Michael Eyre, culinary director at Jestic Foodservice Solutions, shares his top tips and advice for getting the best from a frying operation in a delivery kitchen.
Oil management is key in all outlet types, but for delivery kitchens it is crucial.
The more tired the oil, the more it will soak into the food. When you consider it could be 20 minutes-plus after the food leaves the shop before the customer receives their meal, the time the oil has to soak in is significantly increased. Keep your oil in the best condition by regularly filtering the oil and topping up with fresh oil — a process the Henny Penny Evolution Elite does automatically.
Delivery-only kitchens will experience significant differences between peak and off-peak flow, so when the kitchen is quieter, turn your fryer down and use functions like idle mode.
For every 5°C of oil temperature you drop, you’ll increase oil life by 10%! Idle mode on the Henny Penny Evolution Elite will hold oil at 120°C, and can get back to a cooking temperature of 175°C in under two minutes.
A good oil management system and testing regime is critical for businesses running delivery kitchen operations.
Whether you opt for a digital system or simple strips, your oil should be tested regularly and changed when required. Frying in old oil doesn’t do the food any favours. Equally, brand new oil doesn’t fry very well either — the sweet spot is somewhere in between. If using a digital tester aim for an oil sweet spot of 16%-20% TPM.
Make sure your equipment can handle the variety of food you put through it.
If it can’t, then change your menu or, if finances and space allow, change your equipment. Obviously the available budget is an important consideration, but the initial purchase price isn’t the only factor. Operators should think about the return the equipment can offer over its lifetime in terms of oil, labour and energy savings, minimising downtime and employee happiness.
Customers with special dietary requirements are growing in number and it is important that foods are kept separate.
Many operators now choose to use an additional smaller fryer for customers with specific dietary requirements, allergies and for vegan items which should not be cooked in the same oil as proteins. The same principles of oil management still have to apply to these smaller fryers. Test the oil, clean it, change it regularly and you’ll have happy customers.