what are the perfect temperatures and timing for insanely crispy/fluffy golden twice cooked fries?

  • Posted by: brandon
  • February 17, 2011


betteirene February 18, 2011
Sadassa_Ulna, in Amanda's Thrice-Cooked Potatoes recipe, she instructs you to knock the potatoes about while they're frying. When you roughen up the sides, more of the potato is exposed to the oil and they get crisper. I think that's the highly-prized "mouth-feel" that manufacturers are trying to capture. Fast food places no longer have fry guys who blanch fries and then knock them about in the basket during the second fry. Manufacturers are trying to replicate the work of a fry guy by developing pseudo-texture. It's cheaper than hiring a fry guy.

The sugar or starch coating doesn't add flavor--it's kind of like a watery tempura batter that's sprayed onto blanched sliced potatoes just before they get flash-frozen.
Sam1148 February 17, 2011
@sadassa. I'm thinking it's probably a similar product used in "Shake n Bake"..with finer particles. Hummmm....I bet you could experiment with corn flakes ground fine in a coffee grinder..and additions of seasonings and corn starch.

As for Mayo...Kewpie brand Japaneese mayo is very close what's used in Europe.
I love it...and will sometimes add a drop of liquid smoke.
Sadassa_Ulna February 17, 2011
This pickle is fascinating, I love all the links. I once conversed with a food engineer at a dinner party, he was working on a frozen french fry product that had a coating on it (some kind of seasoned starch mixture?) and he talked about "mouth feel," that the coating created a desirable "mouth feel." Anyone? Coatings? Mouth feel?
ChefDaddy February 17, 2011
At the ballpark it's just ketchup. But, mayo is my choice after returning from a stint in Europe. It seems that mayo is used also in the Netherlands. But, I would be willing to try pierino's suggestion of an alioli. And, I did break down a few years ago and bought a countertop fryer. When I get a good batch of fat I will go on a frying binge for a weakend.
Greenstuff February 17, 2011
Alright, we're on. If you're a Belgian (and really, they should be called Belgian fries, not French fries), it's mayonnaise. But I kind of like those new-fangled garlicky ones.
pierino February 17, 2011
ChefDaddy describes the exact, right method for this although it's tough to regulate if you don't have a fryolator. And peanut oil is a great frying oil if you don't happen to have duck fat hanging around. And now we can dive back into the mayonnaisse/alioli discussion. What condiment do you prefer with your pommes frittes?
ChefDaddy February 17, 2011
I do my own fries and I do double dip them. Once at 325F for a few minutes and drain on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan then at 375F again until crisp. The idea is to cook the inside of the potato and then the outside. That way you you end up with a fluffy interior and a crispy exterior. I only do this a few time a year and I use duck or goose fat if I have it and other times I use peanut oil, mainly because I have it on hand. Salt as soon as they come out of the oil. I use a fry cutter and use it for many things.( zukes, yellow squash, sweet potato).
pierino February 17, 2011
I guess I'm a neanderthal whelped in a cave in Lascaux but I do cut my own fries on the mandoline. Which ever cooking fat you use the temperature should be 375F which you can measure with a candy thermometer. Duck fat is delicious. Per the original question, you do need to double dip them. I use a big chinese spider. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes before the fries begin to color. Lift them out with the spider and let them rest for two or three minutes. The oil will have come back up to temperature. Return to the fat until they look like fries. Now I'll go back to painting the cave wall.
Sam1148 February 17, 2011
It's good to know basic techs. But for somethings, we can get products sometimes superior to effort and time we put into them. I've done both..for fries. And Frozen products are superior than you can make (without lots...and lots of effort). The finishing tech and oil is the major flavor. The interior of a good fry is difficult to replicate at home, not impossible, but time/vs/effort results. That is if you're going for replication of burger joint fries..instead of home fries.

Chef Richard Blais..does his fries in house. In a complicated processed, with liquid nitrogen to recreate the frozen bag fries. (With of course excellent seasoning and flourishes).

Personally, Frozen fries with duck fat..and good seasoning. Is excellent.

hardlikearmour February 17, 2011
Cooks Illustrated did an Easier French Fry recipe a while back. Here's a link: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=19884&frtk=qPjMiqhAuNAPdh4hc7UUPwa6s8nk81V3
Sam1148 February 17, 2011
Duck Fat. http://www.hudsonvalleyfoiegras.com/foiegrasmarket.html

Many other methods. as mentioned above.

Personally, and this is heresy here..the frozen Ore Ida brands cook up perfectly with additions of duck fat. They've been pre-frozen..and blanched. And ready for deployment on demand. A home cook can spend hours on the quest..while what your taste buds really want is a better version of burger stand bulk commercial frozen fries.
The duck fat does that.

betteirene February 17, 2011
Also from Amanda: http://www.food52.com/blog/681_thricecooked_potatoes
Amanda H. February 17, 2011
I once did a story for the Times on how to make perfect french fries: http://bit.ly/ig2Vn3 Hope this is helpful.
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