Your frying range will represent a large investment for your business, so carrying out the research and making the right choice is imperative. With many people looking to reduce their carbon footprint and looking to reduce their bills the best place to start is understanding the differences between gas and electric frying ranges.
Below we have answered some questions to help you make a decision between the two.
Pros and cons of both Electric and Gas Ranges
Can you tell the difference between items cooked in a gas range or electric range?
The taste of the product mainly comes from the quality of the food item to be cooked. The texture is created by having the oil at the correct temperature and maintaining this during the cooking process. Fast recovery of the oil for the food type is important, as is the quality and type of oil that is being used for frying.
Gas fryers tend to produce heavy carbonisation and are therefore trickier to clean than their electric counterparts.
In short, it’s all to do with the quality of the oil used. The cleaner the oil the better the end product will be.
Heating speeds and recovery times are a key factor to consider. Do these differ between gas and electric?
As the heating elements of electric fryers are immersed in the oil itself, they will heat the oil quicker than the equivalent gas fryer. Where as a gas fryer will need to heat up the burner tubes, which then heat the oil, and so will take longer to reach the optimum cooking temperature. For this reason, electric fryers are quicker to recover heat between cooking cycles, giving you the ability to cook more items in faster succession — this is particularly important during peak service hours.
The less time it takes the heat the oil, along with time for heat recovery, the less energy consumed and therefore reducing your costs.
I’m limited on space for ducting and ventilation, which option could be better for me?
All gas equipment will need to have appropriate ventilation to make sure the gasses are being dispersed safely and appropriately. This usually means using a chimney to get rid of the gas. If you run a shop with limited outdoor space for this then it can be tricky.
Electric ranges, don’t have the ventilation problem as such. They will need to get rid of any oil and smell before venting, but you wouldn’t have the issue of toxic gasses. This generally means you can vent your range closer to the ground eliminating the need for a chimney.
Is there a difference in maintenance costs?
Generally there is less maintenance needed for electric frying ranges compared to gas. This is due to them being slightly less technical and the reduced need of gas ventilation with interlocks.
Which is more expensive to buy and install?
Generally speaking gas fryers are more expensive to buy than electric fryers. While this is an important factor, the life cost of the fryer will need to be taken into account.
Gas fryers are more expensive to service and maintain as burners and pilot lights need cleaning, plus there are many failure safety devices and pressure checks installed to make it safe to use. Something that Electric ranges don’t need.
In short it depends on your shop and situation as installing either type of range may require changes to your shop such as new pipes and valves for a gas range or upgraded electrics for an electric range.
Currently gas is cheaper than electric when it comes to your bills, but with the world changing to renewable and sustainable energy solutions this gap is closing fast. With the improved recovery times and heating times of an electric range this gap could be closed even more.
You will also need to consider how long you intend to have your range for. Roughly speaking, many shop owners have their ranges for 5 to 10 years – depending on how busy they are. If you intend to have the range on the upper side of that you may want to consider an electric range over gas.
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