Pitco Fry Guy Focus: Tips and Tricks For Commercial Frying

In our ongoing series, we talk directly to the Fry Guys and Fry Gals who are experts in knowing how to get the most out of their commercial fryers. In this session, we talk to Chad Garner and Nick Sortore from Elevation® Foodservice Reps along with David Ford with Heartland Reps to get their take on some of the top questions about commercial frying we hear from our customers. 

Let’s talk oil. Why do operators think oil filtration is a waste? What’s the disconnect between throwing away oil constantly and the option to filter and reuse?

Chad Garner, Elevation Foodservice Reps: “Foodservice operators aren’t always aware of the options available regarding filtration. They may need help understanding the benefits and cost savings associated with buying quality oil, and filtering often extends their oil and their dollar.”

David Ford, Heartland Reps: “I think that is a common belief due to the fact that a lot of us weren’t trained that way when we were coming up. They think that it’s an extra step that uses extra equipment when they can just strain and reuse. Just because the oil is darker, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to switch it out.”

Nick Sortore, Elevation Foodservice Reps: “I think it’s mostly an up-front cost issue-and a lot of operators still try to filter manually through a sieve and think it’s cheaper that way. I believe they don’t realize how quickly they could pay for a fryer with filtration just through the savings. If they could cut their oil purchasing in half, they can typically recover those costs in a year. There is also the misconception of dark oil being dirty oil. The rule of thumb is with an 8 oz ladle of oil-if you can see Eisenhower’s head on a dime then you’re fine to fry.”

What are the most important accessories to have for commercial frying?

David: “Filtration. Once you learn to use it quickly and properly, it only takes a few moments and the results show in the finished product. In 20+ years in restaurants, I can honestly say I had never used a filtration system. Once I got to Heartland Reps and was able to work with one, it’s amazing to think of the thousands of dollars that are wasted when not using filtration.”

Nick: “Filtration. Absolutely filtration. Aside from filtration-the best accessory is the one they need to be efficient. Some operators will need timers and lifts, while some will need a Fat Vat to safely transfer oil.”

Chad: “Good filtration, and if nothing else, a fine skimmer to remove particles during service.”

What are your three best pieces of advice for a restaurant trying to make more money with fried food?

Nick: “Filter, maintain a correct temperature, and size of your fryer to maximize output and cook time. Your food cost should be very low on fried items, and fried starches can fill a plate. You can make good money with easy, fried appetizers. Pick items that you can execute quickly and consistently. You can use these items to cut ticket times down and turn tables quicker. Filtration pays for itself and also removes the particles that burn and can impart off-flavors. The better you can treat your oil the less you have to buy.”

Chad: “Bread anything you can from scratch. There are big savings to be had when you do that step yourself. Develop a plan to ensure your fryer is operating at peak efficiency at all times, and this will make sure your product comes out consistently. Think outside the box, and develop a signature fried item that no one else has.”

David: “1. Filtration: Oil is expensive, use if for as long as you can. 2. Be Creative: Have 1 or 2 out-of-the-box ideas. 3. Be Consistent: Teach your staff how to get the final product how you want it and do it over and over and over and over . . .”

Don’t Let Misconceptions About Frying Hold You Back

Now that we’ve heard from our experts, think about some misconceptions you’ve heard about frying. Do you think that oil filtration is too time-consuming? Or it’s expensive and not worth the effort? We’ve all heard these things throughout our foodservice careers. However, not knowing if the oil in your commercial fryer is ready to be disposed of or could be filtered could be costing you money. As the cost of cooking oil continues to rise, restaurant owners need to take every step to retain profits while maintaining food quality. As the Fry Guys mentioned, filtration is the key to quality frying. Finding the right filtration system to fit your foodservice business is as easy as connecting with a local fryer expert.

We know what to fry and how to fry it. Schedule a culinary consultation to find the right Pitco commercial fryer for your business.

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Topics: Fryers, Oil