How do I drain the oil out of a double-sized fryer?
– Teresa, chef, Elizabeth, N.J.
Carefully. Standard fryers generally have a 40- or 50-pound capacity, meaning they can hold 40 to 50 pounds, or about 5 to 6 gallons, of oil. For some operations, that capacity is adequate, while others add additional frying units, especially to increase volume while preventing cross-contact of allergens.
Many manufacturers make double fryers with capacities of 80 to 100 pounds. These fryers are ideal for large-volume operations without a lot of menu diversity—a busy QSR that serves fries with most orders, for example. A double fryer can be more cost-effective to buy, install and maintain than two standard fryers. A common mistake in installing these double fryers, however, is not realizing that the oil disposal and filtration systems must be sized to match in order to be useful.
I suspect your frustration is coming from trying to use standard-sized filtration or disposal equipment with a double-sized fryer. Because a standard fryer has a 40- to 50-pound capacity, the associated oil disposal units are typically sized the same way. Be sure if you have a double fryer, you have a double disposal unit. Similarly, if you have an oil filtration machine that can filter your oil to extend its life before disposal—and I suggest you do—be sure it can be adjusted to your fryer’s capacity.
More on maintaining fryer oil here.