6 Important Maintenance Tips for Your Restaurant Deep Fryer
If you own one of the 647,288 restaurants in America, there's a good chance you'll have a restaurant deep fryer in your kitchen. In light of this, we've put together a list of handy maintenance tips that'll help your fryer stand the test of time. Let's dive in!
1. Clean It Every Day
This may sound tedious, but you need to ensure the fryer gets cleaned every day. Bring this to the attention of the kitchen staff, more specifically, whoever operates the fryer.
At the very minimum they'll need to:
- Clean the exterior of the machine.
Our best advice is to remove the basket and run it through a dishwasher cycle and then blot it dry.
It's important to do this before putting the basket back into the vat because you don't want a slippery floor; this is a health hazard for your employees!
2. Clean After an Oil Change
As you probably already know, the oil heats in the vat via the heating elements that are immersed in oil.
Therefore, it's imperative that in addition to your daily clean, you also cleanse the heating components whenever there's an oil change.
This entails brushing the food particles away; this allows the heat to transmit evenly, so the food cooks appropriately.
3. Deep Clean
A daily scrub isn't enough; your fryer requires a deep clean once every three to six months.
Here's what to do:
- Drain the fryer oil from the machine.
- Then, load the vat with warm water and a cleaning solution.
- Now, turn on the fryer, so the water simmers, don't let it get so warm that it starts to boil.
- Grab a soft brush and scour the inside.
When you're done, allow the fryer to dry.
4. Get a Professional Inspection
You should also get a professional inspection by a food service technician, annually. This is by far the most reliable way of ensuring that any weathered components are detected so you can replace them.
Don't Forget the Oil
In addition to regular cleaning and maintenance, you need to be careful about the quality of the fryer oil you use.
Firstly, you should aim to keep the oil within the recommended temperature range. Every fryer should have temperature control, so familiarize yourself with how it works and use it!
Yes, higher temperatures usually cook things quicker, but it doesn't make it suitable for the fryer.
Find the optimum temperature for your model, and stick to it when you're cooking (you should find this information in the handbook that came with the machine, or if you don't have that, Google the make of your fryer to find out more info).
When you overheat the oil, you run the risk of burning it and the food you're cooking tastes terrible!
In addition to maintaining your oil temperature, you need to filter it. This is necessary for keeping your fryer oil clean, plus it's another surefire technique for lengthening the lifespan of the oil.
Plus, using a commercial oil filter for your fryer drastically improves the quality of the oil and hence the taste of whatever it is you're frying- win-win!
To do this, you usually need to change the oil using an external oil filtration system. Utilizing one of these will almost double the life of your oil!
How Often Should You Change Oil?
If you're using the fryer on a regular basis, you'll probably need to change the oil at least twice a week. However, if your business uses this machine less frequently, you'll only need to change the oil once every couple of weeks.
If you don't know how to tell if the oil needs changing, here are a few indicators to watch out for:
- The smell: If you can smell burning, you probably need to change the oil.
- The taste of the food you're cooking: you should regularly taste a sample of the food you're preparing to ensure it doesn't have a stale or burnt tinge to it. If it does, again, the oil probably needs changing.
- The color of the food: If the food you're cooking looks darker than usual, then there's a chance that there are burnt spots in the vat. Again, this suggests the oil needs changing.
As you get to grips with your business, you'll start to notice a pattern in the frequency of oil changes. However, in the meantime, these four signs give an excellent idea of when the oil needs refreshing.
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