Fryers: gas or electricity?
Choosing between gas and electricity is a key concern when it comes to buying a new fryer. In a nutshell gas fryers tend to be more expensive to buy but cheaper to run.
This is due to the relative cost of gas and electricity in the UK at this time. But of course choices are rarely that easy to make and a range of other factors is likely to come into play.
Chief among these is the nature of the existing electricity supply to your kitchen. Inevitably this will have an upper limit and if you are currently operating at or near to it, a gas-powered fryer may be the only way to avoid the additional expense of upgrading your electricity supply. If you are choosing a fryer in addition to other equipment, and the electricity supply is limited, there may be certain pieces of equipment, for example an oven, which you may prefer to be powered by electricity.
Another choice to be made with regard to gas fryers is whether to opt for a model with external burners or one with immersed tube burners. External burners are preferable since they make the fryer so much easier to clean and, with ever more stringent food hygiene regulations, this is a key concern. If heat exchange fins are well designed, external burners can transfer heat extremely efficiently into the cooking medium.
Many chefs of course choose to have both electric and gas powered fryers in their kitchens. A high performance, twin tank gas fryer may be used for peak periods but a smaller, electric countertop model used as a standby for quieter times. Alternatively it might be used for breaded or battered side orders.
In addition to concerns about energy supply, efficiency and running costs, caterers are looking at ways to extend the life of their cooking oil. Oil is expensive first to buy and then to dispose of. As a result fryers such as our Opus 800 models with built in filtration, which are designed to extend the life of cooking oil by up to 75%, are proving popular at this time.