Food frying is very energy intensive and in industrial potato crisp production lines frying is responsible for more than 90% of the total energy consumption of the process. This paper considers the energy flows in crisp frying using a First Law of Thermodynamics modelling approach which was verified against data from a potato crisp production line. The results indicate that for the frying process considered, most of the energy used is associated with the evaporation of water present in the potato and on the surface of potato slices. The remainder is from evaporation of frying oil and air of the ventilation system and heat losses from the fryer wall surfaces by convection and radiation. The frying oil is heated by an industrial gas furnace and the efficiency of this process was calculated to be 84%. The efficiency of the overall frying process which was found to be of the order of 70% can be improved by employing exhaust heat recovery and optimising other operating and control parameters such as exhaust gas recirculation.