Essential Fryer Accessories Your Commercial Kitchen Needs

commercial fryer accessories

America loves fried food. It’s a love affair that’s persisted for decades. If your operation serves fried foods, you need a great fryer. And to make the most of that fryer, there are essential commercial fryer accessories that will make your job easier (and your fried food better).

There are many commercial fryer brands. Honestly, we’re not here to discuss the competition. The best commercial fryer is our Collectramatic®. Hands down. 

commercial fryer accessories

What kind of equipment is used for commercial frying?

Like most fryer brands, Collectramatic fryers are available in two configurations: pressure and open. Likewise, the fryers offer 4-head and 6-head capacities. Deciding which configuration and size are right for you depends on your menu and volume.

foodservice products Collectramatic LP46 Pressure Fryer foodservice products
Collectramatic OF59C Open Fryer

Pressure Fryers

Pressure fryers serve a dual purpose. They speed the cooking process, and help tenderize the meat. Pressure fryers were developed and improved by such industry pioneers as Harland Sanders and Winston Shelton. During the post-war boom, fast food operations exploded in popularity. Fried chicken took the country by storm. The poultry of that era was quite different from modern breeds. Mid-century poultry was tougher, with lots of connective tissue. Cooking food under pressure helped to break down that connective tissue, while simultaneously speeding the cooking process. 

Poultry has changed quite a bit. Today’s chicken bears little resemblance to its 1960s cousins. But the advantages of pressure frying remain the same. Of course, if you’re serving fried chicken, it’s a no-brainer to pressure fry. But the same advantages that make Collectramatic pressure fryers perfect for chicken also make them ideal for other proteins that have lots of connective tissue. Think ribs or pig wings. One advantage of Collectramatic pressure fryers is that they can be used to both pressure fry and open fry.

Open Fryers

As the name implies, open fryers are just that – fryers that don’t have a lid. They are ideal for foods that don’t require tenderization, such as tenders, poppers, fish, or shrimp. Open fryers offer a gentler cooking process and are perfect for cooking battered foods to crispy perfection.

What kind of commercial fryer accessories do I need for my kitchen?

Regardless of which Collectramatic configuration you choose, the essential frying accessories are the same.

Included Accessories

Every Collectramatic fryers ships from the factory with these accessories:

  • A clamshell basket (or quarter rack basket)
  • A drain hook
  • A pair of heavy-duty gloves
  • Two collector gaskets
  • A spatula

  • A Teflon brush
  • A long collector
  • A heat plate
  • Pressure fryers also include two lid gaskets
PS1163 Clamshell Basket

Clamshell Baskets (or Quarter Rack Baskets)

These are designed to be loaded with chicken (or other foods) and lowered into the fryer for cooking. Once cooking is complete, the baskets are pulled from the fryer, drained of excess oil, and unloaded. Additional baskets can be ordered through our partners at PartsTown.

ps1154 basket drain hook

Drain Hook

This commercial fryer accessory allows operators to safely lower baskets into cooking oil. Likewise, facilitates the removal of the basket from the fryer. Additionally, it enables the basket to hang for a moment above the cookpot, allowing excess oil to drain back into the fryer.

ps1001 safety gloves

Safety Gloves

Naturally, worker safety is paramount when working with hot oil. The heavy-duty safety gloves help protect hands and forearms from accidental burns. They’re a must whenever working around hot oil.

fryer accessories

Spatula

This long metal spatula is utilized to scrape deposits of the cookpot sides during cleaning and filtering.

fryer accessories

Collector Gaskets

These gaskets form a seal between the fryer’s cookpot and its long collector. These must be inspected and cleaned frequently and replaced whenever showing wear.

ps1120 teflon brush

Teflon Brush

This brush is used to scrub the fryer’s heating coils during cleaning.

