Article contributed by Bess Wightman, Marketing Manager for Motion Technology Inc.
As a ventless kitchen solutions manufacturer, one of the most common questions we get when discussing commercial deep fryer options is why go with a ventless fryer? Why does it matter? Is it really that important?
We sure think so, and it’s not something that we would only recommend to customers that don’t already have venting installed. Ventless fryers are really beneficial for any business that is looking to make their kitchen operations a little easier, cleaner and a whole lot safer!
Ventless vs. Vented Costs
First, when you’re looking to add new cooking technology to your line up you need to think about cost: cost of equipment, cost of installation and cost of product the equipment can cook. Most people only consider the first cost… that is a HUGE mistake. While equipment cost should be a factor in your purchase decision, it should not be the only consideration.
Installation cost can often be a lot more expensive than the equipment itself, especially if you have to make renovations to your kitchen to meet safety requirements. For example, consider a traditional deep fryer may cost $2,500 – that sounds cheap compared to $6,000 for a ventless fryer. But when you factor in the cost of an exhaust hood for your deep fryer at $20,000-30,000 and have to pay for the installation of the exhaust hood on top of that, you’re looking at a very expensive purchase.
Ventless vs. Vented Installation
So now that we’ve examined initial cost, let’s consider installation. With a ventless fryer, because it is ventless and fully enclosed, the only installation necessary is plugging in the fryer to an outlet. The unit is easy to move around the kitchen with the outlet being its only necessity. With a traditional hooded fryer you need to install the unit and a hood. Two separate installations, each with their own costs and procedures. Also, you must choose a permanent place for your deep fryer as moving the hood down the road will be costly.
Ventless vs Vented Ease of Use
Cost is an important factor, but actual usability of a unit makes a huge difference for kitchen operations as well. With a traditional deep fryer, you’ll need to have a skilled fry cook watching your fryer at all times to prevent food from sticking or burning. This is a dangerous job, as the cook is constantly working over scalding hot oil. Plus, with the rising costs of labor, this may be an expensive employee to have on your payroll. Consider instead, a ventless fryer like AutoFry, which is fully automated. You’ll be free to work on other tasks while your fryer takes care of shaking the fryer basket to ensure no product sticks and pulling foods from the oil when they’re perfectly cooked! It truly doesn’t get any easier than that!
Ventless vs. Vented Safety
Most importantly, let’s talk safety. As a business owner, safety needs to be a top priority for you and your staff at all times. Deep fryers offer a slew of potential risks to your employees year round. Burns are the most common hazard to your employees when operating a deep fryer. Fryer oil is usually kept around 350˚F and the number one cause of burns in the kitchen. While this is a problem with a traditional deep fryer, a ventless fryer is fully enclosed so the user is never exposed to dangerously hot oil.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is another danger of working with a deep fryer. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas emitted when something is burned. The vent hood installed with a deep fryer helps to divert the poisonous gas, but if the vent hood or fryer exhaust stops functioning properly, carbon monoxide can quickly fill your entire kitchen. Minor symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea and dizziness, but extended exposure can result in lost consciousness and even death. By operating a ventless fryer instead, you eliminate all risk of poisonous gas. In addition, when you look at a ventless fryer like AutoFry, which has its own built in Ansul Fire Suppression System, you’ll have peace of mind for a safe work environment.
For more information on ventless kitchen solutions, visit the MTI Products website.