Why Cascading Frying Oil in Foodservice Fryers Doesn’t Work

Why Cascading Frying Oil in Foodservice Fryers Doesn’t Work

By Rick Stier and Monoj Gupta

There are many foodservice frying operations that utilize a practice called ‘cascading’ as a means of managing frying oils. Cascading is a process in which the operator transfers the frying oil from one fryer to the next on scheduled intervals.

Operators who utilize the cascading practice usually have four or more fryers in kitchen operations. The fryer with the freshest frying oil is used to fry products such as French fries. Typically, at the end of the day, the frying oil in that fryer will be transferred into a second fryer being used for a food product that is more aggressive in degrading the frying oil than potato products, such as fried onion rings. Frying oil from fryer number two is transferred to a third fryer and then to the final fryer (cascading). In the last fryer, the operator will usually fry products such a breaded chicken or fish. At day’s end, frying oil in the last fryer is discarded, so the operator will be throwing away a pot of frying oil once a day. The frying oil will usually be filtered between transfers.

One of the main reasons that foodservice operators utilize the cascading practice to manage frying oil is because it is a simple process that can be easily followed. Workers in foodservice and restaurant kitchens are often teenagers and/or minimum wage workers, so a simple oil management process may seem the best course. In reality, our experience indicates cascading is inefficient. A proper oil management process can significantly extend oil life instead of discarding frying oil at a certain interval as it is done in ‘cascading.’


Filtercorp has worked with restaurant operators who have used cascading practices for managing frying operations and demonstrated there are better frying program management options.

The operation using the cascading system had a battery of six fifty-pound fryers. Practicing cascading in its frying operations, the operator discarded frying oil a total of 40 times per month on average. In other words, 2,000 pounds of frying oil were discarded monthly.

By abandoning the cascading practice, dedicating each fryer to a single product or a group of products, and adopting the SuperSorb® carbon filter pads as its oil treatment filter medium, the number of discards in the store decreased from 40 to 21 times per month; a savings of 950 pounds of frying oil. At the time of the study, the frying oil used in this operation cost $0.58 per pound. Monthly savings amounted to $551 per month or $6,612 per year. Other stores in the study experienced similar savings ranging from $2,964 to $6,960 per year.

Not only did the stores save money, but adoption of Filtercorp’s SuperSorb® frying oil treatment program significantly improved product quality, and enhanced operating efficiencies.

Learn more about SuperSorb® Carbon Pads, and see how your foodservice operation can benefit. Download the SuperSorb® Guide to see how.



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