You chose the
restaurant biz because you love food. And you love seeing the power
your dishes have over people. Their eyes light up with expectation as
your signature grilled salmon is brought to the table and roll back
behind closed lids as they play your savory beef bourguignon across
their tongues. You've done it again - like a boss.
Just as important
to your business and almost as powerful, however, are the fried foods
that compliment your menu. Whether french fries, onion blossoms, or
mozzarella sticks, these are the extras your patrons demand, and they
help drive your bottom line. Like everything else you do, you want to
deliver fried fare with excellence. The first step, of course, is to
choose a fryer. Over the next few blogs, we will engage three questions
that will help you navigate the available options and choose a
fryer like a boss.
How Much Do I Need?
The “size” of commercial deep fryers is usually stated in their
tank capacity - how much oil they can hold. A 45-50 lb.
fryer holds roughly 45-50 lbs. of shortening. Production
capacity, by contrast, indicates how quickly the fryer can
crank out your fried fare. Production is gauged by how many pounds
of french fries the fryer can cook in an hour.
Because of other varying factors like BTU input and efficiency
levels, there is not a perfect relationship between oil capacity
and production rate. Some manufacturers and dealers say their
production is double the fryer size, but that is probably a
stretch. When tested independently, most fryers have an hourly
production right above 1-1/2 times the weight of shortening. For
instance, the Frymaster H55 (50 lb. fryer) is rated by the Food Service Technology
Center as maxing at about 69 lbs/hr. The Vulcan 1GR45A (45 lb) does a bit better with a
72 lbs/hr production, but still lands near the mark of 1.5 x
If you have very small demand, a small entry-level fryer like
the popular Vulcan LG300
may be the perfect fit. Most floor models, however, range in size
between 45 lb. fryers like the Vulcan 1VK45A and 75 lb. fryers like the American Range AF-75. While some
manufacturers make larger fryers, most customers with bigger dreams
opt for doubling up two or three smaller fryers in a "battery".
This allows one fryer to sip energy in an idle state during most of
the day, but kick in to handle the volume during heavy meal times.
Having two wells also allows you limit taste transfer when cooking
fish or other strongly flavored foods. If you're thinking about
choosing a double or triple battery, often the in-fryer filtration
system (which we'll discuss in our third fryer blog) can be
Your demand will determine the size of fryer you need. Here’s an
example: if you are planning to serve a 5 oz. serving of french
fries to 200 people in one hour at peak, you would need 62.50 lbs.
of fries. One 45 lb. fryer would get the job done. As you
calculate, be sure to account for your busiest lunch rush or
weekend evening so your orders don't bottleneck at the fryer. So,
how fried is your menu?
|Hourly Fry Servings
||Hourly Fry Total
||Size of Fryer(s) Needed
|200, 5 oz. servings
||63 lbs. of fries
||(1) 45 lb. fryer
|300, 5 oz. servings
||94 lbs. of fries
||(1) 65 lb. fryer
|400, 5 oz. servings
||125 lbs. of fries
||(1) 85 lb. or (2) 45 lb. fryers
(Check back for our next installment
when we'll compare available fryer grade options, equipping you to
choose a fryer like a boss).