Can You Really Extend the Life of Your Cooking Oil?
Best-practice recommendations call for filtering the oil in your commercial fryer once a day, twice if your fryer gets used continuously during business hours. Many operators don’t see the importance in filtering their oil this often, but disregarding the process can ruin the taste and even the texture of your food and cost more on fryer oil. In the worst cases, dirty oil can cause your fryer to break down or even start a grease fire. The most expensive part of managing a restaurant fryer isn’t buying the unit or paying for the utilities; it’s the recurring cost of fryer oil. Oil that doesn’t get filtered will break down because of the presence of food particles, fatty acids, and ice crystals from frozen foods, causing it to become dark and foul smelling. It will also get thick, which will make the fryer less efficient. The compromised oil will need to be replaced more than oil that gets filtered frequently, and it will result in a substandard product.
The easiest way to keep your oil clean is with a fryer that has a built-in filtration system. These systems are generally installed within a battery of fryers, often inside the cabinet of a heat-and-dump area. There is not much else that is required of the operator after they hit a couple of switches and wait for the system to finish the process. Automatic systems can complete the cycle in a matter of minutes, so you can filter the oil between days and even between batches with little downtime. A second method is with a mobile deep fryer oil filter system, which requires a little labor, but is quicker than manually filtering the oil. These can be used with any type of fryer and contains a nozzle that you place into the fryer. The system will filter the oil and return it through the same nozzle. The final method is by manually filtering your oil with a cone filter. This process is often used for smaller countertop fryers and ones with removable fry pots, but with enough care and patience on the operator’s end, it works for floor model fryers, too. It’s labor-intensive but necessary if you don’t have a built in filter or a portable system.
How to increase lifespan
- Use a Thermometer: Overheating oil is a quick and easy way to get it to turn into unusable form. At the same time, heating oil below the temperature before adding food to it will increase the amount of time that food has to sit there, which increases the amount of matter that falls off of it, which again can decrease oil lifespan.
- Maintain Cleanliness: Keep a fine mesh strainer by your pot as you fry foods and use it to periodically clean up your oil by collecting and discarding any bits of batter or breading that may have fallen off your food.
- Stay with Battered or Bare foods: Battered foods will impart far fewer impurities to the oil then breaded or flour-dredged foods. Bare foods like french fries or sweet potato fries even less.
The best practice when looking to extend the useful life of your cooking oil is to hire a professional oil management company. While they will use a mobile filtration unit, these units are commercial grade and will remove more particulates and debris than other mobile units.
Contact us today for a free oil filtration and fryer cleaning demo and make your fryer look like new again!