Winston-Foodservice-OF59C

Long Collector

The long collector forms the Collectramatic fryer’s patented cold zone. It’s designed to collect cracklings and breading that fall from chicken during the cooking cycle. The cooler oil in the collector’s bottom prevents breading from burning and consequently degrading your cooking oil. The collector is easy to remove for cleaning.

heat-plate

Heat Plate

The heat plate is positioned inside the collector. It helps overcome thermal stratification and aids in oil circulation. The plate is easily removed for cleaning.

fryer accessories

Lid Gaskets

These gaskets form the seal on Collectramatic pressure fryer lids. Like other fryer gaskets, they must be cleaned and maintained. Likewise, they should be replaced when necessary. Additional quantities of all included accessories can be ordered through PartsTown.com.

fryer accessories

Although it’s listed here as optional, Collectramatic owners really need to invest in a Winston Shortening Filter. These powerful filters are designed to quickly filter impurities from the cooking oil and pump the cleaned oil back into the fryer. Winston’s filters are designed to move easily, so you can service multiple fryers with a single filter.

fryer accessories

Of course, each time the cooking oil is filtered, the paper filter will need to be replaced. Filter paper can be ordered in a range of quantities.

Baskets

As mentioned before, Collectramatic fryers include a basket. But Winston also offers several specialty baskets, including open, chicken liver, shoestring, and fillet baskets.

Quarter rack baskets are designed for loading and unloading with minimal tonging or handling. Acquiring additional shelves and frame sets can boost your commercial kitchen’s efficiency.

The tray cart provides a space to easily hang open baskets and remove the cooked chicken.

Displacer Tool

The displacer tool is a simple but effective tool used to force oil out of the fryer’s collector. It displaces oil from the collector and into the drain, making the collector easier and safer to remove.

collector removal

As anyone who had removed a collector for a Winston fryer can tell you, the seal between the collector and the cookpot can be a challenge to break. This simple tool slides beneath the collector. Consequently, it allows you to leverage foot power, making the collector much easier to remove.

Although it’s possible for Collectramatic fryer operators to get by without some of these commercial fryer accessories, including them in your kitchen can help make boost your kitchen’s safety and efficiency. You’ve already got the world’s best fryer. Make the most of it with genuine Winston fryer accessories.

What is a Commercial Pressure Fryer?

Commercial Pressure Fryer
Collectramatic Pressure Fryers

Commercial pressure fryers are very different from household fryers or commercial open fryers.

Fried food’s appeal is universal. You can easily find fried foods anywhere. Southern fried chicken,  beer-battered fish and chips, you name it – thanks to their crispy texture, delicious flavors, and tantalizing aromas. Ultimately, that’s why many restaurants are likely to have fried products on the menu.

If you want to add fried foods to your menu, or are looking to replace existing frying equipment, read on to learn why you should consider a commercial pressure fryer (and specifically, a Collectramatic® Pressure Fryer).

As the name suggests, commercial pressure fryers rely on pressure cooking techniques. Cooking oil cooks food within an enclosed cooking vessel. Once food products are loaded into the fryer, a lid is latched down, creating an air-tight seal. Consequently, as food cooks, it produces steam. Steam builds pressure within the fryer. It is this pressure that speeds the cooking process.

Naturally, the key difference between open (or deep) fryers and commercial pressure fryers is the enclosed pressurized environment. This makes a dramatic difference in the food’s cooking temperature, cooking duration, and the quality and consistency of the end product.

The Science Behind Pressure Frying

Want to know why foods cooked in a pressure fryer are so much tastier than their open-fried counterparts? Curious about why pressure frying is so much more efficient?

  1. The pressure built up in the enclosed fryer increases the boiling point of water. This means water exceeds 212°F before turning to steam. Because of that, most of the food’s liquids that would have been evaporated at a lower boiling point in an open fryer are retained as internal moisture, resulting in a much juicer end product.
  2. Pressure build-up internally also helps increase the overall temperature of the steam inside the fryer, allowing the food to cook faster. Similarly, pressure cookers also maintain the same temperatures and pressures with every batch, ensuring consistency across all batches. In contrast, open frying lacks consistency, as temperatures can be easily affected by the environment.

Check out this fun video for a basic explanation of pressure frying.

Why Should You Get a Pressure Fryer for Your Commercial Kitchen?

Still undecided on whether a pressure fryer is right for your restaurant?
Read on to learn why many operators have opted to invest in this equipment.

Faster Cook Times

During rush periods, there is no time to lose. Food has to be out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. You do not want an open fryer slowing service.

