Fryer oil is an essential part of producing customers’ favorite fried foods, which is why fryer maintenance shouldn’t fall to the bottom of the checklist. Top quality deep fryer oil can make food taste and look better, so it makes sense to use these tips to extend the life of the oil (and fryer) while still maintaining top-quality fryer oil.
Keep oil clean.
Food particles in the vat affect the quality of the oil. For best results, 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 filling and handling food over the fryer vats. Fried foods should also be seasoned after frying so seasoning does not fall into the fryer oil.
Regularly filter oil.
Setting an oil filtration system—and sticking to it—is an important part of maintaining top-quality oil and extending the life of the fryer. The exact schedule depends on how often the fryer is used and types of food fried. Oil should be filtered before it breaks down; employees and operators can tell if oil is degraded if the oil is discolored, smokes at a lower temperature, and may smell different than normal. After filtering oil, fryer vats should be cleaned before refilling. (This last step is incredibly important for extending the life of the equipment and oil.)
Maintain lower cooking temperatures.
Fryer oil breaks down at cooking temperatures above 360 degrees, which is why pressure fryers are credited with extending the life of fryer oil (as compared to deep fryers). During periods when fryers are not in use, the oil temperature should be reduced to extend the life of fryer oil.
Cover fry vats when not using.
One of the easiest ways to extend the life of fryer oil is to cover the vats when not in use. This prevents food particles from falling into the fryer vats. Fryer vats should also be turned off when not in use for long periods.
Don’t overfill fryer vats.
After fryer oil filtration, food service employees should take care to fill fryer vats to the correct level. This simple measure protects employees from injuries from hot oil and ensures that excess oil doesn’t have to be disposed of.