Fryers

Fryers are basically oil vats with heaters. The heaters transfer thermal energy into frying oil. The frying oil then transfers heat energy to the food's surface. Heat not used up at the surface is conducted into the interior of frying food. Heaters are turned on and then off as predetermined low and high set points of temperature (energy) in the oil are reached.

The heaters operate at temperatures considerably higher than the maximum set point temperature of the oil. The energy density (flux) of the heater's surface is high to heat the oil quickly to operating temperature regardless of energy losses to the environment. Cycle rates are adjusted by a set point thermocouple to counter overall heat loss at the heater surface, which includes energy dissipated to oil, fryer machinery, and also to further heat loss in the oil due to food loading.

Engineering of heater configuration is usually based on thermal calculations supposing that frying is really a food dehydration process. Heater design calculations entail determining the specific heat of the dry mass of the food, the percentage of water, the change of state of water from ice to water and water to steam, and the specific heat of the frying oil (figured as a constant representing new oil). For production fryers, heater placement and energy density in the oil vat are designed to compensate for food-loading points (high density) and take-away points (low density) and to compensate for heat sinks such as conveyers, crumb collectors, and filtering systems.

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