Managing the fryer is one of the most important aspects of any commercial kitchen. Producing consistently crispy chips and schnitz or golden fried chicken or fish is only possible if you take proper care of your fryer and (most importantly) your cooking oil.
People tend to forget that oil is a food. And like any other ingredient, oil can be extremely sensitive and subject to spoilage if not properly handled.
Cooking oil is also a major cost component for any commercial kitchen, so extending the life of the oil and getting the best possible use out of it is essential for any kitchen’s bottom line. And this can be achieved by regularly filtering your cooking oil using a professional oil filter.
Cause of Oil Degradation
There are four main causes of oil degradation: water, air, sediment and heat. All four will affect the oil during the normal cooking process.
Water can enter the oil when cooking frozen foods or as foods release water while cooking. Since water and oil have different boiling points, water in the oil can severely affect the cooking process.
Air can cause the oil to oxidise, affecting the quality and flavour of the oil and the foods being cooked.
Sediment will start to build up in the oil as crumbs and other traces of food are left behind during the cooking process. This sediment can leave flavour traces that affect the quality of the oil. It can also start to burn, which affects the flavour, odour and colour of the oil. Sediment can also contain bacteria, which can attack the oil and create acidity.
Finally, heat itself can affect the oil. Over repeated cookings, the smoke point of the oil will get lower. This means the oil is more likely to smoke during cooking, again affecting the quality and flavour of the oil.
Regular filtering will help to prevent oil degradation. For best results, you should filter your oil at least once per day and you’ll start to see the following benefits.
Filtering Maintains Oil Quality
First and foremost, oil filtration is all about maintaining the quality of the cooking oil. Machine or cone filtration will remove the impurities, sediment and contaminants, helping to purify the oil and extend its useful life.
Filtering preserves the colour of the oil and facilitates the cooking process by ensuring the oil properly and cleaning fries the food.
Filtering Improves Food Quality
It’s Important to remember that cooking oil is a food too. As with any food, you need to start with the freshest, cleanest ingredients to get the best results. But oil is more than just an ingredient. It’s also the cooking medium. So any impurities or contaminants in the cooking oil don’t just affect the flavour, they can also affect the cooking process.
Poor quality oil or oil that’s been contaminated can affect food’s final texture, cooking time, colour and a range of other factors. Cooking with poor quality oil can make it harder to get that crisp outer crust or the perfect golden colour to your chips or other fried foods.
Properly filtered cooking oil will be free from sediment and other contaminants. It won’t contain trace flavours, will boil and cook at the right temperature, it won’t smoke and it will allow for the cleanest frying possible. And all this is essential for the best tasting food.
Filtering Saves Money
Cooking oil represents a major cost component for any commercial kitchen. The more often you have to replace your oil, the more your kitchen will be spending on it. With regular filtration, you can dramatically extend the life of your cooking oil. In fact, professional machine filtration you can more than double the useful life of your cooking oil.
By combining machine filtration with a magnesium silicate oil powder, you can more than triple the oil’s life span. This can reduce a commercial kitchen fryer’s operating costs by more than 30%, saving your kitchen thousands of dollars per year.
Here are some additional tips to further extend the life of your oil and reduce replacement costs:
- Check the oil temperature daily. Maintaining the correct temperature and checking that your fryer is properly calibrated will ensure that the oil is not overheated (which is a surefire way of ruining cooking oil)
- Keep fryer pots covered overnight to prevent oil oxidation
- Set fryer temperature to around 150℃ when not in use, or turn the fryer off if it isn’t required for several hours. This prevents unnecessary heating of the oil
With a little care and maintenance, you can significantly extend the life of your cooking oil and save your kitchen thousands of dollars.