Gas versus electric fryers. What's the difference?
Whether gas or electric is more economical is a controversial question depending on the energy company you talk to. Generally, gas-operated fryers are less expensive to operate and have a quicker recovery time. They're also hot the moment you turn them on, whereas electric equipment always involves a "warm up time."
Counter-top gas fryers operate in a range of 45,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) to about 80,000 BTUs. Electric fryers use between 5 kW's and 22 kW's. Floor model gas fryers can go over 150,000 BTUs while floor model electrics usually range from 12 kW to 22 kW units. Air fryers are all electric.
Gas versus electric: recovery time. Will a fryer that recovers quickly save me money?
The recovery time of a fryer is determined by the BTU output: the higher the BTUs, the faster the recovery time of the fryer. For fast-paced operations, quick recovery time can be critical.
Fryers that operate at higher BTUs recover more quickly. This means that the fryer doesn't have to operate at higher settings to compensate for the slow recovery time each time you add new batch of product.
Keeping your fryer at a steady, lower setting does two things that save you money: it saves fuel and it extends the life of your shortening. Since heat destroys shortening, the lower the temperature at which you set your fryer, the longer your shortening is going to last.
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Stainless steel versus mild steel tanks. Why buy stainless?
There are very few absolutes in buying restaurant equipment but this is one of them. Stainless steel tank fryers are more economical in the long run. The cost difference is minimal up front and the rewards could be substantial.
If there's ever a problem with a fryer, it's usually that the tank strikes a leak. Stainless steel is stronger than mild steel and less likely to develop "pin hole" leaks. If a leak does occur, a stainless steel tank can be welded back together whereas a mild steel tank must be replaced completely. Finally, the warranties on stainless steel tank fryers are much longer than they are on mild steel tank fryers.
Countertop fryers. Why would I buy one?
It all depends on how much you're frying, but for operators who have limited space or production needs, countertop models can make a lot of sense. Larger operations will generally need a full-size floor model.
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