Originally posted on September 7, 2022 @ 3:43 pm
Who doesn’t like french fries? With crispy golden skin and a pillowy soft interior, no side dish compares to great fried potato chips. Unfortunately, not all attempts at homemade french fries are successful, and most have to do with the potatoes used.
The ideal potato for french fries is russet potatoes. This type of potato works well for roasting due to its low moisture and high starch content, resulting in a crispy outside and evenly cooked inside. Another great choice is the Mars Piper potato, but this is usually limited to European markets, making Russet the universal fry potato.
Read on as we explain what makes russet potatoes the perfect variety for french fries and all the secrets to making restaurant-style crispy fries at home.
What Makes Russet Potato An Excellent Choice For Fries?
What is it about russet potatoes that makes them such a good choice for stir-fries? Like all starchy potatoes, the Russet variety is high in starch and low in moisture. Simply put, when fried, it takes less time than oil to dehydrate the potato, resulting in crispier fries. Additionally, the large oval shape of russet potatoes makes it easy to cut long, symmetrical fries, which cook evenly.
Add to that the excellent nutrition of the russet variety, and you have the perfect french fries. These dense potatoes are packed with starch, ensuring they don’t become hollow when you roast them. Unfortunately, a common problem with waxy potatoes is that they contain a lot of moisture, which evaporates during frying, often leaving the fry “empty” on the inside and thus soggy when fried. So it becomes lame.
Therefore, Russets, dense potatoes with brown skin and white flesh, make an excellent frying choice. Russet Burbank is the best (and most popular) russet cultivar for French fries.
3 Factors Affect The Quality of French Fries
Choosing the right potatoes isn’t the only thing you need to get the perfect french fries at home. A number of factors come into play when you’re trying to copycat restaurant-quality fries in your kitchen circles. Fortunately, making small changes to how you cook your potatoes can make a world of difference, and it’s very easy to do. Here are three factors that determine how good your home fries turn out.
1. The Choice Of Potato
First and foremost, choosing the right type of potato takes a front seat. We know that potatoes like russets, which are high in starch, are a great choice for stir-fries. Plus, their shape makes them easy to cut and gets the signature fries look.
However, if you can’t find russet potatoes (which is highly unlikely since they are so readily available), you can choose other starchy potatoes as an alternative. Getting a Russet Burbank is still the first choice, though. Some good alternatives include Gold Rush and King Edward. As we discussed, the mars piper is a great french fries potato, but it’s not as easily variable in the US. Both Russet and Mars Piper potatoes are high in starch and low in sugar, making for crispy fries.
If starchy potatoes are among all the options, you can go for all-purpose or floury potatoes like Yukon Gold. However, remember that this medium-scratchy potato won’t give the same results as a high-starch substitute.
2. The Type Of Oil Used
What you use to fry the potatoes also plays a big role in how your fries turn out. The trick is to use a neutral oil that won’t over-flavor the potatoes. You also need to make sure the oil has a high smoking point because the potatoes need to be fried at a high temperature to provide a crisp crust. Vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are all good choices. However, avoid olive oil because it has a strong flavor and a low smoking point.
3. The Frying Age Of The Oil
One of the secrets that allow restaurants to produce batches of crispy fries daily is that they fry their potatoes in used oil. This results in better tasting, flakier fries as the used oil breaks down. Heating the oil allows the molecules to break up, which will bond better with the potato resulting in crispier fries. Because fries require oil with a higher smoking point, they will break down slower than oils with a lower smoking point.
However, you can usually reuse the oil three or four times before discarding it. Think of it this way: After the oil has cooked for six hours, you should change it. Even when your oil is good to reuse, you should filter it after frying and store it in a closed, airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Always make sure your oil doesn’t separate or have a sour taste before using it again.
How To Prepare Potatoes For Frying?
Preparing your potatoes correctly will also affect how evenly your fries cook and can be the difference between a crispy and soggy chip. There is even a foolproof way to cook and prepare russet potatoes for exceptional results.
Step #1: Peel The Potatoes
Peel the potatoes. You may see some eyes (or buds); You can remove them. Potatoes, once the eyes are removed, are safe to consume.
Step #2: Evenly Cut The Potatoes
In order for potatoes to cook evenly, they must be sliced evenly. First, make sure you cut the edges of the potatoes to make them even and cut them into 1/4-inch pieces. Next, cut the slices into 1/4-inch-thick strips, making sure all your fries are the same length and width and cook the same way. When slicing the fries, keep transferring the finished strips to a large bowl with cold water and lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
Step #3: Rinse Off Extra Starch
Rinse the potatoes to remove any excess starch. You can wash them by placing them in a bowl and running them under cold water until they run clear.
Step #4: Soak and Refrigerate
Add lemon juice and ice cubes to the bowl of water with the fries and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will prevent the fries from browning too quickly during frying so they can cook through before they are perfectly golden brown.
What is The Double-Fry Method For French Fries?
The ultimate way to make perfect homemade french fries is to use the double fry method. As the name suggests, you fry the potatoes twice with this method. The first roast is to cook the inside of the potato or blanch to cook the sides. The second and final fry is at a higher temperature to color the fries quickly. This way, you prevent undercooking while ensuring that the exterior of the fries is crisp.
For the first fry, heat the oil to 325 F and cook them fresh for 8 minutes. Next, lay them out on absorbent paper; They will be soft at this point. Refrigerate the fries or let them come to room temperature. After the fries are cool, crank up to 375 F and fry them in oil again until they are a crispy golden brown.
Can You Make Fries With Waxy Potato Varieties?
Waxy potatoes have high water content and result in soggy skin. The oil has to work harder to get rid of the moisture, which usually results in deep, hollow fries that lack the texture of a good French fry. Waxy potatoes are better suited for recipes in which you want the potatoes to stay firm after cooking. Use them for gratins, soups, and salads.
The Bottom Line
Russet potatoes are a great choice for making french fries, as they are low in moisture and very starchy – their dense texture and low water content make for a crispy french fry with a fluffy inside. Is. Russet Burbanks are the perfect cultivar for replicating restaurant-style fries at home.