Heat and Control, Inc., Hayward, CA, challenges the ideas about frying kettle-cooked chips with its latest innovations in continuous frying and batch frying.

The Universal Product Cooker continuously produces kettle-style potato chips and many other types of snacks. The Universal Product Cooker combines independent fryer modules into one continuous frying system. Its PLC allows operators to adjust and establish frying time, temperature and oil flow in each module for each product recipe to control snack texture and moisture. The Universal Product Cooker can turn out up to 1,800 lb of finished product per hour, which saves plant floor space by eliminating multiple batch fryers and reduces energy, maintenance and cleaning costs, according to the company.

Heat and Control developed its new MasterTherm Kettle Fryer to help processors meet the growing demand for kettle-style chips. While continuous systems have been used for conventional potato chips, kettle-cooked chips traditionally require smaller batch fryers. These batches range from 200 to 400 lb. The MasterTherm Kettle Fryer can fry 500 lb of finished chips per hour.

“Batch-fried potato chips are extremely popular,” said Don Giles, sales director of processing systems, Heat and Control. “Developing a larger-capacity batch fryer was done to help our customers meet the tremendous demand for this product.”

To achieve the higher production capacity of kettle-style chips and save energy, the MasterTherm Kettle Fryer employs a thermal-fluid heat exchanger rather than the gas burners typical of other batch fryers. The thermal-fluid system ensures the higher and more uniform temperatures needed for larger production capacity and improves product quality and energy efficiency.

Heat and Control also equipped the MasterTherm Kettle Fryer with its Chip-Stirr slice agitation and batch control system. A PLC manages all aspects of the frying system including batching, slicing, depositing slices into the fryer, frying oil temperature, slice stirring, discharge and drainage of the finished product.