Fresh cut Fries

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For those of you that use them, how do you deal with the inconsistencies when doing the final fry?
Sometimes they can cook up brown due to the sugar/starch content being a little off but there is no way to tell if this will happen while blanching, it is only during the final fry that this happens.

Do you under cook them and not make them so brown? cook them like normal and let them go brown? I've been told that the potatoes need to warm up for a few days after delivery before being prepped and blanched to allow the temps to come back up after sitting in the farmers cooler. Is this true?

Was curious how you deal with this issue?
 
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The best temperature for storing whole potatoes is around 55. If stored at 42 or less, the starches turn to sugar. Leave the potatoes at room temperature for a few days and the the sugar will partially turn back to starch.
 
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Was curious how you deal with this issue?
Use frozen fries...

In all seriousness, IMO hand cut fries are almost never worth it. They are too much labor and too inconsistent to be worth doing. I would take a hot, crispy, properly seasoned and cooked frozen fry over a limp, soggy, overcooked and too dark hand made fry any day.

The hardest part of making great hand cut fries is finding the right and consistent potato. McDonalds, for example, has an army of farmers and workers whose sole task is making and finding perfect fry potatoes.

You can lovingly, carefully do everything right on your end (store, peel, cut, soak, blanch, chill, fry, season) and still end up with a crap product because you started with a potato that will never give you the best fry.

Unless you are going to start cutting potatoes, measuring the brix, trying to find the water content, etc. you are going to deal with inconsistencies.

I am normally not an advocate for any type of pre made, frozen convenience product (they type of work I do I expect and think my guests expect that we make everything ourselves) but fries are the exception.

If that isn't an option you could try another purveyor for your potatoes...? Try a different type of potato?
 
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I don't see the big trouble in cutting fries myself, even McDonalds manages it. I always fridge tatos cause I think the extra "natural" sweetness highly desirable, a week is enough, not much change after that IME. You know there is a whole soaking, fridging and double-frying protocol you can easily find by google, but check out this month's cooking challenge to see the contrary Greek perspective on this, and that culture's technique here in achieving the "Beautiful Crispness" factor.
 
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Use frozen fries...

In all seriousness, IMO hand cut fries are almost never worth it. They are too much labor and too inconsistent to be worth doing. I would take a hot, crispy, properly seasoned and cooked frozen fry over a limp, soggy, overcooked and too dark hand made fry any day.

The hardest part of making great hand cut fries is finding the right and consistent potato. McDonalds, for example, has an army of farmers and workers whose sole task is making and finding perfect fry potatoes.

You can lovingly, carefully do everything right on your end (store, peel, cut, soak, blanch, chill, fry, season) and still end up with a crap product because you started with a potato that will never give you the best fry.

Unless you are going to start cutting potatoes, measuring the brix, trying to find the water content, etc. you are going to deal with inconsistencies.

I am normally not an advocate for any type of pre made, frozen convenience product (they type of work I do I expect and think my guests expect that we make everything ourselves) but fries are the exception.

If that isn't an option you could try another purveyor for your potatoes...? Try a different type of potato?


Oh I don't know someday, I know you're speaking generally, but I've had pretty good fries in many places that cut their own.
 
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I don't see the big trouble in cutting fries myself, even McDonalds manages it. I always fridge tatos cause I think the extra "natural" sweetness highly desirable, a week is enough, not much change after that IME. You know there is a whole soaking, fridging and double-frying protocol you can easily find by google, but check out this month's cooking challenge to see the contrary Greek perspective on this, and that culture's technique here in achieving the "Beautiful Crispness" factor.
Rick, who said McDonalds cuts their own fries??????? I contracted with Simplot in Oregon State that had a processing plant that was McDonalds fries only. They had McDonalds inspectors in the plant. They have very high standards on the quality and size of the potatoes that are used. They contract with farmers that produce from only them. They have a team of outside inspectors working with the farmers making sure everything is done by the book.
 

pete

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Someday, I agree; house made fries can be a pain in the a$$ and can often be inconsistent, but I also don't think that frozen fries can compete with home made fries, most of the time. Sure, the frozen ones tend to stay crisper longer and you can get a much more even color from them but I, personally, like the darker color of home-made fries and I think the taste is superior.
 
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I remember seeing a video of how McDonalds fries were made(How It's Made TV show maybe...) and they steam them at one point to cook them through...
 