The good news is that commercial pressure fryers cook much faster, allowing you to speed up your production and serve more customers.

Better and More Consistent Flavor

Any operator will tell you that flavor and consistency are key to customer satisfaction. While that is not easily achieved,  pressure fryers can help you get it right every time. This is thanks to its heating and pressure systems, and computerized programming. Serving consistently juicy, crispy fried foods in every batch is made easy.

Healthier

Calling fried foods healthy sounds like a stretch. However, it is essential to note that pressure frying is a healthier cooking method than other high-volume fryers. Pressure frying heats food’s internal moisture and uses that moisture to cook from within. This creates vapor pressure within the food product. This pressure, pushing outward from the food’s interior, helps prevent oil from soaking into the food, ultimately lowering the amount of fat absorbed into the product, as compared to open frying.

Cost-Effective

Certainly, oil reduction is not just a health benefit. On the other hand, it is also a significant cost-benefit. Using less oil and the maintaining oil quality for longer periods helps save on oil consumption overall. Similarly, faster cooking times also help to lower energy consumption. How’s that for cost-effective?

Convinced of the benefits that a pressure fryer can bring to your operation? The next step is to find a suitable fryer. When it comes to an important investment like this, there are several key areas you need to note. We, of course, recommend our Collectramatic Pressure Fryers.

Features

Certain features enhance the effectiveness of pressure fryers. Look for features that help your team reduce their workload.

Winston’s Collectramatic LP56 High-Efficiency Pressure Fryer include the following features:

  • The patented cold zone uses gravity filtration to prevent cracklings from scorching and ruining your oil. This allows up to 360 lbs. of chicken (or other food products) to be fried between filtrations.
  • 6-head capacity (or 18 lbs. of food product)
  • 75 lbs. shortening (or oil) capacity
  • 8 preprogrammed (and programable) channels
  • Choice of clamshell or quarter-rack basket systems. Quarter-rack systems minimize tonging and handling of chicken. Shelves can be moved from basket to sheet pan without tonging each piece individually.
  • Built-in safety features, such as an automatic shutoff if the fryer gets too hot (over 410°F), and an alarm that automatically disengages the heaters if they are inadvertently allowed to be exposed to air.

Add a Winston Shortening Filter to get the most from your Winston fryer. The filter is built for mobility. Consequently, you can use a single filter unit to service multiple fryers.

foodservice products Collectramatic LP46 Pressure Fryer foodservice products

The Most Trusted Brand

Winston offers commercial fryers in both pressure and open configurations. Check out their entire fryer product line here.

For over 50 years, Collectramatic Fryers have been leaders in the foodservice industry. Originally designed for Harland Sanders (yes, Colonel Sanders), they’re a reliable workhorse. Built with only a few moving parts, they last for decades (with regular care and maintenance, of course). Simple to operate, clean, and maintain, Collectramatic fryers will keep you frying, and keep your customers happy and fed.

Five Things to Know When Purchasing a Commercial Fryer

Chicken is a customer favorite. According to the National Chicken Council, Americans now consume nearly 100 pounds per capita annually. Customers consume more chicken than beef or pork every year. This is why operators should make serving the best chicken a priority. Offering this customer favorite comes with a few “need to knows” that every foodservice professional should consider before purchasing a fryer.

