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Fries / Chips / Frites -- eG Cook-Off 45


Pam R
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I have a question about the color of the finished fry.

As I look at all the pics posted so far, they all pretty much look the same as what I get when  I make fries.  A deep golden brown.  Yet when I get fries at restaurants, they are usually much lighter in color. Not usually brown.  Just a golden yellow.  Not much brown. But they will be crispy.

What accounts for this? Is it the type of potato? Type of oil used?  Temperatures used for first and/or second cook?

Here's some information

Thanks. I think I have actually seen this before. Probably when I asked a very similar question about making potato chips at home.

I guess the real question is how can I get my hands on potatoes with specific sugar content?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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OnigiriFB – I too, have usually had better luck with frozen fries than with fresh ones at home, but I keep trying because I can’t believe that I can’t better frozen ones sooner or later (though I am not ashamed to admit that I like frozen fries just fine).

I made twice cooked fries this past Friday. I used russets and cut them with my handy-dandy new cutter:

gallery_34972_3925_184793.jpg

Which I just love. It comes with two cutting plates – one skinny like McD’s and the other large, which is the one that I like. I soaked them in water for a couple of hours, rinsed dried and then cooked at 325 degrees in my deep fryer to this point:

gallery_34972_3580_220399.jpg

Then when they had drained, I put them on a ½ sheet pan and put them in the fridge. The next evening, just before serving, I fried them at 375 to this point:

gallery_34972_3580_42338.jpg

They turned out very well – I tossed them with some Paula Deen’s house seasoning (salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, I think) and a touch of cayenne.

I think that the next time, I’ll try the first fry at a lower temperature.

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I use the Robouchon method and get potatoes as good as double fried with less mess and quicker.

Re potato color. I've found that old stored potatoes tend to brown much more than younger ones. Presumably a different reducing sugar content. So if you want light fries, I'd suggest using harder, "younger" potatoes.

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I think that the next time, I’ll try the first fry at a lower temperature.

Why lower? Were they not cooked through?

Has anybody ever coated their fries before frying?

Edited by Pam R (log)
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I think that the next time, I’ll try the first fry at a lower temperature.

Why lower? Were they not cooked through?

Has anybody ever coated their fries before frying?

I have dusted them with starch and saw no effect. I wonder if a starch batter might be the thing. Think of the seasoning options if that worked.

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I think that the next time, I’ll try the first fry at a lower temperature.

Why lower? Were they not cooked through?

They were cooked through, but were slightly too dry. I thought that doing them at a lower temperature would give them the cooked, but limp quality that I've noticed in other peoples first fry.

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I think that the next time, I’ll try the first fry at a lower temperature.

Why lower? Were they not cooked through?

They were cooked through, but were slightly too dry. I thought that doing them at a lower temperature would give them the cooked, but limp quality that I've noticed in other peoples first fry.

Have you tried different types of potatoes? Your temperatures sound good to me. I think a waxy potato makes moister fries.

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I think that the next time, I’ll try the first fry at a lower temperature.

Why lower? Were they not cooked through?

They were cooked through, but were slightly too dry. I thought that doing them at a lower temperature would give them the cooked, but limp quality that I've noticed in other peoples first fry.

Have you tried different types of potatoes? Your temperatures sound good to me. I think a waxy potato makes moister fries.

I haven't, but I will, because I really do like a creamier, moist center. Thank you, ma'am!

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I opened a window and lit one of those "chef's candles". I'm not sure the candle did much other than cast a romantic glow on me, bent over the chip pan with my strainer; but the window dealt with the smell in about an hour. I have a small apartment, though, and I was able to shut the doors to other rooms.

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Son1 asked for "fish and chips" for his birthday dinner.

I decided not to make another disappointing attempt to chip Japanese potatoes, as there were only danshaku on sale anyway, so I sliced them very thin with a mandoline, soaked them until they were crisp and wavy, dried them, and fried them crisp. This takes a surprisingly long time, but they came out very well and didn't go limp. It's a labor of love, though, if you want to make as many of these as a teen boy or so will eat.

Satsuma-imo sweet potato fries: They will go hard if given the slightest encouragement. They need to be fried till they start to puff just slightly, and have a spot or two of brown on them.

Some Japanese sites recommend freezing the raw, sliced potato and then frying them while still frozen, draining, and re-frying. A more extreme version of the low/high temperature double fry method. I have yet to try this...

Coating potatoes - I wondered the same thing...wasn't impressed with the results! I think the way to do it would be to parboil very thick chips or chunks and maybe shake them gently to rough up the surface before frying???

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This may sound like a strange question but what is your strategy to deal with the smell when making fries?

I almost never fry anything because of the lingering smell.

er...this is not a problem for me :huh: . As a matter of fact, if Yankee Candle had a 'Hot Fries' candle, I'd buy them out! :blush:

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They are cooked potato, so yes you can hold them in a fridge.

