How To Avoid Soggy French Fries
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For a lot of restaurants, the commercial floor fryer is one of the most used pieces of equipment. Fried fish, fried chicken strips, fried onion rings and, of course, French fries – all cooked in oil in a fryer.

But not all fryers are the same. One oft overlooked feature of commercial deep fryers is the concept of “recovery time.” The term recovery time refers to the length of time that a piece of cooking equipment or the cooking medium (such as oil or water) takes to return to the desired cooking temperature after having been used.

For example, you heat your fryer up to the ideal temperature and then submerge a basket of frozen French fries into the oil to cook. The frozen fries lower the oil temperature as they cook; sometimes substantially. When you remove the basket, dump the fries and then reload the basket and begin the process all over again, you can run into problems if the fryer unit’s recovery time is too long.

If you put the second basket of fries into oil that isn’t at the recommended temperature, too much oil can get absorbed into the product itself. Hence, soggy fries and unhappy customers.

Even beyond the customer experience issues, having a quality commercial fryer can actually make you more money and save you money at the same time. A unit with a faster recovery time shortens the cooking time, meaning that you can cook more product in less time. And when your deep fryer is at the proper temperature, less oil is absorbed into the product itself. When the temperature is lower than recommended, that oil is absorbed into the product and carried away when the product is removed. Therefore, you will need to use more oil in commercial fryer units that don’t have good recovery times. This costs your business real dollars over a pretty short time period, especially for high use applications.

So, if your business is cranking out batch after batch of French fries or other deep fried foods, having a quality commercial fryer with a quick recovery time can not only make your customers happier, but can also make you more profitable.

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Comments

  1. JAY EDMONDS

    So what deep fryers have a quick recovery time? The article is informative but doesn’t point toward a real solution.

    • Wasserstrom

      Hi Jay! I wish that there was a simple answer to your question. But like many things in life, the answer is “It Depends.” Without knowing how the fryer is being used, it’s hard to give a good recommendation. If you are doing a batch of fries once an hour, nearly any commercial-grade fryer will have sufficient recovery speeds. If you are looking for a top-notch fryer, I’d recommend brands like Pitco or Dean. The key will be to get the right size for your needs. As a rule, I typically recommend that buyers go one size larger than they think they will need. I’ve had plenty of customers come back for a larger fryer later because they under-estimated their needs. So, keep that in mind when shopping. One last note: be sure to keep your oil clean and filtered. Cleaner oil typically has quicker recovery times. So, higher-end systems with built-in filtration can also be helpful in this regard. And they can save you money on oil costs as well. So it’s a win-win. Hope that helps!

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