Ranging from commercial to consumer models, a deep fryer is a cooking appliance used to prepare a variety of foods by immersing them in super-heated oil. Among the foods cooked in a deep fryer include chicken wings, breaded seafood, french fries, onion rings, donuts and various appetizers. Depending on the fryer's application, namely, if it used in the home or in a restaurant, features and design will differ drastically. Home deep fryers are fairly compact and designed to sit atop a counter. They are capable of holding up to 20 cups of oil. Commercial units feature a far more durable design and can take upwards of 90 pounds of oil. Prices for home models range from about $30 to $350, while commercial units cost anywhere from $700 to nearly $20,000.
Home Deep Fryer Design
Offered by such small appliance makers as Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, Waring, Presto, Rival, DeLonghi and more, home deep fryers are convenient and compact. With an exterior crafted out of stainless steel or some other material, home deep fryers are designed to match any kitchen. They typically feature several removable parts, including an immersible heating element, nonstick oil reservoir and the fry basket, all of which may be dishwasher safe.
Equipped with a sealable lid that has a built-in odor filter, hot oil won't splatter during use, while the carbon filter contains unpleasant cooking smells. In terms of safety, home deep fryers generally feature a breakaway magnetic cord, automatic shutoff circuit and, with select models, a safety interlock feature that prevents the unit from operating if the control panel is not properly attached.
Operation and Performance
Easy to use and easy to clean, home deep fryers feature mechanical or electronic controls. Select units feature fully digital operation, and some even offer preprogrammed menu settings. An adjustable thermostat allows a user to change the temperature of the oil to suit certain foods, while a built-in timer lets you fry with precision. LED indicators often include both power-on and oil-ready varieties. The immersible heating element generally runs at anywhere from 800 to 1,800 Watts depending on the size of the model.
The nonstick, enamel-coated or stainless steel oil reservoir is easy to clean and usually can go right into the dishwasher. Some units feature an oil drain, while others have a pour spout to empty used oil. The fryer basket features a plastic or silicone-coated handle for safe touching.
Whereas indoor home fryers are electric powered, gas-fueled, outdoor models are available as well. Portable and powerful, outdoor fryers feature a durable steel frame, burner with a pressure regulator and gas line, and an aluminum or stainless steel stockpot. Used to fry whole turkeys or other foods, most include a steamer insert for boiling vegetables or fresh-caught seafood.
Commercial Deep Fryers
Commercial deep fryers are found in restaurants of all sizes, with both floor and countertop models available. Most commercial fryers are gas fueled, but electric models are used too. Highly durable for constant use, commercial fryers feature stainless and galvanized steel components, heat-deflecting baffles, built-in drains and an oil auto-fill function with select units. Digital and computerized models are optional. Made for low- to high-volume restaurants, commercial deep fryers heat fast and feature an energy-efficient, user-friendly design.