Deep fryer

Deep fryer
Deep fryer for restaurant use.
A domestic deep fryer with a wire basket

A deep fryer (also known as a frier, deep fat fryer or fryolator) is a kitchen appliance used for deep-frying.

While commonly used in commercial kitchens, household models are available and have become common.



Modern fryers feature a basket to raise food clear of the oil when cooking is finished. Fryers often come with features such as timers with an audible alarm, automatic devices to raise and lower the basket into the oil, measures to prevent food crumbs from becoming over cooked, ventilation systems to reduce frying odors, oil filters to extend the usable life of the oil, and mechanical or electronic temperature controls. Deep fryers are used for cooking many fast foods, and making them crispy.


The modern commercial fryer boasts improved energy efficiency due in part to better heat transfer systems. Commercial fryers with infrared heating or convection heating are efficient, but often expensive. The most common fryer models are electric and gas.

Electric restaurant fryers are popular in counter top models because of their mobility. They lose a little less heat than gas fryers because their heating elements are immersed in the oil, and they have a faster temperature recovery time between frying cycles. Gas fryers heat up more quickly and to a higher cooking temperature than electric fryers. Gas fryers can be powered by either natural gas or propane, both of which are generally less expensive energy sources than electricity. This makes gas power especially popular in floor model fryers.

Commercial fryers are generally available in mild steel or stainless steel. Stainless steel is less likely to corrode or stain than mild steel. Mild steel also expands under heat which may damage the welds over time. Because of this, stainless steel fryers often come with a much better warranty than mild steel fryers.

Fryers are available with a variety of fry pot styles. Some commercial fryers have a “cold zone” at the bottom of the fry pot. This is where larger food particles sink and the lower temperature keeps them from burning and tainting the oil. A tube-style fry pot has a large cold zone because the tubes are slightly above the bottom of the vat, leaving generous space for cooler oil and crumbs. This is particularly useful for cooking heavily breaded foods (such as a blooming onion). A tube-style fry pot is more difficult to clean than an open fry pot, but the tubes allow easy access to the heat source. Tube fryers are often a little less expensive than their open fry pot counterparts. Open fry pots have an external heat source, which makes them easier to clean and affords better access to the oil, but they generally offer a smaller cold zone, so food particles that sink could scorch and pollute the flavor of the oil. However, these fryers work very well for lightly breaded foods. Flat-bottomed restaurant fryers—another type of open frypot fryer—can also be difficult to clean and have no cold zone, but they are highly effective for frying dough (such as donuts or funnel cakes).

Temperature controls

Many of the new fryer models include electronic temperature controls. These computerized controls save energy by constantly sensing and adjusting the temperature of the oil. A high quality thermostat can stay within a 7.2 ˚C range of a desired temperature, assuring accurate cook times. Safety thermostats that automatically cut the power if the oil reaches dangerous temperatures help prevent oil fires.

Oil filtration

An oil filtration system, chemical treatment, or diatomaceous earth powder all help remove tiny food particles that are not always visible. Using these systems doubles the life of the oil. Oil filtration systems can sometimes be purchased as an enclosed part of the fryer to avoid involving employees in the somewhat dangerous process of filtering the oil with an exterior system. Many restaurants use a portable oil filtration system or a “shortening shuttle” to transport waste oil to a disposal area. However, even old oil is not completely useless. There are ways (involving other chemicals and machinery) to “recycle” old oil as biodiesel that can power diesel vehicles.


Restaurant fryers are available with a wide array of accessories and options. There are countertop models, single floor models, and “fryer batteries” with multiple floor fryers, a filtration system, and holding stations all built together as one large floor fryer system. Individual fryers may have one or more tanks. Commercial floor-model fryers can be fitted with casters for easier maintenance and cleanup. Fry baskets also come in various shapes and sizes, from taco salad bowls to onion loaf baskets, with or without heat resistant handles.

Automated deep fryers

Industrial enterprises producing deep-fried snack foods such as potato chips or pre-fried French fried potatoes use automated frying systems that consist mainly of the actual frying pan, a tube type heat exchanger to heat the frying oil, a filter, a circulation pump, a banana tank for fresh oil and the automation system, most often a PLC.[citation needed] As the product leaving the fryer contains a percentage of oil (in potato chips approx. 35%)[citation needed] there is a constant flow of fresh oil into the system. Sensors for the temperature of the oil, the oil level, different pressures in the system and other parameters are used as input for the PLC.[citation needed]

Fire risks

Deep fryers malfunctioning or being used inappropriately are a serious fire risk. Furthermore, putting water on oil fires will cause a fire boilover and aggravates the situation. There are special fire extinguishers for food oil fires.[1]

Domestic fryers often include a safety cut-out in case of overheating, for example if not enough oil is used or the fryer is switched on whilst empty. A reset button is included on most of these fryers to reset the safety device once the unit has cooled down; if a reset button is not included the fryer may need repairing if the safety device activates.[2]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ An Underwriters Laboratories-produced video showing the dangers and fire hazards of deep fat fryers can be found here.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • deep fryer — Fryer Fry er, n. 1. Something or someone that fries. [1913 Webster] 2. A young chicken or other food item suitable to be cooked by frying. [PJC] 3. A pot equipped with a removable basket, designed to be used for frying objects; also called {deep… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deep fryer — noun count AMERICAN a large deep pan used for cooking food in oil …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • deep fryer — deep′ fry′er n. coo a deep pan or pot, containing a wire basket, used for deep frying • Etymology: 1950–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • deep fryer — noun : a utensil suitable for deep frying usually deep and often with a mesh or perforated compartment in which the food is exposed to the fat * * * a deep pan or pot with a basket, usually of mesh, inside, for deep frying. [1950 55] …   Useful english dictionary

  • deep-fryer — /dip ˈfraɪə/ (say deep fruyuh) noun a pan containing sufficient fat for deep frying, and usually a wire mesh basket for holding the food being cooked. Also, deep frier …   Australian English dictionary

  • deep fryer — a deep pan or pot with a basket, usually of mesh, inside, for deep frying. [1950 55] * * * …   Universalium

  • deep fryer — noun Date: 1950 a utensil suitable for deep fat frying …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • deep fryer — noun A heated vessel for frying food by immersing in hot oil, as opposed to shallow frying in a frying pan …   Wiktionary

  • Deep frying — Fried chicken with french fries …   Wikipedia

  • Fryer — Fry er, n. 1. Something or someone that fries. [1913 Webster] 2. A young chicken or other food item suitable to be cooked by frying. [PJC] 3. A pot equipped with a removable basket, designed to be used for frying objects; also called {deep fryer} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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