I need the secret to french fries that have the crispy outter texture

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Joined Oct 23, 2008
I am going to make a go at cooking some fresh cut fries tonight. I've done this a few times over the years and the things that are usually disappointing to me are 1. the color, generally they get far too dark for my liking and often look "splotchy" 2. I personally love a fry that has a golden crispy outer crust with a soft interior.

I know one of the go-to-methods for fries is to par fry them. I am going to try that tonight. What I read was to cook them for 3-5 minutes at 325F, then let them drain/rest while you bring the temp up to 375 and finish them at 375F. Let me know if that's not correct.

I think the other issue is I need some kind of coating. I've heard of dusting them in rice flour, but I'm not sure that's going to give me what I want. I wish I had a picture to show you. The closest fast food fry that I can think of would be Burger King. I don't really want a battered fry, at least not a thick batter. Maybe it needs to be rice flour and cold water but thinner than a normal tempura style batter? Maybe I'm going in the wrong direction with any kind of coating?

I have a restaurant in town that makes the best fries I've ever had. This is a pretty bad picture but this is where I'd like to be with mine. They are perfectly golden, crispy, soft, extremely well seasoned and their unique shape makes them even better.

thetablefries.JPG

So I'd love if some of you pros might be willing to give me tips on what to try. Is the double fry the secret to getting them perfectly golden and crispy without burning the edges? I know I probably won't nail it tonight, but I'd like to have as much knowledge on this attempt as possible. Thanks!
 
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The double fry method is correct, they do take longer to cook than you think. I do 5 min or so at 325 ~ use wire rack to drain dont use paper towels as they hold the oil, let them rest for 5 min then back in at 375 till float and brown to color..depends on the cut 3/8 vs. 1/4 ..3/8 are better more like shoestring...you can also use egg batter for potato wedges. I use a 1.5 gal deep fryer..
 
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Russet potatoes cut in even slices soaked in water over night. Dry potatoes and blanch the raw fries in 300 degree oil until 90% done. put the blanched fries on a wire rack to rest while your getting the oil up to 375 degrees. Fry them until desired color. Some people say the last fry should be 350 degrees. If you can drop the blanched fries in a 350 degree oil and they "fry" then that temp is ok. This will take a bit longer but the browning will be better. You may also have to do this in batches so you don't lower the temp of the oil by entering all the blanched fries at one time. Season while hot......

I saw this a few years ago......It doesn't get much simpler than this. Notice the slow frying on the first fry and then what happens when the fries get dropped in for the second fry. Make sure your fryer is calibrated to the right temp.......Good Luck.....

 
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For 18 years I had to make Pomme Frites for work.
The double fried potatoes came out great.

I've heard of that rice flour idea, but never tried it.
Restaurant fries are usually cold by the time they come out, so I'm really not a fan.
 
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I wouldn't use any coating. I also wouldn't stick to any time-table as far as saying I'm going to blanch these for x amount of time. Blanch until they are cooked through and soft. Then if you can I would let them rest after you blanch them and let them cool completely you can stick them in the fridge after they drain. Then fry them until they are crisp.
 
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Thanks for the input from all. I have some "golden" potatoes.. but I'm second guessing using those. Maybe I should just pick up a couple russets. I'm going to cut them crinkle cut on my mandolin and soak them in some cold water in the fridge. That seems to be an important step. Maybe they hydrate a little and the steam from frying puffs out the outer skin? Probably not since they don't get the higher heat till the second fry.
 
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Thanks for the input from all. I have some "golden" potatoes.. but I'm second guessing using those. Maybe I should just pick up a couple russets. I'm going to cut them crinkle cut on my mandolin and soak them in some cold water in the fridge. That seems to be an important step. Maybe they hydrate a little and the steam from frying puffs out the outer skin? Probably not since they don't get the higher heat till the second fry.
Soaking them in water removes excess starch for the most part.
 
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Anyone have an idea of what type of cutter is used to get the nifty curls in the picture I posted? I can't imagine hand cutting them in any way to achieve that.
 
