From french fries to wontons, fried foods are popular in many different types of cuisines. There are different types of deep fryers made to meet specific needs, such as limited space or portability deep fryers. Caterers should generally look for portable fryers that are easy to transport from place to place, as it would not make much sense to buy one that is permanent. Restaurants have more flexibility in their choice of fryer, and should choose a fryer to meet the restaurant's needs and demands first and foremost.
Fryers are purchased from manufacturers, restaurant supply stores, or online using eBay. Because of the large selection of deep fryers available on eBay, often times sellers offer up prices at much lower than retail value. When choosing a deep fryer, it is important to understand the functionalities of electric and gas deep fryers, as well as which type of deep fryer is best suited to the restaurant or catering business' type of activities and most importantly their budget.
Types of Deep Fryers
Most deep fryers are made of stainless steel kitchen equipment that is intended to fry various types of food. There are many different types of deep fryers used for making different types of foods. Some fryers are specialised for a certain types of food, while others are made to cook many different kinds of foods. Buyers should consider the restaurant's need for the fryer to find the right type for their business.
Full-size fryers are typically large, floor standing fryers that are made for high volume use. Full-size fryers are able to fry a number of different types of food, quickly and efficiently. These models are the most powerful type of deep fryer, made for high efficiency kitchens with frequent or continuous use. The full-size fryers keep the oil at a constant temperature and have little oil backsplash. Because of the popularity of fried foods, many restaurants today choose to include a full-size fryer in the initial setup of their restaurant. However, full-size fryers are not portable, so keep in mind that they are not the best option for caterers.
Before purchasing a full-size fryer, it is important to consider the use of the fryer. Many restaurants use separate fryers for different foods, which is better for customers with food allergies. Different size fryers with different numbers of baskets are available, making it easy to find a full-size deep fryer to fit nicely into almost any restaurant kitchen.
Countertop fryers are much smaller deep fryers made to cook seemingly any type of food. Since they sit on the counter, they are ideal for kitchens with a limited space issue. However, countertop fryers are not made for high volume use. Also, most countertop fryers have a pan that is removable, which makes the fryer easy to clean. It is important for employees to always take precautions when handling a hot frying pan while cleaning.
Countertop deep fryers are great options for restaurants that do not fry very much food throughout the day, being that they do not take up very much space. They are also good for catering, since gas countertop fryers do not need to be plugged into an electric source and they are easy to transport. Measurements of the counter space should be taken before choosing a fryer to ensure it does not take up too much space in the kitchen.
Commercial Drop-in Fryers
Commercial drop-in fryers are also large, floorstanding deep fryers made to cook multiple types of food, and are primarily made for high volume use. Commercial drop-in fryers are one of the largest options available, and includes baskets to hold the food that is then dropped into the fryer. Many commercial drop-in fryers only have one pit for oil, so all of the foods cook in the same oil, which may alter flavours or contain traces of allergens. These types of fryers are best suited for restaurants that produce large amounts of fried foods on a daily basis. Since they are large and non-portable, they are not the best deep fryer option for caterers.
Funnel Cake Deep Fryers
Funnel cakes are a favourite at carnivals and fairs. Making funnel cakes requires a specific type of fryer made to support the overall shape of the cake. Funnel cake fryers are much more shallow than other types of deep fryers, and different sizes are available for different volumes of frying. Smaller sized, gas powered funnel cake fryers are typically the best option for caterers. Many models are made to sit on the countertop, making funnel cake fryers easy to fit inside of any kitchen. Funnel cake fryers are only needed by a small percentage of restaurants that specialise in funnel cakes.
Corn Dog Deep Fryers
Like funnel cakes, corn dogs are a popular snack at carnivals and many other outdoor events. Corn dogs are covered in a thick batter, and must be made in a specific type of deep fryer. Placing corn dogs in a standard deep fryer would only cause the batter to become misshaped or to drip off. Corn dog deep fryers hang the corn dogs so they easily keep their coating and shape. Corn dog fryers come in different sizes, some of which are portable, others are larger and built more for high volume jobs. Corn dog deep fryers are also only used by a small percentage of restaurants and caterers, but are necessary if corn dogs are offered at the restaurant or venue.
Electric vs. Gas Deep Fryers
After determining the type of fryer that best meets the needs of the restaurant or catering business, the next step is to choose a gas or electric fryer. Gas deep fryers are often better for catering, since they do not need to be plugged into a power source to operate. Most restaurants on the other hand, prefer electric deep fryers.
Electric Deep Fryers
Electric fryers heat up oil by immersing heating elements into the oil itself. Although electric fryers need to be plugged into a power source, they are extremely energy efficient. High-efficiency deep fryers have a higher initial investment, but winds up saving the restaurant money over time by reducing electricity costs. Electric fryers are much better at regulating temperature than gas fryers, and is able to return quickly to a high temperature after a large batch of frozen food is placed in the fryer. Most electric fryers can be set to a specific temperature, to ensure the food cooks properly.
Gas Deep Fryers
Gas Fryers heat oil, either by a burner underneath the pan, or by pipes running throughout the sides of the pan. Ceramic, or high efficiency burners, are better suited for distributing heat evenly throughout the fryer, since some older models do not heat the oil evenly which results in inconsistent cooking. It is much harder to regulate temperature on gas deep fryers, and they take much longer to return to a hot temperature after a large frozen batch of food is placed in the oil.
How to Purchase a Deep Fryer on eBay
After considering which type of deep fryer best fits within your restaurant or catering business' needs, you are ready to begin your search for a deep fryer on eBay. eBay also has a large selection of deep fryer supplies to choose from. To begin your search on eBay, you can begin with the use of keywords in the keyword search bar located on any eBay page. If you already know which type of fryer you are looking for, you can use a specific term, such as 'electric deep fryer'. To browse through the different options and prices of fryers, you can use a broader search term, such as 'deep fryer'.
eBay also makes it easy to stay within a set budget when searching for a deep fryer. eBay allows you to set a price maximum, so you do not waste time looking at deep fryers outside of your budget. With the large selection of deep fryers available on eBay, it is easy to find exactly what you need while staying within your price range. Purchasing large fryers from local sellers is another way to save money, since you can arrange to pick the item up rather than spending money on expensive shipping costs incurred for shipping such a large item.
Deep fryers are used to make many different types of foods in restaurants and catering businesses. Whether opening a new business or adding onto an existing one, adding a deep fryer puts a number of new foods to the menu. It is important to determine the business' needs before purchasing a deep fryer. Considering the vast array of fried foods made readily available at restaurants today helps determine which type of fryer best fits the restaurant's needs. Size is also a consideration when choosing a deep fryer, since many floor standing fryers are quite large.
When purchasing a deep fryer, it is important to first measure the amount of floor or counter space to ensure you do not purchase a deep fryer that is too large for the intended kitchen. The last thing to consider when purchasing a deep fryer is if the model is electric or gas powered. By understanding the restaurant or business' needs, it is easy to find the right type of fryer for the business at hand. Purchasing a commercial deep fryer is a large investment, but is made much more affordable with the help of eBay.