An overview of the best fry warmer dump stations, how they work, usage, and maintenance. Cooking and holding fried food for hours without getting them cold has posed a challenge in the food industry.
Customers often complained a lot about receiving cold and greasy fries from some restaurants. That is why fry warmers are now favored. Quick service restaurants (QSRs) most commonly referred to as fast-food restaurants are one of those businesses that use fry warmers on a daily basis.
Franchisees and their staff at the most common food establishments such as KFC, Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Popeyes have treasured the use of fry warmers. As many customers file in and out at different intervals it can be hard to manage that many urgent orders and ensure meals remain warm.
Fry warmers create the convenience of holding food options so they can easily be retrieved, packaged, and delivered at consumable temperatures. Restaurants and cafeterias use fry warmers, and on a fast day, it is guaranteed to create efficiency in the kitchen. If you want to keep other foods warm for hours, check out this guide.
As you continue throughout this article you will gain an understanding of what is a fry warmer, how it works, care, and a review of five of the best fry warmer dump stations available online.
What is a Fry Warmer?
A fry warmer is an essential type of kitchen equipment that makes the job easier for holding and warming food at healthy serving temperatures. They are also commonly called fry dump stations or fry holding stations.
Finger foods like French fries, chicken strips, nuggets, onion rings, and other fried meals are popularly placed in this appliance after being cooked, for easy access to prepare orders.
Seeing as the meals are normally crispy, the heat supplied will not cause dryness and burning. It is commonly used at fast-food restaurants, catering units, some hotels, and buffets.
No fry warmer should be used to reheat foods as they do not supply enough heat to keep refrigerated or partially prepared meals hot. It may also be confused for a deep fryer however the two are completely different and attempts to use a fry warmer to cook can cause injuries and destruction of the appliance.
Why shouldn’t food be cooked in the fry warmer?
This is because it’s a food warmer and raw foods that remain at a temperature below 140˚ F as stated by the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) can cause serious foodborne illnesses. Only use it for the designed purpose to keep customers safe and avoid expensive lawsuits.
How Does a Fry Warmer Work?
Commercial fry warmers do exactly what they are called. All fry holding stations from various brands with similar designs carry out the same function. They keep crispy and fried foods warm and at a consistent temperature for many hours. This can be done in two ways.
The heating lamp or bulb that is located above the food pan, radiates heat directly onto the food. It can also be done by utilizing heating elements like a metal-sheathed or Calrod which is a common type of cost-effective choice. The element may also be constructed below the food container.
Those elements radiate heat upwards filling the air spaces between food and directly onto the various food options. The fry basket which is used to hold and drain grease is often sold with two or more sections so other foods can be placed in the separated parts.
How to Use a Fry Warmer?
A fry warmer is quite simple to operate as it is designed to hold and warm mostly fries four or more times longer than being in a regular container. To use efficiently follow these points:
- Place the fry basket into the fry warmer which can be easily slipped into position. The fry basket usually has a divider so more fried food like chicken strips can be placed in one section or for holding more fries.
- The fry box holder is often constructed at the front of the appliance for easily packaging and holding fries and onion rings.
- Do not use any liquid foods such as soups and sauces in a fry dump station.
How to Maintain a Fry Warmer?
After closing the daily kitchen operations ensure to clean the fry warmer. The fry basket must be cool before removing or use a thick towel or mitten to lift it out of the fry warmer and into the dishwasher. Commercial fry warmers have a crumb catcher so remove this also to be cleaned.
Use a mild detergent and water with a soft cloth to clean grease and crumbs from inside the base of the fry holding station. All the air holes must be clear to prevent build-up which can restrict heat flow to the food for your next use.
Rinse and let the kitchen equipment air dry. Do not use extreme chemical products to clean any parts of the equipment, especially the lights or the heating elements.
Kitchen Hand Tools to Use with a Fry Warmer
While using a fry warmer here are three small hand tools that can be used when sharing and handling different fried foods. Customers observe and critique how their food is being handled especially if the food establishment is an open kitchen. Using these will promote efficiency and safety.
1. Tongs– are the most widely used kitchen tools in fast-food restaurants and buffets. It is handy when used to package foods from the fry warmer such as nuggets, fried chicken, onion rings, and chicken strips. They are available in stores and online for easy purchase.
2. French Fry Scoop– these are excellent hand tools used to funnel fries into boxes or bags. They have a tapered shape for scooping large or small portions of fries from the fry dump station into containers for customer orders.
3. Kitchen Mittens – when removing the food pan or the fry basket it can be very hot if not left to cool. Using a mitten for fast pace days will create efficiency and safety when removing the different areas of the fry warmer.
Product Review of the Best Fry Warmers
After scrutinizing this article, you have garnered valuable knowledge on what is a fry warmer, how it works, how to use it, and things to consider for the maintenance of this helpful kitchen appliance. Now let’s get into the reviews of the best products currently available online.