1. Pressure fryers produce better chicken (and cost less to operate).
  • Collectramatic Pressure Fryers consistently produce tastier chicken. The fryer design makes a difference in food quality. Expert operators have told us how they can taste the difference between chicken cooked in a Collectramatic fryer and other pressure fryers.
  • In pressure fryers, a pressurized bubble forms around chicken, trapping in natural juices, nutrients, and flavor. There is minimal flavor transfer, and chicken cooks faster than in open fryers. The frying process decreases wait times, while producing consistently good chicken.
  • Collectramatic Pressure Fryers typically cost less to operate. The TCO on these fryers is low, offsetting up-front costs. Pressure fryers cook chicken at a lower temperature than open fryers, requiring less energy over the life of the fryer. Lower temperatures also extend shortening life.
2. Open fryers make good chicken too.
  • If a pressure fryer is not an option, commercial open fryers produce delicious chicken as well. There are many different commercial open fryers. Collectramatic Open Fryers, like the OF59C, are made for high-volume operations. Chicken isn’t the only delicious fried food. Some food products, like jalapeno poppers or butterfly shrimp, are best when open fried.
3. Programmable presets are important.
  • When purchasing a commercial fryer, operators should look for fryers with programmable presets. These presets ensure a consistently high-quality product and reduce the amount of training and labor. Look for units with enough storage channels to add future presets to accommodate menu changes.
4. Clean oil is an essential part of producing good chicken.
  • Oil (or shortening) is a factor to consider during the buying process and daily operations. Clean oil produces better chicken. Collectramatic fryers use simple gravity filtration to keep oil fresh longer, extending the length of time between mechanical filtrations.
  • Oil starts to break down when cooking temperatures exceed 360°F. For that reason, Collectramatic fryers have a maximum temperature of 360°F. Most cook cycles involve settings lower than this temperature. When oil breaks down, it should be filtered promptly to ensure a quality, consistent product. Oil life can also be extended by maintaining a consistent level and avoiding overfilling cookpots.
5. It’s important to keep chicken fresh and at a correct hot temperature before serving.
  • For some operations, serving quality chicken only concerns frying, because the product is immediately served. Other operations require a heated merchandiser or holding cabinet that keeps chicken at the correct safe temperature. One of Winston’s other product lines is CVap® holding and cooking equipment. CVap Holding Cabinets are particularly well-suited for holding fried chicken. CVap’s unique dual-heat system keeps chicken hot and just-cooked fresh for extended periods. This helps you power through rush periods with minimal delays and no sacrifice in food quality.

Why Choose Winston Collectramatic Pressure Fryers?

commercial pressure fryer

American-built Quality

Winston manufacturers all our fryers and controls in our Louisville, Kentucky headquarters/ We don’t rely on third-party vendors. Rigorous engineering and testing assure that each fryer we sell is built to the highest quality standards. Our experienced, dedicated workforce build pride into every product we ship.

commercial pressure fryer

We Make Life Easy for Servicers

No matter what brand of commercial fryer you choose, at some point it will need to be serviced by a skilled technician. Collectramatic Pressure Fryers are well known in the industry as being easy to work on. So, when the time comes for maintenance, your technician will thank you.

collectramatic

Smaller Footprint

Bulky cooking appliances that take up too much space in your commercial kitchen cause problems – safety concerns, workflow disruptions, and frustration, to name a few.

Collectramatic Pressure Fryers have a well-engineered, compact design with a smaller overall footprint than our competitors, to help alleviate these issues. They offer more production from a smaller footprint.

collectramatic cookpot

Round Cookpot Offers Consistent Cooking

Say goodbye to cold spots or undercooked chicken. Our commercial pressure fryers feature a round cookpot. Since there are no corners, heat is evenly distributed. This produces chicken that is crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, every time. Cylindrical cookpots have a big advantage over square fryers when it comes to durability. Because pressure is distributed evenly throughout the cookpot, there are no corners to stress and eventually fail.

Contact Winston Foodservice Today

For over 50 years, Winston has provided reliable equipment to help foodservice operators meet the growing demands of their customers. Our sales team and global network of sales representatives are happy to consult with you and help you figure out the best equipment to meet your goals.

Fill out a contact form, or call 800-234-5286 to speak with a member of our team.

Deep Fried Turkey

fried turkey with pecan honey glaze

I have wanted to deep fry a turkey since I took on the role of Corporate Research Chef here at Winston. You see, Winston was built on pressure fryers. For example, the company’s first product was the Collectramatic® Fryer, designed for Colonel Sanders himself. I’m happy to have had the experience!

Cooking a turkey is a production, no matter what the cooking method. From hauling the turkeys in from the grocery to picking the carcass and ensuring all that hard work is appreciated. However, it typically only happens once a year, for a special occasion. So we can justify the extra work, and expense, and clean up. Certainly, this is a monumental task if you’re doing it in an outside fryer at home. On the other hand, a commercial kitchen is much more conducive to this work!

fried turkey fixins

Settings and Procedures:

Products:

Note: It is critical that turkeys be completely thawed. Placing a frozen bird into hot oil can cause a major flash fire. For obvious reasons, this should be avoided!

