Getting the most out of your cooking oil.
Cooking oil and deep fryers are essential pieces of most food service kitchens in North America and have been since the first French fries were fried to perfection. Over the last 20+ years cooking oil has changed significantly. Cooking oils are now healthier, more stable and safer, however, very little has changed in how we manage the quality of cooking oil itself. Cooking oil represents a significant percentage of operating costs, and prices will vary widely depending on the oil type. Yet, the assumption can be made that a chain restaurant with 50 locations, and 3 fryers per location operating on a full-time basis will spend over $450,000 annually on cooking oil assuming it is changed every 12 days! Wouldn’t it be nice to ensure you’re maximizing the life of your oil? To get some additional insight we reached out to Dr. Peter Bordi from the Penn State Center for Food Innovation, an industry recognized cooking oil expert.
According to Dr. Bordi, “Most Food Service operators use outdated methods to determine oil quality, if any at all, and have no idea how much money they might be throwing away”. He also stated that “Instruments, like the testo 270 have been on the market for more than 10 years but have been slow to gain popularity over traditional low cost methods. However, the ROI for one of these instruments can be recovered within a quarter for locations that are discarding oil too early”. Traditionally managing cooking oil in food service operations can be broken down to four basic processes: