I need a fryer for a small restaurant, I'll be using it to make southern-style fried chicken. I'm trying to decide between a traditional deep fryer and a pressure fryer. Anyone have pros and cons?

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3 answers


Unless you are a full fledged "fried chicken" joint, you would never need a pressure fryer. The rest of your question is dependent on your menu product mix and the total volume of fried menu items served. If you are looking to serve fried chicken as "special" or even daily, you can simply use a cast iron skillet. A small to medium sized counter top electric fryer set at 300 to 325 degrees will handle a modest amount of volume( standard 350 degree will mean raw meat close to bone) and also allow you to menu fried apps(350 degrees)at other times, which you should need to hit your profit margins. Sounds like a combination of both would work for your ops/profits.
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I agree with the other two answers except on one point. Pressure deep frying  seems to make whatever seasoning you use more effective and gives it deeper penetration into the meat however cost effectiveness is a factor. If your already rich don't worry about the cost, if you sell a lot of chicken it may be helpful. Otherwise don't put yourself out of business for something that your not really selling!
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That's definitely a loaded question, because there are several determining factors: cost, quantity, and if you intend to fry anything else.  

Cost: pressure fryers are in general much more expensive than traditional fryers, because of the technology involved with pressure fryers that results in faster cook times and different mechanisms.  While it is ideal for fried chicken, there is a cost  vs. benefit analysis you need to do there.

Quantity: you mentioned you are small restaurant.  You need to figure out how much quantity of fried chicken you wish to produce.  If you are just looking to do a few orders here and there or run specials on a certain day of the week, then it's not warranted to get a pressure fryer.  However, if you plan on doing a mass quantity every day, that would be a consideration for a pressure fryer.

If you are going to fry anything else: you need to look at your menu and decipher what other items you may end up frying.  If you are just a chicken joint doing fried chicken only, then a pressure fryer is great.  If you are a diner or restaurant that has a lot of other fried items, and you aren't making fried chicken your main attraction dish, then you may reconsider and side with a traditional fryer instead.

Traditional fryers can be fine for frying chicken, but you need to develop a style on how you want to cook it.  Some people fry and then bake it in the oven to finish cooking the inside of the chicken
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Pressure fryers offer you better quality chicken hands down, more moist, faster cooking times, less oil usage, the customer perception of pressure fried and traditional fried chicken as a healthier option yet produces a superior qulity product. A pressure fryer stil can be used as an open pot fryer when you need it to be be, but for quality chicken, use a pressure fryer.