Pressure Fried Procedure – 2 Smaller Turkeys:

  • Set up the Collectramatic Fryer Program and Preheat:
    • Total Fry Time: 50 Minutes
    • 1 Step @ 350°F for 10 Minutes – Pressure
    • 2 Step @ 276°F for 40 Minutes – Pressure
    • 3 Step @ 276°F for 0 Minutes – Open
  • Remove the turkey from ALL packaging,  and any “extra” turkey parts (i.e.; pop-up timer, plastic binder, neck piece, and parchment-wrapped offal (giblets, liver, and heart)). You don’t want these “extras” to be immersed in hot oil.
  • Place turkey in a pan while the fryer is heating. Dab off any excess moisture on the outside.
    • Hold turkey up and allow the internal cavity to drain off any excess water. The goal is for the turkey to be as dry as possible before immersing in hot oil.
  • When ready, transfer turkey to open basket and with gloved hands, lower the basket into the Collectramatic, close and lock the lid. Next, hit the program channel to start the timer.
  • Once finished, hook the basket, and allow to drain for a couple of minutes before transferring to another landing pad. Finally, allow to drain a few more minutes, until final presentation and slicing to serve.

Notethe 10 to 14lbs turkey is the largest whole bird you can fry in the Collectramatic. Consequently, anything larger will be a sizing challenge. BUT there’s another way to address these larger birds.

raw-turkey-on-table
drying the bird
lower the bird in the basket
caged bird

CVap Staging

  • Set up the CVap – either CHV or RTV. We used the RTV7-05UV:
    • Cook Time: 2.5-3 Hours
    • Vapor Temp – Cook: 190°F
    • Air Temp – Cook: 200°F
  • While the CVap oven is preheating, address Big Bird:
    • Remove the turkey from ALL packaging, and any “extra” turkey parts (i.e.; pop-up timer, plastic binder, neck piece, and parchment-wrapped offal (giblets, liver, and heart)).
    • Begin by spatchcocking the turkey. Next, cut equally in half, add each half to a hotel pan
  • Place both pans in heated CVap oven and start the cook cycle.
    • Keep tabs on the internal temperature of the turkey after cooking for an hour or so. If you’re using a Series 7 oven, a food temp probe is great option. Otherwise, use an accurate thermometer.
    • You’re looking for an internal temp at or greater than 165°F, measured at three separate sites, per FoodSafety.Gov “the innermost part of the thigh, wing and thickest part of the breast.”
    • At these settings, it should take between 2.5 – 3 hours.

Deep Frying Procedure – Larger Turkey (Open Fry)

  • Set up the Collectramatic Fryer Program and preheat (towards the last 30 minutes on CVap cook cycle):
    • Set to Open Fry @ 350°F
  • Remove the staged turkey from the oven.
    • There will be a good amount of residual cooking liquid (+/- 2 cups or so from each pan). You can discard, or reserve to make gravy that is da bomb.
    • Transfer the halved turkey to a dry spot and dab with a dry towel if any excess moisture is noticed.
    • Next, use a knife to quarter the turkey. Allow draining a bit more before moving to the open baskets for frying.
    • Open Fry @ 350°F for 7-10 minutes.
  • Once finished, hook the basket, and allow to drain for a couple of minutes before transferring to another landing pad. Finally, allow to drain a few more minutes, until final presentation and slicing to serve. 
Cutting up the bird
staging in the oven
lowering basket for fried turkey
fried turkey draining

Final Words and Fancy Glazes

Pressure-fried turkeys had a golden crisp skin, moist meat, and an impressive presentation. On the other hand, staged and deep-fried turkeys were just a golden, but the skin was even more crispy, and the meat was more tender and moist. The final presentation was just as beautiful. Ultimately, either way was a delicious success! 

Serving with a sauce? Try this simple recipe for Honey Butter Pecan Glaze:

  • 1 cup Honey
  • ¾ cup Butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup Pecans, rough chops (we used roasted & salted)

Heat honey and allow to boil for about a minute. Next, reduce heat to barely a simmer while whisking in the butter, a few pats at a time, until incorporated.

