The secret behind making crispy French fries
A step-by-step method to make the perfect crispy French fries at home
When it comes to comfort food, French fries win hands down. And though the historical past and origin of French fries are unknown, foodies celebrate July 13 as the French Fries Day to rejoice the invention of this dish. Across the world, this fried snack is well-loved — in the US, French fries are typically served with cheeseburgers, whereas in the UK, they are paired with fried fish, and in Canada, they’re eaten with cheese curds as poutine. There are a few secret tips to make this irresistible dish perfectly crunchy and crispy.
Select the best potatoes
Starchy potatoes (that have a good solid-water ratio) are the best bets for French fries. When making French fries at home, opt for the large and oval potatoes that will make slicing a lot easier.
Top tip: Avoid waxy potatoes, which have red skin and also new potatoes because of their high water content.
Blanch the potatoes
Fries made from peeled potatoes should be chilled and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour before frying to ensure crispiness. Try adding citric acid, lemon juice or vinegar to the water solution to prevent the potatoes from darkening. The idea is to rinse off any excess starch. Once they’re done soaking, dry them very well before moving to the blanching stage. The best fries are always prepared by blanching the potatoes in hot oil for five to seven minutes.
Top tip: Allow fries to cool at room temperature after blanching. Alternatively, you can refrigerate before the final fry to a golden brown.
Choose the right oil
Good tasting fries come out well in a flavourless and neutral oil with high smoking point. Avoid frying in highly-flavoured seed oil, as their impurities lower the smoke point. Refined peanut oil is the best oil to use for making French fries. Other neutral-tasting oils include canola, vegetable and sunflower. The general rule of thumb is that the oil can be reused for frying three or four times, properly filtered and stored in an airtight container.
Top tip: Avoid olive oil or anything unrefined for frying, as it will burn before it hits the temperature.
French fries need to be fried twice to get the best results. The first frying is done at a lower temperature, which softens the potato. However, frying once will leave you with a cooked but a rather limp fry. The second frying gives it the required crispiness and the golden-brown colour.
Top tip: Remove the fries from the oil when a toothpick comes out clean with ease.
Do you know of any other tips for frying the perfect French fries? Share in the comment section below.