Commercial fryers available in Gas or Electric in a range of sizes, basket capacities and oil capacities. We have tabletop, floor standing and drop in fryers available too. A crunchy, crispy, fried bite to eat is almost always an absolute must-have treat. A wide variety of food items can be gloriously deep fat fried. From savoury foods like bread, chips and sweet potato fries, to sweet foods such as doughnuts, bananas and even that Scottish delicacy the Mars bar, the delicious foods that can be fried are really just a matter of ingenuity and imagination.
When a food product is deep fat fried (also known as deep frying), it is dunked into a vat of boiling oil or fat. Most commonly, the oil used for deep fat frying is vegetable oil; however, peanut, canola, corn, rapeseed, sunflower or beef fat oil can also be used, depending on what food product you intend to deep fat fry.
Oils with lower smoke points (such as sunflower oil) often give your deep fat fried food product a burnt taste as a result of deep fat fryers' high temperatures. Oils and fats can vary in their deep fat frying purposes, depending on the food item you are frying.
In contrast to shallow frying, where food products are cooked in a frying pan with minimal oil being used in the process, deep fat frying requires a large quantity of oil in order to fully submerge your chosen food product.
Considered a hot-fat cooking method, this submersion provides full coverage in the frying process which fully saturates your food item and crisps any batter in minimal time. The submersion frying technique also provides an even fry, as it removes the need to flip or move the food product, which is a necessary step in shallow frying.
The temperature that deep fat fryers need to achieve is between 160 and, at the most, 190 degrees Celsius. The temperature at which you should set your deep fat fryer depends on the food item you intend to fry. For example, doughnuts should be heated to approximately 190 degrees Celsius, whereas chips or sweet potato fries ought to be heated at about 130 degrees Celsius.
There are many different types of food items which can be fried in a deep fat fryer. Culturally, deep fat frying extends from Africa and Asia to Europe, North America, Oceania and even South America. Hence, the variety of foods which can be dunked in oil and fried is almost endless.
Savoury foods that can be deep fat fried include:
Sweet foods suitable for deep fat frying include:
Even non-edible foods have been known to be deep fat fried, with items such as mobile phones, cords, laptops and computers being submerged in boiling oil. Artists such as Henry Hargreaves have made deep fat fried replicas of Game Boys and laptops as a means of commenting on consumerism in the twenty-first century.
What can be deep fat fried is very much left to your imagination!
Not widely considered a healthy method of cooking, deep fat frying food items is known to add many calories to the original food items.
Not only will the food product typically be coated in a thicker batter - itself a contributor of extra calories - before being fried, the food item will also subsequently be submerged into boiling oil. This means that the food item not only loses water, but also absorbs the oil surrounding it, too.
The oils and fats that these food products absorb are typically either saturated fats or trans fats. These types of fat are known for their links to not only high cholesterol levels but also higher risks of cancer, obesity, heart attacks and diabetes.
However, depending on the oil or fat that you decide to use, the calorie count of your deep fat fried food products can vary quite dramatically, with beef fat being far less healthy than either olive oil or sunflower oil. These oils are also much unhealthier than the food in its original form.
Although deep fat fryers are known for the delicious but unhealthy qualities that they bring to food, there are alternative, relatively healthier versions of deep fat fryers available.
Rather than using a deep vat of boiling oil, these fryers typically use approximately a teaspoon of oil or fat to deep fat fry their food products. Utilising a grill as well as a fan, such a fryer will boil oil to circulate, rather than create, the heat which is required to deep fat fry food products.
This takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete, depending on the food products you are frying. This means that the food items can only absorb the teaspoon of oil in which they are fried, rather than as much oil as they can possibly absorb.
The materials from which deep fat fryers are crafted can differ slightly between the fryers. Much like many pieces of kitchen equipment, commercial and home deep fat fryers are generally available in either mild steel or stainless steel.
Also known as ‘low carbon steel’, mild steel is more ductile, weldable and mouldable than other, higher carbon steels. This is useful for making a variety of shapes, as well as additions to deep fat fryers. However, it also means that mild steel is almost impossible to strengthen through either heating or quenching, unlike other steels with higher carbon levels.
