How to Choose a Fryer like a Boss (II)
In our first post, we talked about sizing your fryer. But size is not the only area where customers are tempted to skimp. In addition to asking "How much do I need?", choosing a fryer like a boss means thinking seriously about the following question.
How Much Can I Spend?
This may sound like a dumb question. You're not used to asking how much you can spend, but how little you can get away with spending. But part of running your business like a boss is to remember that a little money invested in the right equipment now may save you loads in the long run. For floor model commercial deep fryers, there are three main grades you should consider: economy, production, and high-efficiency.
Economy Fryers (Good)
Economy fryers get you the basics at a great price and are the right place to start if you have very limited funds. Often these are trimmed down versions of production fryers, but the best of these entry-level fryers will still provide plenty of cooking power, as well as stainless steel frypots, snap-action thermostats, and large cold zones. The controls are limited, which means operating the fryers is straightforward but more babysitting is needed to ensure you don’t burn your drops. If you want to experiment with adding fried foods or need to replace an ailing fryer on the cheap, consider a quality economy fryer like the Vulcan LG400, the Dean SR42G, or one of American Range's AF series. These economy fryers will get you started without breaking your bank.
Production Fryers (Better)
Production fryers are premium grade fryers delivering top level quality and production without the energy-saving innovations of the high efficiency models. Like any good mid-level option, you get some high end features but an improved price point over the top grade. Production fryers offer higher quality components than the economy level, longer warranties, and optional programmable controls. If you demand premium quality but can't afford a high-efficiency fryer, you should consider a production grade fryer like the Vulcan 1GR45A.
Many production fryers are available with built-in filtration systems as a premium option. Tune in next time to find out more about this game-changing feature.
High-Efficiency Fryers (Best)
High Efficiency fryers are an investment; but a good one is worth every penny. Innovative features increase production rates and performance while reducing oil breakdown and fuel costs. Savings like these, along with hefty energy rebates, quickly recoup your initial expense and begin banking extra profit. Unfortunately, sticker shock causes many customers to pass on this smart buy, opting for cheaper, traditional fryers.
When you look at the numbers, it is a shame so many people miss this opportunity. High Efficiency fryers enlist effective energy usage and low idle rates to save you almost 45% in gas costs. Energy Star suggests that an efficient gas fryer can save you $4500 over the course of its life. This is on the low end. Operating 12 hours a day and pushing 200 lbs of fried goods every day, an HE fryer like the Vulcan 1VK45A can save $700-$800 off your yearly gas bill, compared to standard production fryers. Over a typical 10-year fryer lifespan, that’s 7-8 grand in savings! See how much you could save with Vulcan's Gas Savings Comparison Calculator.
The savings doesn’t stop there. Extending the life of your oil is another way innovative, high-efficiency fryers can save you money. For instance, by improving the thermal transfer efficacy of the VK Powerfry series with a five-pass transfer system, Vulcan was able to ramp up recovery times while lessening the actual heat input. Since heat is key factor in oil degradation, this gentler approach prolongs the life of your oil. With oil being the most expensive cost of owning a fryer, this can add thousands of dollars in labor and oil savings.
While opting for a high-efficiency fryer may help reduce shortening usage, the most important factor in extending your oil life is frequent filtering. In our next post, we'll talk about some filtration options, your final step to choosing a fryer like a boss
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