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Vulcan PowerFry – Bending the Rules

By Lee Davis

Until late 2011, the basic rule was that commercial gas fryers fell into one of two categories: the bottom fry design or the tube type design. With the introduction of the PowerFry VK Series fryer that year, Vulcan bent that rule. They bent a few tubes too. Looking down into the tank of a PowerFry you didn’t see the traditional uniform and parallel heating tubes running front to back. Instead you saw an odd arrangement of bent, crimped and variable sized pipes, all welded together, and looking more like something you’d find on a Harley Davidson than a fryer.


With a burner mounted to one end, the pipe arrangement created a sealed combustion chamber with no flame impingement. Interior baffles slowed down the flow of exhaust gasses and dispersed the heat. Multiple bends in the pipe meant that hot gasses passed through the length of the oil tank not once, but five times before venting up the flu. In short, this whole process transferred more heat energy into the cooking oil and less out to the exhaust … and that lead to the highest Cooking Energy Efficiency ratings in the industry.

vulcan_powerfryThe design quickly earned EnergyStar® recognition and rebates, along with other industry accolades. The PowerFry5, as it is now called, proved that Five Pass Technology could deliver high output with fast recovery and a low cost of energy consumption. It’s a great choice for high-volume and around-the-clock operators … but Vulcan didn’t stop there.

I recently spoke with Richard Manson, Brand Development Manger for Vulcan’s Fryer Division. Richard was excited to announce that Vulcan is rolling out its new PowerFry3 TR fryer. The PowerFry3 uses the same technology as the PowerFry5, only instead of five passes, the combustion chamber stops at three. Why? “Three Pass Technology requires less pipe, fewer baffles, and less welding during the manufacturing process,” said Manson. “With the PowerFry3, we combined our innovative technology with a lower cost of manufacturing to deliver a great unit with a more competitive price point.”


The PowerFry 3 is not as efficient as its big brother, but it’s still a rule bender. It still outperforms competitors in Cooking Energy Efficiency and other important measurements. It’s a great addition to the PowerFry line with a more affordable price tag.

To check out a handy Vulcan Gas Savings Calculator, click here and look for the Calculator button on the right side of the page below the Energy Star logo.