Add the nuts and bring to a boil one last time for about another minute. Finally, remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken a bit before glazing turkey or serve on the side…so good!

Pouring Honey
simmering sauce
bubbling butter
fried turkey with honey pecan glaze
chef samantha brown

About the Author

Corporate Research Chef Samantha Brown carries dual degrees. One is from Sullivan University, in Culinary Arts. The other, in Food Science, is from the University of Kentucky. Chef Sam has years of foodservice and product development experience.

Fun Fact – Chef Sam was featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with host Guy Fieri (Farm to Table, episode 909).

5 Reasons Why Equipment Maintenance is Important

5 Reasons Maintenance is Important

Commercial kitchen equipment is a big investment. Regular maintenance protects that investment. Winston’s CVap® and Collectramatic® products are no exception. Consequently, they must be maintained to keep them functioning properly.

What do we mean by regular maintenance?

This means commonsense everyday cleaning. Removing food and chemical residue reduces contamination risks. Draining and cleaning also inhibit stainless steel degredation. It also requires regular professional inspections.

Finally, regular maintenance includes adhering to the owner’s manual and following recommendations. This includes proper spacing from other equipment and utilizing the correct electrical, and other physical requirements.

 

Five Ways Maintenance Protects Your Operation

  1. Protected Staff – Regular maintenance preserves built-in safety features, such as gaskets and pressure locks. Maintenance keeps the kitchen safer and more comfortable. It keeps equipment in good working order.

  2. Protect Food – Maintaining equipment assures that your oven accurately hits temperature setpoints. This protects food integrity. Daily cleaning also keeps the cabinet interior free of contaminants. Critically, food contamination is a top cause of foodborne illnesses.

  3. Protect the Warranty – Winston products are backed by a great warranty. But regular maintenance is necessary to protect that warranty. Daily cleaning preserves stainless steel’s integrity. Corrosion due to lack of cleaning is a common cause of damage. This corrosion isn’t covered by the warranty. After all, warranties are intended to protect against defects, not product neglect.
    1. Protect Your ROI – Maintenance assures reliable operation. It protects warranty coverage. And it reduces contamination risks. Bottom line – it protects you from a multitude of costly issues.
    2.  

    3. Protects Your Customers – What’s more important than customer safety? Regular maintenance helps protect food quality. Above all, avoid foodborne illness outbreaks at all costs. It’s a minor time investment that helps protect your operation from massive, expensive problems.

Pressure Frying 101

Pressure Frying

Pressure Frying 101 from Winston Foodservice

How do fast food restaurants fry chicken so quickly? They do it under pressure! And no pressure fryer is better than Collectramatic® – a workhorse designed for a fried chicken legend. Watch this pressure frying 101 video!

No matter what language you speak, fried chicken is delicious. Here’s the video with translated subtitles.

Arabic (عربى)
Canadian French (français canadien)
Chinese (中文)
French (français)
Portuguese (português)
Spanish (español)

Fantastic Fish is Freakishly Easy in an Open Fryer!

fish fried in an open fryer is fantastic

Don’t be chicken about using your Collectramatic® Fryer to cook fish!

You probably know the Collectramatic Fryer is unparalleled at frying chicken. Similarly, they’re great for frying fish. Certainly give this recipe a try, and you’ll see. In short, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case – the beer batter.

Although chicken is frequently fried under pressure, fish is best when open fried. For that reason, it’s great in our open fryer, but can easily be cooked in a pressure fryer – with the lid left up.

Fish Fry Beer Batter

  • 1 Cup Enriched Flour
  • 12 Oz Beer
  • ¼ Cup Corn Starch
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • 1 Tbs Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Oz Water

Next, whisk together until well-blended and lump-free.

Undoubtedly, this batter is delicious with cod, or just about any white fish fillet that tickles your taste buds. Whiting, haddock, pollock…you name it, it all fries up great!

