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Your Buyer's Guide to Commercial Fryers

How to Choose the Right Commercial Fryer


Fried foods are full of possibilities! From funnel cakes to corn dogs, deep fried onions, and more, you can make tasty additions to your menu that are profitable too. It’s important to note that not all fryers are the same. There are important differences to be aware of when buying a fryer. Tubular versus ribbon? When is a gas fryer right? We’ll explore the options and provide answers to help you find the right fryer for your needs.

Tubular vs Ribbon Fryers

Tubular Versus Ribbon

There are different heating elements available in electric fryers. Your decision may be determined by the volume of frying you will be doing. Most high-volume venues choose the ribbon element. The added detail and shape of the ribbons greatly improves their performance. The ribbon provides a greater surface area for heating the oil. Essentially, it heats the oil more gently than a tubular element. This can lead to longer oil life. Ribbon elements are also designed with a more vertical orientation to their shape. This creates a natural convection current in the oil, allowing it to heat faster. The most notable performance improvement with a ribbon is that there is a faster recovery time between cooking loads. This allows you to make more funnel cakes in a faster amount of time. The tubular element is a less expensive option, but there is more fluctuation in temperature and a slower recovery time.

When to use gas?

When to Use Gas?

Gas fryers are also an alternative for some operators. However, they are only to be used in outdoor environments where electric is not available. The main difference is that electric fryers use an immersion heating element to directly heat the oil. Gas fryers need to impinge a flame onto the oil tank in order to heat the oil, which not only takes more time, but can cause hot spots. Electric is always recommended unless power is an issue.

Suggested Fryers by Food Type

Gold Medal recommends specific fryers based on the type of food.  

Funnel Cake Fryer Suggestions

  • Funnel Cakes

Funnel cakes are best in a shallow fryer because it does not require a lot of oil depth and is engineered for fast recovery. The #8078E Deluxe Funnel Cake Fryer FC-4 cooks three 8” funnel cakes at a time. It is smaller than other models, but only requires 30-amp service. The largest is the #8088E Super King Ultimate Funnel Cake Fryer. It can cook up to six 8” funnel cakes and is perfect for a continuous cook and pour method. However, it does require 50-amp service. For gas, the #5099NS Six-Cake Funnel Gas Fryer is the best LP gas funnel cake maker. With 95,000 BTU, it is fast. Best used with cart and lid.

Corn Dog Fryer Suggestions

  • Corn Dogs

When it comes to corn dogs, you get more bang for your buck the larger they are. Gold Medal’s #8068FL Foot-Long King Dog Fryer is ideal for corn dogs up to 12” long and holds up to 50 lbs of oil. The unit comes with two, six-position skewer clips. It has been called the Cadillac of corn dog makers and is known for great temperature recovery.

Onion Rings Fryer Suggestions

  • Deep Fried Onions, Fries, etc.

For French fries and other basket foods, Gold Medal suggests the #8048D Small Fryer. Small yet mighty, it is engineered to meet the needs of operators, being both efficient and a great value. For deep fried onions, you need room for them to spread out and to float. But because of the crumbs that come off the batter as it cooks, you need to have an adequate collection zone at the bottom of the fryer. For that reason, Gold Medal recommends #8073BF Battered King 9.

Donut Fryer Suggestions

  • Donuts

Gold Medal’s #8049D FW-9 Donut Fryer is designed for donuts. Used with a Donut Screen (Part #89227), it fries up delicious donuts with ease with 4,500 watts of power. As a shallow tank, it can also be used for French waffles. Another option is the #8051D FW-9 Shallow Fryer. This is our lowest power fryer, so it will take longer for recovery between batches. However, the advantage is that this fryer can operate off a standard 15-amp circuit.


Learn more about How to Deep Fry Food with tips on oil, mixes, cleaning, and more.

Want to explore our full line of fryers? Reach out to your nearest Gold Medal branch or distributor today.