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Oh I don't know someday, I know you're speaking generally, but I've had pretty good fries in many places that cut their own.
I'm not so sure "pretty good" is the standard we should shoot for, but I digress :)

In all seriousness, I know that it is very possible to make amazing hand cut fries, but my experience is that is an elusive achievement and most places don't get it right, despite their best efforts.

Someday, I agree; house made fries can be a pain in the a$$ and can often be inconsistent, but I also don't think that frozen fries can compete with home made fries, most of the time. Sure, the frozen ones tend to stay crisper longer and you can get a much more even color from them but I, personally, like the darker color of home-made fries and I think the taste is superior.
Well, I want to be clear that I agree that a properly made (as in hot, CRISPY, and fluffy on the inside, well seasoned, etc) hand cut/house made fry is indeed superior to any pre-frozen fry I've ever had. My experience tells me (both as a cook and a diner) that most places, despite their best efforts, don't produce a good hand cut fry. And that is kind of the rub--you can do everything right, take the most careful steps, and still end up with a soggy, limp mess.

My main point was that if you find yourself in a position where you are killing yourself to hand cut fries, and they still suck, then you are probably better off using frozen. The potential for greatness isn't there, but like I said, I'll take a properly cooked and seasoned frozen fry over a crappy hand cut fry every time.

And again, just to clarify, I'm all for doings things the "hard" way (i.e. pain the ass way) as long as the results are worth the effort.
 
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Rick, who said McDonalds cuts their own fries??????? I contracted with Simplot in Oregon State that had a processing plant that was McDonalds fries only. They had McDonalds inspectors in the plant. They have very high standards on the quality and size of the potatoes that are used. They contract with farmers that produce from only them. They have a team of outside inspectors working with the farmers making sure everything is done by the book.
Well, that's the way they do it now I guess, but I remember when you could watch them cutting peeled potatoes with press. Idahos they looked like. Point is even with dull s..ty knives it's not so hard for the home-cook to cut up potatoes in adequate quantity, you agree?

BTW chefbillyb, you're one of my favorites. :)
 
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Well, that's the way they do it now I guess, but I remember when you could watch them cutting peeled potatoes with press. Idahos they looked like. Point is even with dull s..ty knives it's not so hard for the home-cook to cut up potatoes in adequate quantity, you agree?

BTW chefbillyb, you're one of my favorites. :)
Hi Rick, I don't remember that far back with McDonalds cutting their own fries. At one time and in the early years Simplot made all the fries for McDonalds. Something happened one year and McDonalds figured out it wasn't a good idea to only have one purveyor for fries. In the early 1990's Simplot installed a special fryer in our kitchen that had everything timed out on a digital display. We pushed a button and the fries cooked for 3 minutes. Then the timer would count down to tell our employees how long to hold the fries. As you can see this was designed to make the operation a no-brainer for the restaurant operation. The QC Dept for Simplot would do tests on the fries. One factor in testing the fry would be to count how many times, while chewing the fry, you would still get a crunch. The fries also had to be a certain size. McDonalds wanted long fries to stick up high in the bags.
I do know In-N-Out Burger makes fresh cut fries. I have processed my own over the years. In my experience and making sure all my operations were consistent I changed to frozen. I feel as long as I serve a good quality frozen fry hot and crispy right from the fryer I'm giving my customer a good hot product. I think most places get into trouble when they try to hold them too long.
The only time I have had good quality fresh cut fries were in high end restaurants. They took the time to do it right. When done right you can't beat it......Take care........ChefBillyB
 
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Dicks' Drive In in Seattle has seven? locations, all using fresh cut fries.
Imho, Fresh fries when treated with the same respect as any other recipe are always superior to any frozen.
To paraphrase Someday, if you do everything right and are careful with each step you should never end up with a soggy, limp mess. If you do, then you aren't being careful and you do not serve those fries. You go back and do it right. Just like any other menu item.
Too many places don't consider the difference in the end result to be worth the effort to do fresh over frozen. Frozen can be serviceable enough and are generally accepted by the public with much less effort, training and oversight.
These days making quality fresh fries is a remarkably simple, effective way to help your menu and restaurant stand out, simply because no one else bothers.
 
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In N Out still makes fries that way.
As does FiveGuys.

And one of my favorite fast food places: Daglas, where every day is a fry-day. Interestingly, this is a fast food drive-in that hasn’t had a drive-up window since sometime in the 1960s.

But I’ve also had many equally good fries from frozen too. Some are much better than others. Macdonald’s fries (or anything else) aren’t my favorite but the processes in their fry supply chain are quite extensive and interesting.
 
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