1. VEVOR 110V/ 60Hz Free Standing Stainless Steel French Fry Warmer
This is a very gorgeous piece created by VEVOR with an 18/8 stainless steel material. It is attractive, easy to clean, and durable which guarantees to last a long time. It weighs approximately 23.9 pounds which is quite heavy and has a dimension of 24 L x 18 W x 12 H.
The light is multifunctional as not only does it expose the best crispy fried foods, but it also warms them at an appropriate temperature ranging from 86˚ F to 185˚ F (30˚ C to 85˚ C) cautious to the HACCP danger zone.
There is a washable drainboard and a drip pan to catch dripping grease dumped into the unit. The base of the heat lamp warmer has a food-grade 304 stainless steel food pan with dimensions 21 x 13 x 2.6. This makes it safe to use and corrosion-resistant. Both the drainboard and the drip pan are detachable for washing in a dishwasher.
There is a U-shaped infrared heating tube that runs through the entire top of the appliance and delivers the required heat to the food, keeping that temperature consistent for easy consumption. On the extreme vertical angle of the fry warmer, you will notice a light bulb that illuminates the contents of the pan and looks very classic.
To power on and off the rocker switch helps to provide control over the heat and light operation. Use this for your fried foods such as French fries, potatoes, onions rings, pizzas and chicken strips.
2. Free Standing Infrared French Fry warmer /Dump Station – 1000W, 120V
This French fry warmer is one of the best investments for food establishments that want to retain and gain loyal customers. It conveniently holds and warms fries ensuring they taste crispy and fresh as the moment they were taken out of the deep fryer.
It has a dimension of 13 W x 19.5 H x 22.5 D with a 5-15P NEMA-rated plug. It comes with a food pan that has a 12” x 20” base and is 2 inches deep so no need to purchase it separately. A rocker switch easily controls both heat and lighting and it heats and cools very fast.
The quart light helps display the dump station illuminating the golden onion rings and fries alongside the already packaged meals boxes. Customers’ eyes are sure to gleam with satisfaction.
There’s an infrared heating style with a double 500W calrod element. Such a stainless-steel construction is durable, easily utilized, and cleaned. It is ready for use almost immediately after unboxing with little assembling required.
3. ZXMOTO Commercial Electric French Fry Dump Station 1000W, Stainless Steel Countertop w/Removable Oil Filter Pan
This brand has manufactured these very attractive electric French fry warmers with quality stainless-steel material that is rust-resistant. It is very durable and easily cleaned as restaurants try to avoid build-up on the different areas of the machine.
Its removable oil filter pan is designed to drain the different fried foods and release heat through the visible air holes. No need to stress about scooping up fries, the slope allows for easily retrieving and packaging them with a French fry scoop.
A U-shaped heating tube supplies superior heat preservation to prevent the precooked commodities from getting cold.
No extreme technical skill is needed to work this equipment, simply turn on the power with the switch button and watch as it heats in no time. This is one of the best fry warmers and a recommended purchase.
4. Chef’s Supreme – 120v Commercial Heat Strip Lamp with Full-Size Pan
This is a must have fry warmer and one of the best available for holding your fried foods. The silver stainless-steel material is brushed over all areas making it easy to clean, durable, rust-resistant, and corrosion-resistant.
It has a dimension of 22.5 L x 13 W x 20.5 H and at the back, you’ll recognize the lengthy NEMA-rated plug. The infrared light and heating style uses a 450W calrod element that warms all fried foods for a long period.
The base holds a 2 inches deep full-size food pan to dump all your fresh fries, onion rings, buffalo wings and nuggets into for greater efficiency when packaging orders. Two rocker switches are visible at the front which controls the heat and lighting of the fry warmer.
It complies with the standards imposed by the (Conformance European) CE so this would be a safe and excellent buy.
5. The KOUWO Commercial French Fry Warmer Fries Dump Station with Base Pan
The final fry warmer is the KOUWO Commercial fry warmer. If you really want quality then this meets expectations for warming all your crispy and delicious French fries, chicken nuggets, pizzas, onion rings, and fried chicken. It has a dimension of 11 L x 15.74 W x 17.32 H (inches), weighs 18.73 pounds, and is powered by 500W.
The sturdy stainless-steel construct is durable and perfect for easy cleaning and maintenance. The double switch controls the two overhead heating lamps that supply consistent temperatures and boasts perfect lighting to illuminate the contents of the food pan.
The fry dump station features a removable food pan with equally sized holes to drain excess oil from the fried foods. At the bottom of the fry warmer is a retractable oil pan that catches grease and finally, it has four stable feet to prevent slippage.
If you purchase this product, it will not only look gorgeous but also add efficiency and productivity to your kitchen.
Fry warmer dump stations are extremely convenient and are commonly used at quick-service restaurants, sports bars, busy diners, buffets, and hotels. With proper care, they are expected to last up to 6 years or more. We hope this information was helpful in identifying the best fry holding station and their designed functions.