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Rex

Gluten Free Question - Deep Fryer

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I run a little eatery restaurant doing Hawaiian Food inside of a gas station.  I use soy sauce to marinate and I also use wheat flour here and there.  One of my main products uses Rice Flour and Soy Sauce which I'm willing to substitute for Tamari since the food vendor I use provides it in bulk. By removing soy I can easily transform one of my better selling items into a Gluten free item.

I recently ran into a girl who can not have Gluten in her diet.  Our neighbors father also can not have Gluten in their diet.  I have received several emails and phone calls and emails asking if my food was Gluten Free.  It got me to do some research and I found that really the only thing I need to change is from traditional Soy Sauce to Tamari which for the most part is simple enough.

I have only 1 deep fryer.  I make a Chicken Katsu which uses panko which is not Gluten Free. The difference in Gluten Free panko and the regular brand is astronomical. So my question is this......

If I were to fry my regular Chicken Katsu in my Fryer, would it be ok to fry my regular Gluten Free Chicken in the same Fryer? Would that somehow cross contaminate? In between frying food, we do filter out. And typically any breading that falls off the panko sinks to the bottom of the fryer and there is typically Zero floating sediment.

If somebody could help me with this I would be extremely grateful.   I included a picture in case you were interested in what I was cooking.  On the chicken we use breast meat and use rice flour and soy sauce in marinade.  I could easily switch out the marinade for Tamari which i will be doing a test run on before even offering or advertising it.  

My wife makes homemade teriyaki sauce which uses soy sauce and the difference in cost would't allow us to make our teriyaki sauce gluten free but we could make a small batch of gluten free teriyaki for those who need it. What I'm basically aiming for is to switch our entire menu to Gluten Free without having to raise the current pricing and not having my regular customers really notice the difference in taste. 

If I would be forced to switch to Gluten Free Panko, I would have to raise the price on my Katsu which is what I'm trying to avoid.  So any feedback would be helpful.

 

 

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You would need a new dedicated gluten free fryer, the oil is contaminated, and even changing it and doing a boil out would not fix it as gluten proteins would be present in tiny amounts.
If you use gluten flour anywhere in your kitchen/food truck/commissary you risk making customers with celiac sick. It can stay air borne and settle everywhere for over 24 hours (not a joke).
Might consider going all Gluten Free dedicated if you ever get a new set up.
Please refer to the newbie 101 section for more info on cross contamination

I have played with Gluten Free breading, Nut Crumbs works or make your own using almond flour (I can give you a wholeseller info so you can get it cheaper) and season it, for crunchy panko oddly using crushed pork rinds is perfect, there is even a company that sells gluten-free pork Panko. Amusingly Rice flour does make a good breading itself and many chicken places use it, as a Paleo company and various other reasons I do not.

From my business, we bulk buy Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos by the gallon and season it and make our own teriyaki sauce or use it plain just like soy sauce, This way our stir fry and anything that uses it is gluten free, soy free, paleo compliant.

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Hi Rex,

It's great that you are thinking of making your food items gluten-free.  Ennis_TX is right, even minor seeming cross-contamination is a problem.  Celiac disease is an auto-immune condition where the immune system reacts and causes damage to the body.  The immune system reacts to things we can't even see (germs), so you know it is very sensitive.

Have you thot about one of those little round mini-fryers they sell?  Some of those are very small and might work.

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I think both previous posters have explained that you can’t use the same fryer. Obviously, small particles do float in the oil and get on the next batch of food.  And a food truck is awfully small to have any flour in it and call any food gluten-free.  

A lot of restaurants use rice flour.  Not sure if you would want to make your own bread crumbs from gluten-free bread?  Might be cheaper.  

I think the reason people are asking if your truck is gluten-free is because, in many parts of the US, Hawaiian food places are almost entirely gluten-free.  

 

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Hawaiian Food is hard to do Gluten Free.  The use of soy sauce, panko and wheat flour make it tough.  I am actually not in a food truck but inside of a kitchen inside a Mobil Gas Station in the North Texas around the DFW area.  I have pretty much outgrown my kitchen space here and I am looking into opening up into a restaurant space within the next year.

I really appreciate all the help you guys have provided me.  What I think I'm going to do is go Gluten Free and replace my Deep Fryer completely since it is relatively cheap.  A new Deep Fryer is only about $750 and I can easily install it myself.  It's time for a newer Fryer anyways.

For me to go Gluten Free all I need to do is really switch to Tamari in my marinate.  We make our own Teriyaki Sauce so a new boiling pan and we can easily just toss the plastic bottles that we use to hold the Teriyaki Sauce since we have a 2 cases of plastic bottles anyways. The only issue now is to see if I can find the Kikkoman Gluten Free Panko.  Currently I purchase 25lb bags of Kikkoman Panko from my wholesaler.

@Ennis, I'm probably about 45 minutes from you so I will take the name of the wholesaler and see what I can find.  Currently we order for several different wholesalers... Performance Food Group, Cisco and Ben E Keith deliver in my area and I have access to Restaurant Depot/Jethro.

I went through so much trouble to go MSG free, I wished I had taken the extra step to go Gluten Free..... SMH. Also since I am a newbie and can't seem to find it, can someone post me a link to the Newbie 101 section..... thanks.

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@Rex For the almond flour try http://alldrinbrothers.refr.cc/jackvineyard

The referral code will get you a discount and as you can see a 25lb case of almond flour even with shipping straight from the farm is much cheaper then anywhere else. IE $4.49/lb Blanched Fine or $3.99/lb for Natural almond flour

Coconut Secret you contact them directly about wholesale  jugs of Coconut Aminios and use it just like soy sauce. You can find smaller bottles at whole foods over priced if you want to experiment with it first. Wholesale pricing is $36 a gallon or $154 per 5 gallon pail

baconsheir.com has Pork Panko...it has a similar texture to the Kikkoman panko, and I use it in many of my old Japanese recipes for personal use, You can buy it direct or get it on amazon by the lb for a test batch then see about getting it wholesale directly from baconsheir

Also another thing to consider is double checking your food sources if you get any kind of premade meat products (sausage, beef patties, Kabobs, pretty much all gyro meats). Dear god I spent over a hour in RD freezer room calling in product numbers and getting ingredient and allergen info on stuff to find most had issues with gluten. Seriously only found 2 brands of safe beef patties and a few other products.

 

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Hey, since you guys are relatively close, I would recommend that you seek a consult with Ennis who not only has celiac disease, but prepares and sells gluten-free food for a living.    If anyone knows how to keep safe it would be him.  Although he does more Keto and Paleo, he can help you navigate the gluten-free supplier chain to suit your needs.  I think it is critical to be able to order safe food.  No worries about cross contamination since you are considering going totally gluten-free.  

Ah, I used to go to a Hawaiian restaurant in Southern California before my diagnosis.    A Kalua pork, rice and potato-macaroni salad plate lunch was my favorite! 

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@Ennis_TX thank you very much i appreciate it.  my menu is mostly chicken and shrimp. I have an angus beef plate.  My number one selling product is a Combo Plate which I will be replacing the mac salad since it has pasta in it to a garden salad.

 

I will be making some phone calls this week.

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