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I have seen the rotary cutters for potatoes in the past. I'm sure you can Google it up.

As for the fries...if you're serious about it...cut them & soak in water overnight. The next day, drain & par cook until tender. Drain well, cool, and refrigerate. They are then ready for use.

This is easy to do, but it IS a process & will take up some serious walk-in space.
 
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You could try freezing after the 1st fry as well...

Are you sure you aren't talking about "seasoned" fries, which I think are fries that are coating in some sort of starch and seasoning mix. Most restaurants that do this type of fry (I assume) buy them frozen and just fry to order. These are the ones that have kind of a "scraggly" coating on the outside. It's different than just a regular crispy fry.

Fries are tricky...I'm 99% against most things "convenient" or frozen, but to be honest I don't mind a good frozen french fry. Most places that make their own fries from scratch do a horrible job...they end up limp, soggy and gross. They do all that work cutting, soaking and double or triple cooking them only to have the product be subpar. I'll take a properly cooked frozen fry over a crappy house made fry any day.

Now, of course, the rare place that can get home made fries right are the best, but they are so few and far between.
 
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Every suggestion in this thread is spot on, IMO.

This is my method that I've used for 30 years.

1. Use any style potato except red potatoes. Russets are the best, IMO.

2. Cut the potatoes any way you wish. The thicker the cut, the longer it will take to cook.

3. Soak in cold water for about 15-20 minutes, rinse and repeat until all of the starch is removed and the rinse water runs clear.

4. Blanche in boiling water until about 2/3 done. Remove from pot and place on a rack. Let cool to room temperature.

5. Deep fry in oil no hotter than 350'f. My test is to add a piece of potato. If it sizzles, the oil is ready.

6. Deep fry for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown.

Remove from oil and drain. Season to taste.

Good luck! :)
 
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When I have a potato bounty in fall I setup the restaurant style cutter and cut a 5 gallon bucket full. Overnight soak then par fry in batches. Spread on sheet trays to cool then I freeze them and vacuum bag them for use for the next year. Pull from freezer and drop in frozen.

I separate as much as I can then stack the sheet trays in my -24 deep freezer for 4 hours or over night.
 
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You're not alone. Those are the fries of my childhood and sometimes I want the nostalgia. I like crispy fries too. I love them all!
If we are talking about childhood fries, I enjoy the hard hours old fries at the bottom of the McDonald’s bag. The ones you search for before you throw the bag away. Cold, hard and dry.

:rolleyes:
 
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Thanks for all of the input. I think now I just need some trial and error time. It is interesting that one poster mentioned par cooking them by blanching in water, rather than fry oil. I wonder if that makes any difference in the end product? If you aren't getting any crisp on them in a first fry I don't see why it would make any difference and for a home cook might be an easier process.
 
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Depends on the size of the fries. This is what we were taught at school:

1) up to 4mm - fry once at 180 C for 1 minute

2) 4-11mm - fry at 135-145 C for 4 minutes, then fry at 180 C for 1 minute

3) 11-16mm - 135 C for 4 minutes, 140-150 C for 4 minutes, then 180 C fo 1 min

Wait for your oil to get a bit hotter than your target as it will cool down once you put fries in, do not overcrowd.

I have also seen people parboil them with the skin on so they don't absorb too much water and steaming. I like the twice frying method
 

pete

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For the best fries you want to do you blanching in oil, but you can blanch in water. Oil is the better choice though. A couple of other things, for the most part I agree with everyone else on how to cook your fries. Housemade fries are always going to come out a bit darker than the fries at most restaurants that use frozen fries but if you do it properly they should end up just a shade darker than golden brown. My method is to cut my fries-what size depends on my mood. Next I rinse the fries in a number of changes of water, until that water runs clear. This helps to remove the surface starch. Next I let them sit, in water, over night. Dry them really well. Then fry at 300° until almost done. Pull them and let them rest. Bump your oil up to 350° and fry until crisp.

As for what type of potato to use-for me fries really need russets. Forget anything resembling a waxy potato. IMHO Reds are horrible for fries, nor do I think Yukon golds make very good fries.
 
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