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The perfect French Fry


nwyles
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I feel so weak asking this. I am looking to make the perfect french fry. I am looking for what the right potato is and the right cooking temperature.

I have Yukon Golds and Russets in house. I am using Russets right now but am just not satisfied with the final product. I have 100 % Canola oil in the fryer.

We cut the fry in a 3/8ths cutter and soak in water. We change the water a couple of times to rinse off excess starch.

I blanch the fries in the fryer and let them rest and finish for a few more minutes. I only have the one fryer so I can't have two different temperatures going.

Suggestions ? Questions ? Solutions ?

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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What exactly is your problem with the final product nwyles? i.e. What's wrong with them?

One thing is that brand new oil never works as well, leaving stuff soggy. It's always good to save a couple of cups from your last batch to start your next one. I save as much as I can without getting all the crap that sinks to the bottom.

Snozberry. Who ever heard of a snozberry.

-Veruca Salt

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What exactly is your problem with the final product nwyles?  i.e. What's wrong with them? 

One thing is that brand new oil never works as well, leaving stuff soggy.  It's always good to save a couple of cups from your last batch to start your next one.  I save as much as I can without getting all the crap that sinks to the bottom.

I just find them a little soggy. If I cook them more, they go too dark. I managed a place that did 500,000 pounds of fries a year but had a bank of fryers at different temps to help out. I know that at certain times of the year, with potatos being stored, sugar content rises and makes them dark but it is too early for that.

I have a OK french fry and we do great Yam fries. I just want the french fry to be very memorable.

I know what you are saying about new oil - although nice to look at, it does not add any flavour until some food has passed through the fryer.

Edited by nwyles (log)

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I feel so weak asking this. I am looking to make the perfect french fry. I am looking for what the right potato is and the right cooking temperature.

I have Yukon Golds and Russets in house. I am using Russets right now but am just not satisfied with the final product. I have 100 % Canola oil in the fryer.

We cut the fry in a 3/8ths cutter and soak in water. We change the water a couple of times to rinse off excess starch.

I blanch the fries in the fryer and let them rest and finish for a few more minutes. I only have the one fryer so I can't have two different temperatures going.

Suggestions ? Questions ? Solutions ?

my only suggestion is to make sure that you cool them completely before finishing them in the 375 oil. i usually do this in the refrigerator, spread out on a tray.

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nwyles-

There is a ecgi thread that covers french fries (I think or maybe I just dreamt it :unsure: ).

Follow the temps and methods in that thread. The real difference for restaurant applications is that you keep a few baskets of blanched fries (depending on your volume) than crisp in a second frying as the orders come in. The blanched fries need to completely cool for more than a few minutes. I just let them cool in the basket. I use russets, nice and starchy. The size of the cut doesn't seem to make a difference for me.

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Neil, run, don't walk, to your nearest bookmonger and pick up a copy of Jeffrey Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything. The 16-page chapter on fries is worth the price of the book. There's more detail than I can go into here but his reccos include:

- using a 50-50 combination of peanut oil and horse or beef tallow

- using Idaho Russet-Burbank potatoes

- using only long fries with a square cross section about 3/8 inch on a side

- a ratio of 1 pound cut potatoes to 3 quarts cooking fat

- not washing the potatoes (though little harm if you do or leave them soaking in ice water)

- not blanching the potatoes in water (OK for European potatoes, not necessary for starchy North American spuds)

- carefully drying the cut potatoes before frying

- first fying at 260ºF for 9 or 10 minutes, stirring often

- leaving the potatoes to drain in the basket while heating the oil to 370-380ºF

- second frying for about 3 minutes

- salting just before serving.

He also writes that letting "potatoes cool to room temperature for an hour or two between fryings seems to make Idaho potatoes come out crisper in the end."

I can vouch for the excellence of the results, especially the fries cooked in tallow. Haven't yet tried his french fries cooked in goose fat.

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...

- carefully drying the cut potatoes before frying

...

Lots of good suggestions. I think drying the frys is particularly important though...

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I can vouch for the excellence of the results, especially the fries cooked in tallow. Haven't yet tried his french fries cooked in goose fat.

