Article contributed by Bess Wightman, Marketing Manager for Motion Technology Inc.
So you’re looking into adding a fryer to your kitchen and there are a plethora of options out there, but one of the main distinctions between them all is whether they require venting or are ventless fryers. Do you go for the traditional open fryer and install a ventilation system? Or do you go with a less traditional ventless fryer and try something new?
Today we’ll look at the pros and cons of ventless fryers and hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which type of fryer is best suited for your business.
VENTLESS FRYERS: THE PROS
Lower Cost of Installation
Because ventless deep fryers don’t require hoods or venting, the overall cost of installation is limited to having the right type of electrical socket installed. Which, if you’re a commercial kitchen, is probably already installed anyways! Hood or venting installation can cost anywhere from $6,000-$30,000 depending on the size and scope of the installation. As far as pros and cons for ventless fryers go, this is certainly at the top of the list for benefits of using a ventless set up.
Longer Oil Life
Ventless deep fryers have to be fully enclosed to ensure no fumes escape the fryer unit and can properly pass through the internal venting system. This enclosure prevents light, air and dust from getting into your fryer oil, two of the largest factors in oil deterioration. This means your oil will last longer and taste better as you fry up food for your guests.
Again, because of ventless requirements for full enclosure, most ventless fryers are automated systems. When you have an automated system, you remove human error from the list of variables that will effect your fried food outcome. This means you’ll have more consistent product over time and can ensure that your guests are always enjoying the best fried food possible. Additionally, with our own ventless fryer, AutoFry, we have a heat/time compensation intelligence that actually adjusts cook times depending on the size of the batch that is frying. This ensures the ultimate consistent experience.
Since you didn’t have to install any hoods or venting for your ventless fryer, you have the ability to move your fryer to any location. It can easily be relocated as needed, the only requirement for its new location, again, is the electrical socket it will be plugged into. This is a great feature when it comes time for remodeling!
A traditional open fryer requires space not only for the fryer, but also the vertical space above it for hoods or venting. Ventless deep fryers, on the other hand, are compact and require no overhead space. They can often be placed on countertops or the floor depending on your needs, and offer a wide range of flexibility when it comes to meeting the size constraints of your kitchen.
This is another HUGE benefit to the ventless deep frying system. Employee safety has to be of the utmost importance when it comes to deciding on your kitchen equipment. Because ventless fryers are fully enclosed, there is never any contact with hot oil, the number one cause of kitchen burns. Additionally, most ventless fryers come equipped with their own fire suppression system, so in the event something does go wrong, the unit will prevent fire from spreading throughout the kitchen.
Reduced Insurance Costs
With an electric deep fryer that is ventless, you’ll find many insurance companies will reduce your insurance cost. This is due to the reduced safety risk that a fully enclosed unit provides as well as the fire suppression system that comes with the ventless fryer.
VENTLESS FRYERS: THE CONS
Typically More Expensive – If you’re just looking at the initial purchase price of one machine next to another, you will find that traditional open fryers are generally cheaper than the ventless alternative. Because they don’t need the internal venting system, traditional fryers are cheaper to produce and sell than ventless fryers. This however does not factor in installation costs, which can greatly impact the overall price.
Ventless fryers, like all equipment, require regular maintenance. The ventless system included in each machine generally requires at least one or two types of filters with a regular filter changing schedule. This is something you should factor in to the overall cost of the machine, but keep in mind, open fryer hoods ALSO require regular maintenance and can be just as expensive if not more expensive to upkeep.
Some Food not Friable
With an enclosed ventless fryer unit, you will find that some food is just not friable. Food that needs to be closely watched, flipped or tended to, for instance, is not going to work in an enclosed system, as you’ll have to open the enclosure to tend to the product. Product on sticks can also cause problems in ventless fryers as the sticks can get caught in the fryer basket if the holes aren’t small enough.
So now you know the whole scoop on the pros and cons of ventless fryers. Have you decided which style fryer is going to be right for your location?
If you’re still on the fence, we highly recommend contacting your dealer or manufacturer and see if you can have a test run of their equipment. This can be especially helpful if you have a specific product you want to fry. Most companies will work with you to set up a full demonstration! Alternatively you may want to look into attending a trade show for your industry or for kitchen equipment. Shows like NRA, IAAPA, IDDBA, NACS, etc, all bring the biggest and best players to the table and you’ll be able to do some in-person comparisons of your own.