As a result of this, mild steel can expand under the pressure of heat - and this tendency may cause significant damage to the weld over a long period of time. Hence, although mild steel has benefits for deep fat fryers, such as being easy to mould as it is ductile, mild steel can also, perhaps, break more easily than stainless steel.
This type of steel contains chromium and is durable and long-lasting, making it a perfect choice of material from which to make a wide variety of kitchen equipment. As it can withstand a whole range of - often extreme - temperatures, stainless steel can be heated up to 1,100 degrees Celsius. Although this depends on factors including the material's thickness, strength and oxidisation levels, stainless steel can be ideal for use in crafting incredibly hot deep fat fryers.
Providing a corrosion-resistant layer, stainless steel is also not easily scratched, scuffed or marked, which makes it the perfect material to use for making deep fat fryers. Various accessories have to be used with these types of fryers, such as tongs, nets and cages - but these are often crafted from stainless steel, too, and so will be less likely to scratch the deep fat fryer.
As discussed above, eating a large amount of deep fat fried foods poses health risks associated with unhealthy diets - such as high cholesterol levels, obesity, heart attacks and diabetes. As a result of the very high temperatures that deep fat fryers can achieve, there are also other dangerous health as well as hazard risks which deep fat fryers can create, like fires or oil spills.
As they use heated oils and fats, deep fat fryers can be at risk of catching on fire. This is due to the highly flammable substance that can result when oils and fats are heated beyond the temperature they should be.
However, many newer deep fat fryers have computerised controls which regulate the temperature of the oil or fat to prevent these types of fires from even occurring in the first place. Thermostats can be used to regulate this, with automatic shut-off systems being integrated into deep fat fryers to prevent the temperature of the oil or fat reaching a flammable level.
However, in the unlikely event that an oil fire occurs, particular measures must be used as a way of dousing the fire. You can exacerbate oil fires if you try to extinguish them with water, as this creates a boilover, where the water immediately creates steam as a result of the high oil temperature. Hence, the fire can be aggravated, and particles of burning oil can be sent flying all over the area, potentially spreading the fire.
To put out an oil fire, you can use a non-water fire extinguisher. Alternatively, a powdered substance like baking soda or salt may be used to smother the oil fire. However, many commercial deep fat fryers come with a built-in fire suppression system which uses a fire-fighting foam to extinguish oil fires.
Again, because of the high temperatures that deep fat fryers can achieve, there is a risk of getting severely burned. If the oil or fat touches bare skin, it can cause third-degree burns, as oils and fats at higher temperatures often stick onto skin - unlike boiling water, which typically runs off skin.
This means that deep fat fryers should be kept out of the reach of children - and, even when used by adults, be left at a safe distance, as hot oil has a tendency to spit or flick out of the deep container. You are also advised to wear highly heat-resistant gloves when using deep fat fryers, as this will reduce any potential of burning from oil that spits or even accidental spillages.
There are also some environmental hazards, owing to the large amounts of waste oil produced after frying. For instance, if waste oil is poured down the sink or even the toilet, the fats can bind to sewage pipes and other sewage systems, causing blockages which interfere with sewage treatment and facilities. It can also find its way into water sources like rivers and pollute the water, which can cause problems for the local wildlife.
Waste oils can be contained and then thrown away with the rest of your rubbish; however, they are increasingly being recycled, too. To recycle waste oil from your deep fat fryer, contain that oil in a recyclable bottle or other container and take it down to your local recycling centre. Many recycling centres are willing to reduce and reuse your cooking oil for free.
The exact answer to this is influenced by which food products you intend to deep fat fry, but you can purchase a number of additional accessories to make your deep fat frying both easier and safer.
Examples include fry baskets or nets (typically made from stainless steel), which can be purchased for containing food items that are placed into the deep fat fryer. These accessories make it easier for you to remove and strain food items from the oil and also be safer than using tongs, from which your food item could drop back into the boiling oil to spilling effect.
However, tongs, wooden spoons and even sieves could be used to remove your chosen food item from the hot oil. Other accessories, like the thermometers discussed above, can gauge oil temperatures and so make deep fat fryers safer to use.