Dealers always need a hook to sell particular appliances to end users, and in the fryers sphere, there is none more powerful than reducing oil consumption and therefore running costs. Therefore, we quizzed fryer manufacturers and suppliers on how they can help to achieve decreased oil consumption, so that distributors are fully informed when asked for advice on the subject.
For instance, supplier Jestic Foodservice Equipment, which imports the Henny Penny brand of fryers into the UK, claims that the manufacturer’s reduced oil capacity technology extends oil life, cutting consumption by up to 40%.
According to Jestic culinary director Michael Eyre: “Perhaps the biggest impact on consumption rates comes from the disposal of used cooking oil – so regular, efficient filtration can significantly extend the working life of oil. The Henny Penny Evolution Elite fryer incorporates SmartFilter Express technology, designed to inform the operator when to perform a quick filter, dropping and filtering out the debris, before returning freshly filtered oil back into the cooking vat at the optimum cooking temperature within 4 minutes.
“This removes the need for a cold zone in the fryer, meaning the Evolution Elite provides the same production capacity as a fryer with a much larger oil volume. Fresh filtered, clean oil also results in a more efficient fry meaning the food will absorb less oil.”
Elsewhere, Valentine Equipment and Cuisinequip regional account manager for London, southern England and Ireland, Philip Sanderson, asserted: “Valentine fryers are designed to require less oil than any other fryer on the market.
“Each fryer’s pan is made of double insulated stainless steel which is pressed rather than welded with a smaller than usual cool zone under the element. A reduced area under the element means that the oil used is reserved mostly for cooking and this has a significant impact on both pre-heating and recovery times. Customers can also choose the turbo element option which will mean more output per-hour but with the same quantity of oil.”
He added: “By filtering oil daily you can significantly slow down degradation and therefore extend oil life by as much as 50%. A lot of Valentine customers choose the pump option for their fryers and this is always something we would recommend.”
While at Welbilt UK, in order to help operators keep oil consumption to a minimum, its Frymaster brand developed the FilterQuick range.
Sales director Steve Hemsil explained: “Featuring Auto Filtration and an integrated oil quality sensor, Frymaster FilterQuick units use up to 40% less oil and 10% less energy than previous models – an exceptional oil consumption reduction which helps operators to make significant savings.”
Up at Falcon Foodservice Equipment, product development chef Shaune Hall advised dealers to pass on to operators that they should not overfill fryers with oil in order for the appliances to work optimally. In Falcon’s own Dominator Plus portfolio, the slimmest twin pan model, at 450mm wide, is the G3845. Hall said: “The pans are independently controlled so operators can save money and oil by only using one pan during quieter periods.
“For added convenience, there is also a model variant with filtration built-in. This model, the G3845F, has twin filtration systems, including individual electrical pumps, filters, mesh and drain buckets, which allows one pan to be filtered while the other is being used. The ability to frequently and easily filter oil, even during service periods, can double the lifespan of the oil and maintains food quality, not to mention making life much easier for kitchen personnel.”
At Blue Seal, its Evolution gas fryers GT60, GT46 and GT45, all use the manufacturer’s patented ‘V’Ray’ burner system. This system uses infra-red technology radiating the heat into the tank, only heating the area of oil the baskets are sitting in.
National accounts manager David Chesshire explained: “This promotes incredibly fast recovery rates, high efficiency for limited fuel consumption and promotes a true cool zone in conjunction with the specially shaped tank. The true cool zone prevents crumb and food debris that drops below the batter plates from continuous cooking and carbonising, which in turn helps prevent the degrading of oil quality.”
He added: “To prolong the lifespan of the fryer, we would always recommend regular service maintenance at least once per year, regular filtering of the oil and a periodic tank clean out with boiling water and soda crystals or fryer specific cleaning agent.”
While Grande Cuisine director Steve Hobbs analysed: “Ensuring that a fryer uses as little oil as possible can only be down to the way the manufacturer has decided to construct the fryer. Mareno I-Fry units have gas burners outside the well which results in gentler heat transmission and this means that the oil lasts longer.
“The units are also easier to clean. In our electric fryers the heating elements are inside the well for direct heat transmission. There’s good power density for maximum performance and the new heating elements are shaped in order to maintain contact with as much oil as possible rather than creating ‘hot spots’ in the immediate vicinity of the elements which ‘stress’ the oil.”
He continued: “Given that the key to producing excellent frying results is the quality of the oil, I-Fry also includes models with integrated filtration to slow down oil degradation. Filtering takes just 5 minutes and can take place during service, at a temperature of 185°C.”
Middleby UK MD Kenny Smith takes a slightly different tack, saying: “The biggest factor in oil usage is the operations of the end user. Minimising sediment and filtering regularly are key to longer oil life.
“From a design point of view, we offer a variety of solutions to combat the enemies of oil like sediment, heat, air, etc, from small things like tank covers and skimmer tools, to different control types to ensure temperature overshoot is minimised, to even filtration solutions like portable filters, built in filters and optional flush hoses. We try to make filtration easy enough that end users actually do it on a consistent basis.
“As far as truly optimising oil life, Pitco offers low oil volume fryers which reduce the vat capacity from 25 to 15litres of oil, but again this product’s ultimate payback is heavily influenced by end user variables like volume, sediment load and critically filtering intervals and effectiveness.”
Over at rexmartins, commercial director Nick McDonald believes that the firm’s induction fryers could hold the solution. “These fryers incorporate sophisticated inverter control. This system intelligently manages oil temperatures to within 1°C of the set level. This ensures that oil quality is not prematurely degraded through the exposure to frequent periods of over-temperature which occurs with standard thermostatic control. Field trials have shown that this combination of technologies can extend oil life by as much as 100%,” he said.
He underlined: “Regular and frequent filtering of oil is certainly beneficial in preserving oil quality but cannot repair the damage caused by exposure to high temperatures. Close-tolerance temperature control, such as the inverter control built into our induction fryers, ensures that oil absorption is minimised and the results are crispy and appetising.”
For Euro Catering, the Palux Frystar DS Plus range it supplies has what is said to be energy-saving and oil-life extending ‘Automatic Quantity Adjustment’ technology incorporated into the design. Development chef, Darren Massey revealed: “After initial set up, this allows the fryer to automatically adjust the cooking time, depending on the weight of the product loaded. This results in significant energy saving.
“There is also an automatic fat-melting system. Here, the fryer initially heats the oil to a temperature of 90°C, before energising full power. This prevents the oil from degrading and helps save on oil usage.”
The supplier also has equipment that can help simplify the requirement to filter oil via automatic filtering and pumping features. Some units can filter hot oil at 180°C and pump it back into the cook chamber for continued frying, in less than 3 minutes. Massey added: “This process is quick and easy to deploy during a busy service, resulting in reduced downtime.”
Ventless fryers are an alternative to open variants, which is said to confer consumption advantages. For example, the Quality Fry Fast Chef Elite range of fryers which Taylor UK supplies to this country have everything self-contained inside the appliance.
Taylor marketing manager David Rees detailed: “Because all the frying is done in the enclosed chamber, the oil has very little exposure to oxygen and none to light, which extends its useful lifespan. The lack of oxygen also enhances safety by minimising the risk of fire. The unit’s Ecofry technology extracts moisture away from the food very quickly, further extending the oil’s lifespan. Ecofry also filters the oil, to maximise its life.”
The supplier reported that in independent tests the Fast Chef Elite used up to 37% less oil than conventional fryers, as well as reducing frying time by up to 27% and using up to 24% less energy.