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Large enough to fry a turkey as well as regular batches of fries, wings, and other crispy favorites. Designed for regular use. Can hold up to 26.4 liters of oil.
No self-cleaning mechanism. May be tough to clean given size.
Simple to operate and control. Insulated lid handles for safety. Quickly heats oil and maintains consistent temperature even when frying a lot of food.
Requires a lot of power, so not recommended for home use.
Fries a variety of foods consistently. V-bottom design to prevent burning batter and keep oil clean. Drain valve and hose to dispel used oil.
Oil may leak from certain parts if defective, which requires customer service.
Heating tube for quick heating. Basket includes ergonomic plastic handle to protect from burns. 60-minute timer and drain tap. Cover included.
Oil capacity of 1.5 gallons is on the low side.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Ask people what they love to eat, and fried foods often top the list. Whether it is French fries, wings, or donuts, fried foods rule. The only way to truly achieve the fried food taste is with a deep fryer, and while a small countertop deep fryer works in some cases, there are times when you need something bigger.
A commercial deep fryer is an oversized fryer that is essential for anyone who wants to fry up fish, chicken, or potatoes for large groups. Commercial deep fryers can be pricey, and there are quite a few features to consider before investing in one. For example, should you go with a floor fryer or a countertop fryer? Should you fuel it with electricity or gas? What capacity do you need, and how much should you expect to pay?
In this guide, we explore the realm of commercial deep fryers to answer your pressing questions. We also offer information about a number of commercial deep fryers that our research shows are the best available.
In terms of positioning, two types of commercial deep fryers are readily available: floor-based fryers and countertop fryers. (Note: there are other types of commercial deep fryers, such as the drop-in fryer, but these products are more difficult to find.)
Floor fryers: Made for people who fry a steady stream of food, these appliances tend to be more durable than countertop models. On the downside, they take up more space in your kitchen than a countertop fryer.
Countertop fryers: While these fryers can eat up counter space, they have a smaller kitchen footprint overall. For those with minimal frying needs, a countertop deep fryer may be a better solution.
Commercial deep fryers are made from stainless steel, but they range from light-duty to heavy-duty in terms of overall construction. Light-duty commercial deep fryers work best in minimal frying situations, such as delis. Heavy-duty fryers are better for high-volume businesses such as restaurants and food trucks.
There are two size aspects to consider when purchasing a commercial deep fryer. First, look at the overall physical dimensions of the fryer itself. These tend to start around 15 inches wide and can reach over 90 inches wide. Measure your space carefully to be sure you could accommodate the fryer under consideration for your kitchen, truck, or other area.
Next, look at how much oil a deep fryer can hold. Some are large enough to fry a turkey. Others are better for people who just want to make small baskets of fries or chicken at a time. Commercial deep fryers typically have a capacity of 2 to 6 gallons.
A larger deep fryer will cost more upfront, and it will also cost more to run on a daily basis, so be sure not to buy more product than you need.
Another major consideration is how you will power your commercial deep fryer. Let’s look at gas and electric options.
Gas: Propane or natural gas may be a more affordable energy source for your deep fryer, depending on your location. It tends to heat oil faster, and it can reach higher temperatures than an electrically powered fryer. Installation tends to be pricey and difficult, and a gas-powered fryer is less portable than an electric option.
Electric: Ease of installation is a plus with an electric commercial deep fryer. Often, all you must do is plug in the appliance. While it can take an electric deep fryer longer to heat up, it has the edge in getting back up to temperature between batches of food. Also, you won’t need to worry about gas leaks.
Commercial deep fryer controls are fairly simple. Standard will be some form of control knob to set the oil temperature. Some fryers include a temperature gauge or power lights, so you can easily monitor oil temperature or tell at a glance whether the unit is turned on. Some have programmable elements, so you can cook foods on a timer and be informed when they are done.
The vat, also known as the tub that holds the oil, can be either a single pot or a split pot. A single-pot vat only has one vat for all your frying needs, whereas a split-pot vat has two compartments that you can use to fry different types of foods.
Fry vats are designed with a variety of heating element types. These are the actual mechanisms that heat the oil, and all have their advantages.
Tube-style heating: These heating elements are within the oil vat itself and distribute heat evenly throughout the vat. Heating tubes allow for a large cold zone so sediment can collect and not burn. As such, these appliances are great for breaded and battered foods.
Open-pot heating: The heating elements are built into the walls of the vat, allowing for a wide open cooking space. Open-pot vats are easy to clean and work best with high-volume foods such as fries and chicken tenders.
Flat-bottom heating: Flat-bottom vats are designed for foods that first sink to the bottom and then rise as they cook. Think tempura or battered fish. The design of this deep fryer minimizes the chance that food will stick to the bottom of the vat.
The majority of commercial deep fryers ship with one or two baskets. Included baskets should be durable. For the handles, a coating of rubber or a similar material is helpful to keep them cool to the touch. Manufacturers sometimes offer specialized baskets, such as taco shell baskets, that you can purchase separately.
Advanced commercial deep fryers often feature automatic basket lifts, which raise the baskets from the oil after a set cooking time. In a busy kitchen, this can be a real plus, and it can help lower your overall costs by minimizing overcooked food.
The majority of commercial deep fryers include a cover. If the one you want does not have a cover, plan to spend a bit more to add one. A cover is essential in that it protects your oil from dust and other foreign elements including light exposure, which can degrade oil over time.
With proper upkeep and maintenance, a quality commercial deep fryer should last between seven and ten years.
While you’d expect to pay more for a commercial deep fryer than a personal deep fryer, the actual price of some choices is not as high as you might assume. Commercial deep fryers start under $100 and can reach $300 or more. The majority can be found in the $100 to $200 range.
Inexpensive: Commercial deep fryers under $100 are simple fryers with minimal controls. Countertop units capable of holding 3 gallons of oil or less are often found here. You may wish to look in this price range if your frying needs are on the light side.
Mid-range: Countertop models abound in the $100 to $200 range. For the money, you can expect to find appliances that hold under 6 gallons of oil and are able to meet moderate deep-frying needs, such as the needs of a concession stand or small establishment.
Expensive: At $200 and over, you will find commercial deep fryers with capacities larger than 6 gallons. Designed for restaurant use, this range of products includes deluxe countertop and floor-based models with advanced features such as basket lifts and programmable cooking.
A. This varies from one appliance to the next. Electric deep fryers are less likely to need ventilation, although it may be advisable to have some form of ventilation in place to draw away heat.
Gas deep fryers typically need to have some form of ventilation to remove fumes and heat. This is particularly true if the deep fryer is located in a commercial kitchen. Exceptions to this rule include ventless fryers, which have a ventilation hood built right into the fryer.
A. Commercial deep fryers must be regularly cleaned to remove food debris and deposits that can build up. Some deep fryers include a built-in auto-filtration system that filters out particles with the push of a button. Deep fryers without an auto-filtration system will need to be cleaned by hand.
To keep carbon and other deposits from building up, plan to “boil out” the system once a week. The manufacturer’s care and use instructions should contain information on how to do this with your particular fryer.
Also, it is important to regularly wipe down the exterior of the fryer with warm water and a degreaser to keep oil from building up.
A. While commercial deep fryers are designed more for inside use, some can be used outside. Compact models tend to be more portable and easy to move, especially those powered by electricity. (With a gas-powered appliance, you would need to hook up the gas line.) Electric deep fryers will also not be affected by wind as much.
If you wish to deep fry outside often for crowds, your best bet may be a larger outdoor deep fryer. Often, these are powered by small propane tanks and may include wheels for portability.