate, and if you have limited space at your venue, choose an auto fryer.


Perfect Fryer pros and cons



The Perfect Fryer is self-contained. It has no hoods, canopies or venting which means installation costs are kept to a minimum. There is very little space required to accommodate a Perfect Fryer and it is ideal for an unskilled team to use because all you have to do is select the appropriate cooking cycle depending on what type of food you are cooking and then press the button. However, some users have expressed reservations about the cleaning requirements for this machine.


Professional level commercial deep fryers

Quick service restaurants and establishments serving fried food at high volume are best off investing in a high quality, high volume commercial deep fryer that is very safe to use, energy efficient and easy to maintain.


Frymaster commercial deep fryer pros and cons


Specially designed for high volume frying, many Frymaster models have an exclusive 1° action thermostat that anticipates rapid rate of temperature rise, reduces temperature overshoot, extends shortening life and produces a more uniformly-cooked product. In addition, every inch of the frypot and cold zone can be cleaned and wiped down by hand.

This is a premium model of commercial deep fryer so don’t pay the higher commercial deep fryer price if you won't use it to its full capacity.


Pitco commercial deep fryer pros and cons

With a body made of galvanised steel, the Pitco C+S Commercial Deep Fryer is recommended on thebreslin.com as the best premium deep fryer model where it's described as 'beautifully designed' and 'highly durable.'

The cost may be prohibitive for smaller venues and it is not worth investing in a machine like this if your venue isn’t planning to serve a great deal of fried food.

"Never purchase a brand new commercial deep fryer without making sure the parts are covered by warranty and that you have insurance in the case of theft or damage."

Ten questions to ask before you buy a commercial deep fryer

When it comes to purchasing a commercial deep fryer, you’ll find 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 make a decision.

As part of your research, speak to other venue owners and reputable dealers/suppliers.

To help you decide between a commercial electric deep fryer, commercial gas deep fryer, a commercial double basket deep fryer or a countertop deep fryer, here are some things you can ask your industry peers:

  1. Which commercial deep fryer model do you use and why?
  2. How often does your commercial deep fryer break down or need repairs?
  3. Do you have more success with an electric commercial deep fryer or a gas commercial deep fryer?
  4. How easy is it to clean and maintain your commercial deep fryer?
  5. Is the provider reliable when you need their help?
  6. Do your chefs/cooks/staff find the machine easy to use?
  7. What was your experience buying a used or second-hand commercial deep fryer?
  8. Would you recommend the commercial deep fryer you have to others?
  9. What commercial deep fryer price would you recommend paying?
  10. Which commercial electric deep fryer or commercial gas deep fryer does your team prefer to use?

Here are questions to ask your dealer or supplier about the best deep fryer for your business:

  • Will this machine suit the needs of my venue?
  • 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 deep fryer repair?
  • How much are hourly callout fees? What about on weekends?
  • Do you provide commercial deep fryer training for my team?
  • Why do you recommend this commercial deep fryer?
  • Is this commercial deep fryer worth the price?

Commercial deep fryer FAQ

How to clean commercial deep fryers

Your commercial deep fryer needs to be regularly cleaned and ‘boiled out’. Failing to keep your equipment clean means it won’t work the way you want it to. It also increases the fire risk at your premises.

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 flyer, here are some generic instructions for a monthly deep clean of a commercial fryer.*


  • First, switch your commercial deep fryer off and allow the oil to cool (turn off the pilot light if you are using a gas commercial deep fryer)
  • Remove baskets and accessories to be cleaned separately
  • On the outside of the fryer, wipe it down regularly with a purpose-made cleaning and degreasing solution
  • Use a synthetic pad to scrub stubborn spots
  • Make sure the equipment is dry
  • 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 have are stuck (you might need to use a cleaning rod to dislodge anything or reach into tight spaces)
  • Wipe down the interior of your commercial deep fryer to remove residual oil and grease
  • Fill your commercial deep 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 half an hour), 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.

*Note: This is generic advice. Speak to your supplier for specific instructions. Remember that the cleaning process involves potentially hazardous chemicals and wear protective clothing where necessary.


How to drain a commercial deep fryer

Your commercial deep fryer should have a drain valve to allow liquid out. Before you drain your commercial deep fryer, ensure it is switched off and that the equipment and the oil are cool. This prevents burns from hot liquid.

Place an oil transporter or a container with sufficient capacity under your deep fryer to hold the contents and open the drain valve. Wear protective clothing so you aren’t impacted by oil splashing and use a non-slip cleaner if any oil gets on the floor.


How much oil does a commercial deep fryer use?

The amount of oil your commercial deep fryer uses will depend on how large it is. As a reference, most countertop commercial deep fryers typically have a capacity of between 4 to 6 litres of oil. Larger models hold up to 45 litres of cooking oil and there are plenty of sizes in between.

In terms of oil use, it depends on how much food you are cooking. Expect to refresh or clean your oil once the substance has darkened and when food starts taking a long time to cook.


How much is a commercial deep fryer?

The cost to buy a commercial deep fryer depends on what you will be using it for, which features it has and the model you choose. A top of the range deep fryer may sell for over $5,000 while a reliable larger model will cost at least $2,000. Talk to your dealer or browse our SilverChef Certified Used equipment range to find the best brand deep fryers at better prices; or consider our Rent-Try-Buy option if you prefer not to pay cash upfront.


How to use a commercial deep fryer

Special training is required to use a commercial deep fryer safely. However, put simply, the process will usually involve switching it on the fryer, setting it at the desired temperature, waiting for the oil to reach this temperature then adding food to your basket and lowering it into the oil for a specific amount of time.


For additional information, speak with your supplier.

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 deep 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.

Prefer to dive straight in and start looking at the commercial deep fryers available from our Certified Used team? Shop the range


Want to know about finance options and what your rental payments on a commercial deep fryer could be? Use our Rent-Try-Buy calculator to run the numbers.

This Buyer’s Guide was prepared with the help of Cathy Goodwin, an independent equipment consultant with over 35 years industry experience. Cathy provides advice to cafes, restaurants and QSRs on their equipment choices and the implementation of best practice (in house and professional) equipment maintenance and hygiene. Find out more here.



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