I would cover them after 12 hours or so. Much longer than a couple of days and they will start to stale, like old cooked potato - oxidise, taste off  and the starch degrade. I think they will still be wholesome, just not as nice. It will take longer, maybe 3 or 4 days if they are kept cold for bacterial degredation or for them to start or for them to start to ferment

I'm back again. I'm just about to do the first cooking of some fries I cut. I'll boil, then dry and put them on a rack to dry more. I'll do the first fry tomorrow evening.

After I do the first fry, I'll definitely be doing a second fry of some of them shortly after.

But for the rest, can I hold them again for a day or two without much loss of quality, even though I've already held them for a day after the initial cooking?

Pam wrote she used to do the first fry, then freeze them until needed.

Can I do that with this method, too?

So it would be:

boil--dry--fridge overnight

fry on low--drain

freeze for an unknown period of time (no too long, but longer than a week, probably), then do second fry from frozen

or

hold in fridge overnight (or two), then do second fry.

And about the freezing, I thought potatoes were supposed to deteriote when frozen. Is that different with fried potatoes?

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They are cooked potato, so yes you can hold them in a fridge.

I would cover them after 12 hours or so. Much longer than a couple of days and they will start to stale, like old cooked potato - oxidise, taste off  and the starch degrade. I think they will still be wholesome, just not as nice. It will take longer, maybe 3 or 4 days if they are kept cold for bacterial degredation or for them to start or for them to start to ferment

I'm back again. I'm just about to do the first cooking of some fries I cut. I'll boil, then dry and put them on a rack to dry more. I'll do the first fry tomorrow evening.

After I do the first fry, I'll definitely be doing a second fry of some of them shortly after.

But for the rest, can I hold them again for a day or two without much loss of quality, even though I've already held them for a day after the initial cooking?

Pam wrote she used to do the first fry, then freeze them until needed.

Can I do that with this method, too?

So it would be:

boil--dry--fridge overnight

fry on low--drain

freeze for an unknown period of time (no too long, but longer than a week, probably), then do second fry from frozen

or

hold in fridge overnight (or two), then do second fry.

And about the freezing, I thought potatoes were supposed to deteriote when frozen. Is that different with fried potatoes?

Can I chip in (forgive the pun).

I asked the question earlier. Why is the first fry a low fry if they are already cooked? It seems counterintuitive and should lead only to greater penetration of the oil because the deep fry barrier is not created.

Shouldn't it be a fry for a short time at the final cooking temperature, then freeze, then cook from frozen in the final temperature oil?

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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OK, learning to reply - but my post seemed to go missing. Sorry if it is a repeat.

For me it is about the spud - Solanum tuberosum - the kennebec potato. If you search them out they are worth the find. They have the right sugars to do fries. If you ask your grocer they will order a sack which you can share out to your spud loving friends. Make sure you get new crop and they will keep well too.

As far as toppings, aside from the cold sweetness of Heinz to cut through the heat, we love an aioli with the fries shaken in a spicy blend of smoked paprika, ground fennel, good kosher salt. We use a recipe from Cesar in Oakland / Berkeley.

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When I had a restaurant, we would peel, cut, fry once, spread out on a baking sheet and freeze.  Then bag them up and keep in the freezer until we needed them.  They would then be fried to order right out of the freezer. 

Did you blot off the oil before freezing, or did you leave the surface oil?

I was supposed to do my first fry yesterday, but I put it off till today. I've got to get moving, because I don't want my potatoes to deteriorate too much!

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Thought it was about time to post a picture of triple cooked chips. Being an impatient sort, these took about two hours potato to plate rather than having overnight stays in the fridge.

First peel and cut into chip shapes, soak in water to remove some starch and prevent oxidation.

Next boil for around twenty minutes, they should not only be fully cooked but almost on the verge of falling apart.

Onto wire racks and into the fridge for around forty minutes.

Next bring deep fryer up to 180 C (350F) and fry chips for around four minutes (until very slightly coloured).

Drain and pat off excess oil with paper towels. Put back on wire rack and back into fridge (thirty minutes).

Next do the third cook in 180C oil until at desired colour.

Drain chips, again pat off excess with paper towels. Serve.

The product gives a very audible crunch when bitten in to, is soft, fluffy and fully cooked in the middle and the crunch lasts all the way through a meal.

Here is a picture (sorry it's slightly out of focus, pulled the camera out mid service to snap it).

triple%20cooked%20chips.jpg

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Thought it was about time to post a picture of triple cooked chips. Being an impatient sort, these took about two hours potato to plate rather than having overnight stays in the fridge.

First peel and cut into chip shapes, soak in water to remove some starch and prevent oxidation.

