Fried foods are some of the most beloved in America. There's a process behind those foods, and in this new series from Pitco, we're going to sit down with the Fry Guys and Fry Gals who know how to get the most out of their fryers. In this edition, we sat down Chris Boyce, frying expert and corporate chef with One Source Reps in Philadelphia, PA.
After graduating from the Art Institute of NYC, Chef Chris Boyce spent the last 18 years in restaurants. From the front-of-the-house to the back-of-the-house, he's seen and been a part of operations and management in establishments ranging from local grills to James Beard-nominated chef's kitchens to boutique catering. In the last few years, Chris focused on learning multi-cultural profiles and preparations with modern techniques. Managing people's expectations is where his long-lasting rapport begins.
Pitco: What is the most common question you get about fryers?
Chef Chris: How do I filter, and how often to filter?
Pitco: What question do you first ask someone when they want help with a fried food menu item?
Chef Chris: What is your cover to fryer ratio?
Pitco: What are the most important accessories to have for fryers?
Chef Arturo: I'd start with a good filter system, ha! Also consider long brushes, a crumb bar, spiders, tongs, and extra baskets, as well as a fat vat.
Pitco: What is the best piece of advice you would give someone who wants to add fried food to a menu?
Chef Chris: Well, after you buy your Pitco fryer, keep your oil clean, get a filter system of sorts, and don't overextend that section of the menu. Or you'll need to get another fryer.
Pitco: What are common frying mistakes that you see?
Chef Chris: I often see oil temperatures that are too hot so the outside of foods are burnt and the insides are raw. Frying at too high of a temp will burn out your oil, end in dark food, and will cost you more money by re-dropping and purchasing new oil. People should also avoid dirty oil. Use a spider throughout the day to get rid of floating pieces so they don't end up in your food.
Pitco: How would you recommend fixing those mistakes?
Chef Chris: Fry at 350-375 degrees, and use a spider or something similar to pull debris out of oil after each or every other drop. Filter and clean every night. That includes inside the door and under the tank, as well.
Pitco: What is the best fried food you ever had?
Chef Chris: Some tempuras, soft shell crabs, whole fish, french fries made correctly, obviously fried chicken, and believe it or not, some fried mushrooms and pickles.
Pitco: What are your three best pieces of advice for a restaurant trying to make more money with fried food?
Chef Chris: Filter your oil and clean your fryer every night. Don't fry over 350 degrees, and if you do, 375 and turn back to 350 when done. If you're using dry dredges, shake it all off before dropping.
If you're using wet batters, hold the product and swing half of it back and forth until it has started to harden so you can drop the rest in without it sticking to the basket.