  1. Lightly coat fish fillet with flour.
  2. Next, dip fillet into beer batter and cover completely.
  3. Subsequently, drop into the fryer at 350°F for six minutes, or until golden brown. Consequently, if cooking in an open basket, fillets will usually float to top of basket when done.
  4. Finally, let fish rest for two minutes before serving.
cutting fish fillets
breading fish filets

How you serve is up to you. Go Brit and serve with chips (a.k.a., fries). Naturally, I prefer to serve it on some lovely bread. Granted, many folks are content to slap their fish between a couple of slices of plain old white bread. However, I prefer to frame it on a nice ciabatta or focaccia, along with fresh lettuce, tomato, and a little homemade tartar sauce. It nourishes the body and is good for the soul!

fixings ready for fish from open fryer
fried fish fresh from fryer

Fried Chicken and Steamed Rice Held in CVap Stay So Nice!

Cvap Steaming rice

Uncle Jack Fried Chicken is a Malaysian restaurant chain. They use our Collectramatic pressure fryers. Ordinarily, they serve chicken from a display warmer. To maximize holding time, they limit the warmer to 35°C (95°F), putting a limit on the amount of time they could hold chicken before it was no longer fit to sell. We suggested they test our CVap holding cabinet, in the hopes of extending holding time and improving food quality. We tested fried chicken and steamed rice. The results were exciting!

Holding Cabinet Preparation

The CVap cabinet was set at food temperature 54°C (129°F) and food texture at + 28°C (82°F). We gave the cabinet 45 minutes to preheat.

Chicken
12:05pm: 

The chicken moved from the fryer to the holding cabinet (15 pieces). Chicken was crispy outside, moist inside. The meat was very hot to touch. The taste was really good.

Rice
12:10pm: 

Cooked rice (wrapped in oil paper) was put into the same holding cabinets with fried chicken. Initial rice quality was moist, sticky, and fragrant.

Fried Chicken
13:05pm: (holding 60 minutes)

The chicken was still crispy outside (though slightly less crisp than when first removed from fryer). Interior was still hot, and the color was unchanged. The chicken breading remained crisp.

UJ Fried Chicken
13:05pm: (holding 60 minutes)

Chicken was still crispy and moist. Color was good. Food retained flavor, with minimal freshness loss.

Fried Chicken
13:55pm (holding for 2 hours)

The skin remained crispy, though not as crisp as when initially fried. Flavor and moisture were still good. Color had not darkened.

Steamed Rice
14:00pm (rice held for 2 hours)

Rice was hot and tasted fresh. Not dried out at all.

Chicken Fried
15:35pm (3.5 hour holding time)

The chicken tasted good. Its skin remained crispy, and its meat, moist. Although it was not “just cooked” fresh after 3.5 hours, it was still at a safe temperature. It remained appetizing enough to serve.

Steamed Rice
15:40pm (after holding for 3.5 hours)

Rice was hot, and texture was good.

CVap Holding Cabinet Test Conclusions

Electricity Consumption: 800 watts

Holding Capacity per Cabinet: 13 full-size sheet pans, each rack equals one basket (4 heads) chicken or 338 pieces

Goals for Future Testing

  1. Extending the holding time for the chicken without compromising the texture, taste, and food safety.
  2. Testing other products, (wrapped rice was incorporated).
  3. Improving staff workflow.
  4. Staff can pre-prepare chicken during lean hours in preparation for peak hours, shortening the waiting time while producing the best-tasting fried chicken.
  5. During lean hours, customers can still savor the taste of freshly fried chicken.
  6. Minimize food shrinkage.
  7. Minimize food waste.
  8. Consequently, extension of holding times for other foods is possible since CVap cabinets are versatile enough to hold both crispy and moist foods. So holding fried chicken and steamed rice together was not a problem!

One Final Note – CVap Technology is Great, But It’s Not Magic.

The very nature of fried foods (crisp outside with moist interior) promotes evaporation. CVap technology is the best available to maximize holding time, but even CVap, using the necessary high differential setting (the difference of food texture setting over the food temperature setting) will eventually lose the battle to maintain food temp and freshness. It’ll hold fresh longer than the competitors, but if the food is crunchy (fried chicken, French fries, etc), it can only be held for so long.

On the other hand, moist foods, such as rice or noodles, are perfect for CVap and can be held for many hours with no loss of temperature or quality.

The consensus of the Uncle Jack test was that it was possible to lengthen the chicken’s holding time. More testing is needed to perfect the texture, taste, and crispiness.