There are a number of various work stations in commercial kitchens, and one of the busiest is the fry station. Commercial fry stations are used for items that appear on all areas of a menu, from appetizers to desserts, and for this reason it is essential that businesses ensure this station functions properly and efficiently. Here are a few tips for those piecing together their first fry station or trying to make their existing fry station more efficient.
Timing: First and foremost, timing is of utmost importance on most commercial fry stations. Commercial fry stations are often equipped with commercial kitchen timers for a number of reasons. First, and most importantly, timers are necessary to make sure foods are cook thoroughly without burning. Things like raw poultry or frozen foods need to be cook throughout before they are consumed to reduce the chances of foodborne illness. Additionally, because of the high volumes of food they cook, timing is of utmost importance on a fry station.
Safety First: There are safety concerns in every facet of a commercial kitchen, and the fry station is no different. There are two pieces in particular that should be a part of every commercial fry station: grease resistant floor mats and a fryer thermometer. Grease resistant floor mats are important to protect employees working in the area from slipping on residual or spilled grease. Additionally, fryers should have easy access to the waste area, as it can be dangerous for employees to travels extended distances with large quantities of fryer oil. Thermometers are important twofold: first, because they are the best way to ensure your fryers aren’t dangerously over-heating, and secondly to protect food product. It is important that food be cooked within a specific temperature range, and oil that is over or under heated can spell disaster for business owners.
Keeping Your Oil Clean: It is important that businesses keep their fryer oil clean. Fryer oil cleanliness is a key component in flavor, and dirty oil tends to burn and negatively affect the final product. Businesses should have the necessary elements of boiling out and cleaning their fryers (hot water hoses, cleaning solutions, brushes, etc.). In addition to these items, many businesses that cook food products that yield high volumes of residual sediment should invest in a fryer filter of some sort. There are many fryers that can be purchased with built-in filters, but businesses that are purchasing several fryers may opt for portable filters that can be put into storage when they aren’t in use.
Keeping Foods Hot & Crispy: Once food comes out of a fryer, it is important to not only keep it warm, but to keep its crunchy texture. Fryer dump stations with circulated hot air and / or heat lamps are the best way to do this. Things like heating cabinets or steam well produce far too much moisture to keep fried foods crispy, and often are detrimental to food products when used. Traditionally these stations are used for only a short period of time, as fried foods do not keep as well under food warmers as other foods in a commercial kitchen.
Fine Tuning Your Fryers: Picking the proper deep fryer or fryer battery for your operation is incredibly important. There are a number of varying shapes, sizes, controls, and accessories to choose from when shopping, and every operation will require or prefer different ones. For more information on picking out the right deep fryers for your operation, take a look at our Buyer’s Guide Avoiding The Grease Trap.