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All businesses should assess their exact needs, as it can be inefficient to have a fryer that is too big and heating up more oil than is necessary for demand...

Understanding Deep Fat Fryers

Deep-fat fryer's are extremely useful in a commercial kitchen. Any food cooks in the top two inches of oil, which can be heated up to 200 degrees Celsius. All businesses should assess their exact chip fryer needs, as it can be inefficient to have a fryer that is too big and heating up more oil than is necessary for demand.

On this basis, it is important to know your potential deep fat fryers chips per hour capacity. This is the industry standard measurement for the output for a fryer, for instance, the Falcon Dominator Plus Twin Basket Gas Fryer has a capacity of 24 litres, which is the equivalent to 54kg of chips per hour.

This is a vital statistic, and be careful not to base your needs on your busiest period, such as a chip shop may have high demand on Friday afternoons, and feel they need a 54kg output, but the rest of the week may suffice with a deep fat fryer with half of that capacity.

A final point to consider is to check the manufacturers' basis for this output; is it based on frozen chips, chilled chips and what size of chips? If in doubt, always seek advice from the manufacturer based on your business's weekly output.

Gas or Electric?

Gas deep fat fryers use a heating system where tube burners run across the bottom of the frying tank. The gas is fired through these tubes, which heats the oil through the tank walls. There are slightly different heating options with gas fryers, such as having the gas jets concentrated on the outside of the frying tank, or using infra-red heaters, which give a fast, high heat.

Gas fryers are generally more expensive to purchase, but can be cheaper to run, due to natural gas or propane being less expensive than the cost of electricity used for an Electric Fryer. Due to the nature of gas fryers, they normally come in free-standing models, so for smaller outputs or where a deep fat fryer's use is nominal and occasional, a countertop electric fryer may be the best option, and much more affordable.

Electric fryers use coils to heat the oil from inside the frying tank, similar to many other electrical appliances. The main options to consider when buying an electric deep fat fryer are whether it has an adjustable thermostat to achieve the right temperature, and whether there is an indicator for the perfect frying temperature.

Types of commercial fryers

There are various differences when considering a new deep fat fryer. We have already been through the output and various power sources. Now it's time to run through the models.
For low volume output, you could consider a cheap countertop fryer, these are easily stored, require fairly minimal maintenance and are a lot easier to clean simply due to their smaller size. Energy requirements are obviously lower aswell.

For high volume output, a free-standing fryer may be your best option. These varieties are more expensive, but will vastly improve performance for high demand frying needs. As mentioned previously, these models usually come gas powered. Always consider your space requirements, and ask the manufacturer if you are unsure. With regards to maintenance of larger fat fryers, we will cover cleaning in the next section.

One more feature to consider is single or twin basket? If your frying needs are varied, it may be beneficial to consider a twin basket, as one basket can be reserved exclusively for chips, again keep in mind each basket's chips per hour output. Whilst the other basket can be kept for frying any other foods. 

When considering material, most chip fryers are made of Stainless Steel, this is the material of choice for anything using hot-oil, as it minimises burning and degrading of the tanks and therefore the oil. You can get cheaper Mild Steel alternatives, but we would advise to stick with Stainless Steel, the rewards in the long-run will far outweigh the initial costs.


When deep fat fryers are used regularly, a common problem is that food debris will fall to the bottom of the tank and can burn onto the fryer tank, the intense heat causes this to damage the inside of the tanks and can also taint and degrade the frying oil, altering the taste of anything fried in the oil. To avoid this problem, look for a fat fryer with a Deep Cool Zone.
This is an indent in the bottom of the tank that is approximately 30 degrees Celsius cooler than the rest of the oil, allowing food to fall down into it without burning to the tank and causing the problems explained above.

Another feature to think about is an Oil Filtration system. This is usually an automated system that drains the hot oil out of the bottom of the tanks, through a filter, to remove any unwanted particles and clean the oil, which is then pumped back into the tanks.

Good practice when frying dictates not frying at too high a temperature. Chip fryers will degrade the oil faster when temperatures are above the necessary limit, meaning it will need to be changed more often, and will also alter the flavour of the food.

As always, regular cleaning is a must. The baskets should be cleaned regularly to remove any food debris, and the tanks should be cleaned when the oil is changed. Make sure to only use soft materials, any abrasive materials and damage the inside of the tanks, and cause irreversible damage for any future use.

Another oft-forgotten area are the dials. They will build up with a layer of sticky grease over time which can affect the mechanism, and if not dealt with, will eventually lead to broken dials, a lack of temperature control, and a near-useless fryer. When buying your next chip fryer, try to find out if the dials are removable for ease of maintenance.

Lockhart's exclusive Chefmaster range

We have a wide selection of commercial fat fryers with a range of features that includes: gas or electric, countertop or freestanding, single or twin tank. 

We stock fryers that meet a wide range of specifications to suit your catering needs. All of our fryers are manufactured to the highest quality and are guaranteed to suit any budget. 

For modest budgets, we offer an affordable range of countertop commercial fryers from trusted brand Chefmaster. All Chefmaster fryers are available for next day delivery and come with 12 months parts and service warranty.


Lockhart Catering on 19 August 2016 3:00 AM

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