Don’t Go Nuts When Buying Fryers and Accessories for Donuts

By: Ken Dorman

A Brief History

Donuts are one of the most popular snack foods in America. Regardless of whether you are strictly a donut shop or other retail business donuts can prove to be a tasty way to maximize profits. The quest for the perfect donut has been a long one. Some people have a particular flavor of donut that they always eat. Boston cream, jelly glaze, coffee roll cruller, and of course chocolate just to name a few.

Although the exact origin of the donut is not known in the United States Hanson Gregory, an American, claimed to have invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847 aboard a lime-trading ship when he was only 16 years old. Gregory was dissatisfied with the greasiness of doughnuts twisted into various shapes and with the raw center of regular doughnuts. He claimed to have punched a hole in the center of dough. Fast forward over a hundred and sixty years and the donut industry is worth an estimated 3.6 billion dollars.


Time to Make the Donuts

Before venturing into the donut industry it is essential that one realizes that this is an extremely competitive business. Large chains tend to try to compete with not only each other, but also with the little guys in the industry. In order to compete with these giants it is important to produce the freshest and most delicious products possible.

This could be an expensive and tedious process. No need to fear though companies such as Elite Restaurant Equipment are there to help you with all your donut fryer and accessory needs. It is important to note that in addition to a fryer in order to achieve the perfect donut it takes a variety of accessories.

Before deciding on what fryer to obtain it is important to know what fryers are available. One thing to determine before purchasing the fryer is whether you wish to make regular sized or mini donuts. Donut fryers are available in countertop units, gas powered, electric powered, and automatic. Donut fryers can also be measured in the amount of dozen per hour that can be made.

This varies anywhere between 56 dozen to 91 dozen. After you have selected the desired fryer top the size is the next variable. Donut fryers are available in a variety of heights from 9"-64". The widths of these units also differ greatly between 21"-84". Finally the depth of these units range between 35"-90". The last critical measurement before determining the appropriate type of fryer is the frying area. The frying areas vary in length and width. The lengths of these areas vary between 16"-24". The widths also differ dramatically between 16" and 34".


The Science of Proper Accessorizing

After purchasing the fryer you desire one needs to find the appropriate accessories to accompany it. Accessorizing a donut fryer can be expensive if you do not know exactly what you are looking for. Depositors are an essential piece of owning and maintain a successful donut retail store. A depositor is the apparatus that puts the donut in the fryer. This complex apparatus is available with two different mounting styles. Some units are mountain to columns while others must be mounted into a wall. The depositor works as so first the dough is placed in the hopper.

One must decide if they wish to make mini donuts or regular size. If you do decide to make mini donuts you need to purchase a mini donut hopper. Depositors are available in several models. Models such as the K and N series by Belshaw are used for small fryers.  Once in the hopper the dough can be cranked manually or automatically moved into a plunger. Models such as the type B series have a manual crank whereas models such as the F series have this done automatically. The faster stroke rate and easier operation of the Type F reduces frying time variability between the first and last deposits, especially with large fryers. The hand trigger is physically easier on the operator than the Type B's rotary crank mechanism, and donuts can be accurately placed in a fryer with little training or practice.

This can save your business from paying for extra labor by not having someone assigned to turning the depositor. Once this process ends the dough ends up in a plunger and then gets its shape from the cylinder before it is finally ready to go in the fryer. It is key to note here that the plunger and the cylinder size must always match.


The Art of Frying

A submerger is the next essential part of the making a perfect donut puzzle. A submerger holds the fried products below the shortening surface. After this process is finished it is time to cool the tasty treats. This is a tremendous step that separates the leaders in this industry and just the other guys.

How one cools their products can greatly affect the freshness and taste. A proofer is the best method of cooling donuts once they come out of the fryer. A proofer is a way to cool the donuts down that keeps the products fresh. The proofer's unique design prevents mold and other messes that could occur on your product. The humidity control inside the proofer helps keep the donuts moist to give them that just baked freshness.

Another essential accessory to the art of frying is screens. Once the donuts are cooled they can be placed in a frying screen. Once in the frying screen the donuts can be glazed. Frying screens are available in a variety of different lengths and widths. The lengths of frying screens vary between 17"-33". The widths of these screens also differ between 23"-25". Frying screens with handles can make it easier to cool donuts off than those without handles. It is important to explain that if you decide to get a screen cradle which makes it even easier to cool and glaze donuts, it is essential that the screen cradle is the exact same size as the screen.


More Products to Consider

After your donuts are ready you may want to consider other items that pair well with them. Peanut butter has jelly and within the donut retail market nothing pairs better than a cup of coffee. Coffee is not only a great pair but customers are more likely to come to a store that also offers beverages with their donuts.

A great suggestion is to buy a coffee and espresso maker to pair with the donuts. Other beverages such as tea, juice, and soda can also be combined to obtain more profits for your business. In addition to beverages many donut retailers may also make profits from items such as muffins, bagels, and croissants can also prove an effective way of generating more customers and thus revenue for your shop.


You Won't go Nuts With Donuts

The donut business is a highly competitive yet profitable industry. Before deciding on the perfect fryer and accessories it is important to consider several things to help alleviate any problems. The first thing you need to make sure of is that your purchase the appropriate fryer. This fryer could be gas or electric.

Also another factor to consider is the amount of donuts that you need fried per hour. Once the fryer is purchased the next thing that must be considered is the type of depositor. Depositors are available in both automatic and manual varieties. After the depositor is purchased you need a submerger to keep the donuts under the oil. The next step is the proofer. The proofer is one of the most important steps in this process.

The proofer keeps the donut fresh and cools it at the same time. Once this process is done you can out the donuts on frying screens to either glaze or display your donuts on the racks. Finally it is essential to pair your donuts with other items that compliment it. If all these aforementioned steps are followed not only won't you go nuts with donuts, buy you will find out that this is a profitable and enjoyable business.