Next boil for around twenty minutes, they should not only be fully cooked but almost on the verge of falling apart.

Onto wire racks and into the fridge for around forty minutes.

Next bring deep fryer up to 180 C (350F) and fry chips for around four minutes (until very slightly coloured).

Drain and pat off excess oil with paper towels. Put back on wire rack and back into fridge (thirty minutes).

Next do the third cook in 180C oil until at desired colour.

Drain chips, again pat off excess with paper towels. Serve.

The product gives a very audible crunch when bitten in to, is soft, fluffy and fully cooked in the middle and the crunch lasts all the way through a meal.

Here is a picture (sorry it's slightly out of focus, pulled the camera out mid service to snap it).

They look great. I wish you fried a batch all the way through on the first frying session to see if a second session is necessary. It seams to me that a 20 minute boil is excessive. How was the texture?

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Thought it was about time to post a picture of triple cooked chips. Being an impatient sort, these took about two hours potato to plate rather than having overnight stays in the fridge.

First peel and cut into chip shapes, soak in water to remove some starch and prevent oxidation.

Next boil for around twenty minutes, they should not only be fully cooked but almost on the verge of falling apart.

Onto wire racks and into the fridge for around forty minutes.

Next bring deep fryer up to 180 C (350F) and fry chips for around four minutes (until very slightly coloured).

Drain and pat off excess oil with paper towels. Put back on wire rack and back into fridge (thirty minutes).

Next do the third cook in 180C oil until at desired colour.

Drain chips, again pat off excess with paper towels. Serve.

The product gives a very audible crunch when bitten in to, is soft, fluffy and fully cooked in the middle and the crunch lasts all the way through a meal.

Here is a picture (sorry it's slightly out of focus, pulled the camera out mid service to snap it).

They look great. I wish you fried a batch all the way through on the first frying session to see if a second session is necessary. It seams to me that a 20 minute boil is excessive. How was the texture?

The twenty minute boil makes the outside of the chips very rough. When they are cooked subsequently, these become micro ridges that the oil crisps. I wish I could have posted the sound of the chips but it is something like very fresh potato crisps. The inside seems to set again during the refrigeration such that when it is cooked the final time, it is a very soft, creamy texture. The product has an extremely crisp outer layer with an inside that gives the sense of eating a well boiled potato. Combine this with salt and, well you get the picture.

As for only doing the one fry, I haven't done it. One of the threads above compared single with double fry methods: the double fry was superior. Whether this is the same in totally pre-cooked potatoes is open to question -- maybe next time.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Next bring deep fryer up to 180 C (350F) and fry chips for around four minutes (until very slightly coloured).

Drain and pat off excess oil with paper towels. Put back on wire rack and back into fridge (thirty minutes).

Next do the third cook in 180C oil until at desired colour.

mmmm, those looked good!

May I ask why you used the same temperatures for both fries?

I'll try single fry vs double fry for pre-cooked potatoes and see what happens. My potatoes are a lot thinner than yours. Hope that doesn't make too much of a difference!

ETA--Boiled and left two nights to dry (not in the fridge, but since it's only 10C in my apartment, I thought it would be OK to leave them out). First fry at 130C for several minutes (still light-coloured), as instructed by jackal10's eGCI course. Second fry at 185C till browned enough for my liking.

I used two types of Japanese potatoes that I was told were good for frying. I had used them to double-fry before, and they were OK, but not great.

The triple-fried fries were awesome! Crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside. I've got some cooling to stick in the freezer, but I'm thinking of maybe just eating them, instead. Ahem. . .

The precooked (boiled) then fried at 185C fries were not nearly as good as the triple-cooked ones. They took a lot longer to brown, and they did not get nearly as crispy as the triple-cooked one. I think they'd make good pan-fried potatoes if I cubed them.

So in order of preference, from best to worst:

Triple cooked

Double-fried

Boiled then fried

I'm itching to try this with my regular potatoes (I can't normally get special frying potatoes), but will have to put it off.

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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When I had a restaurant, we would peel, cut, fry once, spread out on a baking sheet and freeze.  Then bag them up and keep in the freezer until we needed them.  They would then be fried to order right out of the freezer. 

Did you blot off the oil before freezing, or did you leave the surface oil?

I was supposed to do my first fry yesterday, but I put it off till today. I've got to get moving, because I don't want my potatoes to deteriorate too much!

No blotting. We'd do 100 to 200 lbs. at a time. They were drained in the fry baskets, spread out on a baking sheet.

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No blotting.  We'd do 100 to 200 lbs. at a time.  They were drained in the fry baskets, spread out on a baking sheet.

Just in time! My oil just went on the stove, and it's heating as a type!

Thanks! Will just drain and IQF, then bag. I hope they last long enough to bag. . . I might have to eat them after seeing all the delicious fries here recently.

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