Opening a restaurant is hard. There are very few guarantees except, you will be called to make difficult decisions with long term consequences in order to bring you closer to the future for your restaurant you envision.
Some of the earliest questions that will need answers include, ‘What type of restaurant are you opening?’ ‘What’s on the menu?’ ‘How are we preparing the food?’ And probably most important — ‘What equipment do we need to be using to produce consistent, quality product that will make our restaurant first choice when our customers go out?’
Investing in equipment for your new kitchen can be overwhelming. It can be GREAT (so many choices!) and HARD (so many choices!). You will need equipment to help you provide variety in your menu and ‘future-proof’ your kitchen as your menu flexes or expands. Yes, there is a lot to consider. A critical piece of equipment where this debate can often happen is with the fryer, which begs the ensuing question:
Open fryer or pressure fryer?
First off, frying revolves around water. The typical frying process, without pressure, can only cook at the boiling point of water, 212 degrees. The water we’re referring to here is the moisture inside of the hypothetical piece of chicken we are cooking. Pressure frying enables that moisture to boil at an even higher temperature, nearer to 240 degrees. The high temperatures in turn speed up cook times, and because the boiling point of the chicken’s moisture, or juices, has risen, less of that moisture is lost in the cooking process. This process leaves you with a piece of protein that is cooked more quickly and has lost less moisture or flavor, leaving you with a juicier and tastier yield.
While we may come off as partial to the pressure fryer, it should be noted that the open fryer is every bit as useful, even more so for cooking non proteins. You’ll find open fryers in any kitchen that are used to cook fries, mozzarella sticks or onion rings — and for good reason. They’re efficient, versatile and turn out a tasty product. But when it comes to frying proteins, be it bone-in chicken breasts, filet mignon, or even salmon, there’s no substitute to the pressure fryer.
Not only does the pressure fryer turn out a superior product in terms of flavor, tenderness and moisture, but it will yield a healthier product as well. In sealing in those natural flavors and juices, you’ve also sealed out and absorbed less oil.
While both the open and pressure fryers are comparable in operating costs, the pressure fryer will result in better oil life. Shorter cook times at lower temperatures as well as the lack of protein moisture mixing into the cooking oil means your oil will stay cleaner longer. Both products are also about equal in maintenance costs and labor time. Like any piece of machinery, if you want it to last, it should be taken care off. Aside from wanting to update equipment to keep up with current technology, there’s no reason one machine can’t last 10 or 15 years with proper care and maintenance. Diligently maintaining the gasket on the lid and cleaning your deadweight daily in your pressure fryer will add tremendous life to your equipment.
To learn more about Henny Penny’s fryer options visit https://www.hennypenny.com/products/frying .