Crisp fries


Oven fries are pretty damn good these day — I’m told most restaurants use them now — but you just can’t beat that crispness of a perfectly fried larger chip (I use the word with it’s UK meaning).

Now and again I dust off the deep fryer and try to cook my own, but whatever I do I just can’t them to crisp up. Don’t get me wrong, they come out pretty good, but they are of that softer, fluffy style.

I try to get the right potatoes; I use oil with a high smoke point (corn oil); I ensure the are patted dry first; and I always double fry, ensuring the oil returns to full temperature in between.

What’s the secret?

Re: Crisp fries

I don’t have a deep fat fryer but can’t live without my fries. (FYI, I use a heavy-bottomed saucepan.) The method I use works pretty well. I cut my potatoes into thickish fries. I fry them for till they just start to turn a light golden color. I empty them into a colander and let them stand for a while. Then I re-heat the oil and re-fry them. They will darken quickly, so keep your eye on them. Remove and drain when they hit the desired color. They should be crisp on the outside and light and fluffy inside.

One cool advantage of this method is that you can do the first fry in advance and then finish off just before serving.

Another thing. Many folks put their fries into a bowl lined with paper towels. Big mistake. They will sit in their own fat and go soggy for sure. Use a colander or wire rack.

By the way, I have yet to have oven fries that come close to the real thing.

Re: Crisp fries

I concur. I do use a deep fryer and the three keys are 1) double frying, 2) use a wire rack and not paper towels, and 3) use starchy potatoes.

It would be pushing it to say that there is an art to making fries because it is really quite simple and the truth is you have to work at it to go wrong. I learned by observation. Every greasy spoon I go to I keep an eye on the kitchen to see how they do it. Short order cooks never use paper towels.

By watching others it finally came to me that there are lots of ways of making fries and they are all delicious. Sometimes I cut thick wedges, sometimes really fine strips and sometimes right in the middle. It depends on my mood and the meal.

The last step is spice which offers wonderful variety. Sometimes I dust them with salt, sometimes with pepper and salt, sometimes with garlic and salt, sometimes with Hickory salt (delicious if you can find it) and most times I go looking through my spice collection to see what compliments.

Re: Crisp fries

Thanks guys. I see Andrew’s also but up a recipe. I’ll give it another go.