Let’s take a look at the equipment you would need to get your commercial kitchen pumping out great fried chicken.
It’s no secret that there are plenty of advantages to serving fried chicken. Chicken is the world’s most popular protein, it can be fried in batches and held for hours, and it’s an incredibly profitable menu item. Plus, according to a recent Technomic report, chicken menu category sales have increased at an average rate of 12% since 2019.
Are you ready to get in the fried chicken game? Here’s a quick summary of the commercial kitchen equipment you’ll need to consider for your foodservice operation:
Frying; The Star of the Show
When it comes to commercial deep fryers, operators have two main choices: open fryer or pressure fryer.
If you’re serving bone-in fried chicken, you’ll probably want to invest in a pressure fryer. Pressure fryers consistently produce flavorful, tender, and juicy fried chicken every time. Not only that, but pressure frying is faster than any other method when cooking in high volumes.
When exploring pressure fryer options, it’s important to consider how much product you’ll need to be frying and what advanced features you might need.
Henny Penny offers several pressure fryer models to fit the needs of different commercial kitchens. We have standard pressure fryers for normal volume kitchens, 8-head pressure fryers for added capacity, and Velocity Series pressure fryers for high-volume kitchens looking to save on oil, labor, and time.
If you’re serving a variety of fried food times, including fried chicken, an open fryer might be perfect for your operation. Open fryers produce a crispier product, increase overall throughput, and allow plenty of freedom for customization. When looking at open fryers for your commercial kitchen, there are a few things to consider.
- Are your menu items freezer-to-fryer or freshly breaded?
- Will your kitchen be frying in large quantities?
- Are you looking for an all-purpose “workhorse” fryer to handle all your menu needs?
- Do you want something more advanced to improve operations, maintain consistent food quality, and save money?
No matter what fryer you go with, all Henny Penny fryers include built-in oil filtration as a standard feature. This means oil filtration is no longer a chore and can be completed in just a few minutes at the touch of a button.
Keep in mind that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ best commercial fryer for fried chicken. Still struggling to decide between open and pressure frying? Check out this in-depth blog covering the differences and similarities between the two frying methods.
Heated Holding Cabinets
When you’re serving fried chicken, a holding cabinet is one of the most valuable pieces of kitchen equipment you can invest in.
Since diners are embracing off-premises channels at an unprecedented rate, peak order times and volumes have fluctuated. At the same time, operators are struggling to keep their kitchens staffed with enough employees to handle the rush.
The answer to these challenges? Cooking in large batches and holding product until it’s ready to serve.
Today’s holding cabinets are much more than stainless steel hot boxes – they can keep fried chicken fresh for long periods without sacrificing product quality. This way, the chicken will still be moist on the inside with a golden crunch on the outside. The customer won’t even be able to tell that it’s not fresh out of the fryer!
Our standard heated holding cabinet includes temperature control to keep fried chicken ready to serve (the recommended holding temperature for fried chicken is between 175- and 185-degrees Fahrenheit). A simple water pan allows the cabinet to create steam and help maintain the chicken’s moisture.
Our SmartHold cabinets feature something a bit more advanced – precise humidity control. This is ideal for naturally moist products like fried chicken. SmartHold allows operators to hold fried chicken and almost any other food for up to 200% longer than most other holding cabinets.
According to our corporate executive chef Gregg Brickman, either of these cabinets will make a major difference in your commercial kitchen. He says that holding cabinets can relieve as much pressure for today’s kitchens as adding another employee or sous chef.
Breadings and Seasonings
Aside from your kitchen equipment, you’ll also want breadings and seasonings to bring your fried chicken menu to life with flavor and texture.
Henny Penny offers an extensive collection of breading and seasoning formulations. There are options for every taste, menu, and health concern. Click here to explore flavor profiles and menu suggestions for each of our exclusive breadings and seasonings.
Clearly there is a lot to consider regarding fried chicken restaurant equipment. And beyond the equipment itself, there is even more to think about.
How will the kitchen process flow? Where will you source frying oil and other product? How will you get customer service once the equipment has been installed?
Answer all these questions and more by downloading From Sourcing to Serving, a comprehensive guide from our chicken experts. It’s packed with 22 pages covering everything you need to know about adding chicken to your menu!