Commercial fryer maintenance is crucial to keeping restaurants and food service operations smooth and productive. Delayed fryer and oil maintenance lead to expensive breakdowns and repairs. Unfortunately, customers can taste the difference too, because improperly maintained oil makes food taste terrible.
Clearly, it’s important to establish a fryer maintenance schedule and stick to it. While the effort requires employee training and labor costs, it’s worth the effort.
Clean the fryer daily.
It’s important to note that this step may or may not include an oil change. The exact schedule for oil changes depend on the amount of use. If a fryer is used frequently, fryer oil may need to be changed daily. For other operations, fryer oil should be changed weekly or bi-weekly.
Even if fryer oil doesn’t need to be changed, employees should clean the exterior of the fryer. Fryer baskets may also need to be cleaned and replaced on a daily basis.
Keep fryer vats topped off.
Oil in the fryer vats should be maintained for optimum cooking. It is important to note, however, that oil should not be overfilled because it can lead to excess oil for disposal. High oil levels are also a safety hazard and can lead to burns and other workplace injuries.
Remove debris from oil.
Food debris can shorten the life span of fryer oil and affect the quality of the oil. For best results, fryer oil should be regularly skimmed to remove any bits of food (i.e. breading, fry pieces, etc.) To prevent food particles from falling into the fryer, food service employees should avoid handling food over the fryer vats and cover vats when they are not in use. Fried foods should also be seasoned after frying so seasoning does not fall into the fryer oil.
Keep vat oil at low temperatures.
During busy times, it’s best to keep fryer oil at cooking temperatures to shorten customer wait times. When lines are shorter, fryer vats should be turned down to maintain oil quality and lengthen oil life. Fryer vats should also be covered when not in use.
Stick to a regular oil filtration schedule.
One of the most crucial parts of commercial fryer maintenance is oil filtration. Oil should be filtered regularly, or when the oil emits a burning smell or when food is darker after cooking or tastes bad.
After filtering oil, the heating elements in the fryer should be cleaned and food debris removed. Operators and managers should closely follow manufacturer instructions or contact a commercial equipment pro for information.
Do a deep clean (if recommended by the manufacturer).
Fryers often need a deep clean every few months. Managers and operators should check manufacturer instructions for specific instructions or contact a commercial equipment company for information.
Trust a commercial equipment company to do regular inspections and repair.
Commercial fryer maintenance is an important part of preventing unproductive breakdowns, along with periodic inspections by an experienced commercial equipment company. When fryers do break down, it’s important to use a commercial equipment company that performs prompt and quality repairs.