The restaurant I managed cooked in beef tallow but we did not tell anyone. I dare not do that in my own place, I have seen the chubby long term results of eating all the tallow fried foods. :biggrin:

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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i remember one of my old chefs telling me about the timing in which you use your potatoes. if i remember correctly he said that during this time of year potatoes are stored in huge containers and shipped out. the older ones have a higher starch content so they brown quicker. thus forcing people to shorten cooking time.

i don't know if this is true or not but if it is maybe you have to just put up with it.

bork bork bork

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I can vouch for the excellence of the results, especially the fries cooked in tallow. Haven't yet tried his french fries cooked in goose fat.

The restaurant I managed cooked in beef tallow but we did not tell anyone. I dare not do that in my own place, I have seen the chubby long term results of eating all the tallow fried foods. :biggrin:

The calories are the same whether you use Crisco, Canola, or Cow's fat.

We are close to seeing a renaiscence of animal fats, now that trans fats in vegetable oils have been discredited.

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i remember one of my old chefs telling me about the timing in which you use your potatoes. if i remember correctly he said that during this time of year potatoes are stored in huge containers and shipped out. the older ones have a higher starch content so they brown quicker. thus forcing people to shorten cooking time.

i don't know if this is true or not but if it is maybe you have to just put up with it.

I think it is the sugars that develop in the bin potatos. It usually happens in about July, just before the new harvest comes in. You would be getting last years potatos that have been store all year.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I can vouch for the excellence of the results, especially the fries cooked in tallow. Haven't yet tried his french fries cooked in goose fat.

The restaurant I managed cooked in beef tallow but we did not tell anyone. I dare not do that in my own place, I have seen the chubby long term results of eating all the tallow fried foods. :biggrin:

The calories are the same whether you use Crisco, Canola, or Cow's fat.

We are close to seeing a renaiscence of animal fats, now that trans fats in vegetable oils have been discredited.

I realize the calories are the same, it is just in the tallow fried foods, they taste so good that you always finish all of your fries and sometimes some of your friends !

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Where exactly does one buy beef tallow, let alone horse tallow!?

We would get our's through a supplier - solid shortening type product. I can't reall the original one we used "Red" something and then we started using Excelo ( ? ) made by the Excel meat packing people if I can reacll.

Look around your local grocery stores. If it does not say solid vegetable shortening, it must be something else !

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I prefer using red potatoes for fries (I never rinsed the cut potatoes either). Like you, when I was producing fries in large quantities, I didn't have enough fryers to lower the temp. to do the blanching. But if you load the baskets up, when you plunge them into the oil, the oil temp. will drop anyhow.

I always used Canola oil for 2 reasons -

a. had to be kosher

b. lots of kids eating the fries - couldn't use peanut oil due to allergies.

After blanching, we always spread the fries out on trays and into the freezer. Once frozen we bagged them and they went straight into the fryer when ordered (without the bag that is :raz: .

I love these fries.

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I have taken to making fries with butternut squash (far less carbs, and more flavor) and have gotten excellent results by freezing the oil blanched pieces overnight before frying in ultra-hot peanut oil for the crisping. Be careful not to overload the fryer, the second frying has to be very very high temp, and if you let it drop too much that is how they get soggy.

Also, I would use almost anything other than olive oil or canola... I've always found canola oil very much unsuited for deep frying, too low a smoke point and it develops that canola oil off taste when heated.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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The only solid fat that isn't vegetable in my market is lard...

What ethnicity would be more likely to have it? Mexican market?

Is lard good for fries? Does pork fat rule? Or is there a reason beef fat is used in traditional fish and chips shops in the U.K.?

If you do find large large containers of lard or shortening, it might be good to avoid the hydrogenated type. I have seen lard for sale this way, though it doesn't need to be.

Many large containers of veg. oil are hydrogenated for the convenience of the vendor.

I haven't heard of hydrogenated tallow, but anything is possible when there is more profit to be had...

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I don't know about frying in lard..wouldn't that make everything....porky tasting?

jason

why do you make that sound as if it's a bad thing? :raz:

a friend of mine used to fill her fryer up with bacon fat when she offered breakfast and brunch menus on weekends...addictive home-fries

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Back when Julia Childs stated that she loved McDonald's french fries, I thought that they were using lard at that time. Now they use vegetable based product. We used lard when I worked in a restaurant in the 60's. The fresh lard never browned the potatoes very well, and I always tried turning the fryer temperature up just a little to compensate. The cheif fry cook would always go and turn the fryer back down again, and the boss always got mad that my fries weren't brown enough!

doc

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