If you’re serving a chicken-heavy menu featuring items like bone-in wings or juicy tenders, you’ll love having a pressure fryer and a heated holding cabinet in your kitchen. (And if you’re not serving chicken, we’ve got four reasons you should be!)
Combining a fryer and a full-size holding cabinet allows operators to implement batch cooking. This means the product is fried in large batches before the rush and served fresh out of a holding cabinet.
Together, pressure fryers and heated holding cabinets create an ideal ‘system’ for commercial kitchens, specifically fried chicken concepts. Here’s why:
#1: Fried Chicken Holds Well
Pressure fryers are arguably the best commercial fryers for fried chicken. Why? Pressure frying maintains the chicken’s moisture and flavor while sealing out excess cooking oil. Retaining that moisture helps maintain quality when the chicken is transferred to a holding cabinet.
Holding cabinets allow food life to be increased without sacrificing food quality. Fans that circulate hot moist air evenly throughout the cabinet help maintain safe temperatures and a quality product.
Premium holding cabinets with precise humidity control can keep chicken fresh and ready-to-serve for anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours.
#2: Less Staff in the Kitchen
With batch cooking, there are significantly less staff members needed in the kitchen. Today’s labor shortages make this is a huge win for operators.
Our own Corporate Executive Chef, Gregg Brickman, says that holding cabinets offer extensive relief for restaurants. “Henny Penny holding cabinets allow restaurants to serve consistent, quality items while also easing pressure on the kitchen. And, when you don’t have as many staff members in the kitchen due to staffing levels or pandemic restrictions, the cabinets can actually relieve as much pressure as adding another employee or sous chef.”
Read more about how kitchens can handle peak order volume without adding staff: click here.
#3: Increase Throughput Significantly
Batch cooking allows for increased throughput by prepping orders in advance, meaning no stress during peak order volumes.
Dedicate the hour before rush time to filling the holding cabinet. After that, simply manage the cabinet instead of the fryer. Establish a point that the cabinet should be refilled once a certain amount of product has been depleted. You’ll never run out of chicken this way, and your ticket times will be quicker than ever!
Increased throughput capabilities mean that kitchens can balance dine-in, carryout, and delivery orders with ease. With the increase in off-premise demand, many restaurants have struggled to keep up – some have had to restrict delivery hours on 3rd party apps or decline carryout orders altogether. Batch cooking can eliminate this issue!
When implementing batch cooking, it’s also important to consider your fryer’s total load capacity. Our Velocity Series is perfect for this application because it can cook an entire 8-head of chicken in just one load.
#4: Decrease Food Waste
A lot less food gets thrown away when you’re cooking in large batches and have a holding cabinet on hand. For high volume kitchens, batch cooking is a proven way to decrease food waste.
The concept of batch cooking isn’t new – in 2016, Foodservice Director Magazine published an article about how Franklin College was able to significantly reduce food waste in it’s dining halls. After implementing batch cooking, their food waste costs plummeted from over $250 a month to around $30.
Frying under pressure at lower temperatures also reduces wasted frying oil and helps extend its useful life. This added benefit of pressure frying is especially important given today’s inflated oil prices.
#5: Built to Work Together
As mentioned earlier, fried foods like chicken retain more moisture when cooked under pressure. A humidified holding cabinet is the perfect companion for a pressure fryer because it can keep the product moist and juicy for an extended period.
At Henny Penny, our pressure fryers and holding cabinets are built to work together as a system. When transferring product from our 8-head fryers to our holding cabinets, there is no re-racking required. Crew members simply slip a sheet pan under a lip on the fryer that allows for a seamless transition into the holding cabinet.
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