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Soggy French Fries

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Bought an infared point and shoot thermometer.
Bought a Williams Sonoma stove top deep fat fryer (gas stove).
Bought Canola Oil.
Bought Russet potatoes.
Followed specific instructions for Pomme Frites:
Peeled and uniformly sliced potatoes.
Rinsed potatoes 3 times in cold water to remove starch.
Soaked potatoes in ice water.
Heated fryer oil to 325F and cooked a small batch of potatoes until slightly brown.
Removed and drained potatoes on paper towels.
Heated oil to 375F and recooked potatoes until brown and done.
Removed and drained potatoes on paper towels.

Final result: they were soggy and they were thrown away.
How in the **** can McDonalds do this 25 millions times a day and I can't do it once? :cry::mad: :confused:
post #2 of 13
I am empathetic to your experience.

I stopped using any deep fat fryers that run on electricity, because they just don't hold temperature, and in fact, the last one I bought, when set at 325 only got to 200. At 375 setting, it only got to 220 F. Rival brand! To send it back cost more in postage than buying another, and a web search showed it was notorious for not working well.

So I reverted to a large thick pan on a gas stove and a candy/fat thermometer.

The only thing that makes my fries soggy, is if I put too many of them in at once. It is difficult to maintain a constant temperature, because as soon as you put some potatoes in, they act as heat sinks and the temperature starts to drop. Placing a fat thermometer in only tests the temperature at one point at one depth. Your point and shoot thermometer is only testing the top surface temperature, which should help out a bit more, but you're probably still going to have a temperature differential from the bottom of the fryer to the top, with the potatoes somewhere in between (top and bottom layers).

At the restaurant I used to work for, we had gas fired commercial french friers, and they still could be capable of soggy fries if they sat on the pickup counter for more than a few minutes.

Our best luck was with a pressurized broaster. Made great chicken with it too!

doc
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I thought I had the oil hot enough for both cookings. They got ready in about 2 minutes. I wonder if it was too hot and just cooked the outsides?
post #4 of 13
I find that if I pile the fries when I take them out, they'll be soggy. If I put them out so that they're not in a pile, they're not soggy.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Soggu cont.

Thanks. I did spread them out and drain them right away. I am perplexed.
post #6 of 13
Hmmmmm.

Me thinks that oil temperature is the most likely problem. The two things mentioned above are very valuable. Use a deep fry thermometer to get a more accurate reading on oil temp. (I LOVE my infrared point & shoot thermometer, but I always use a deep fry/candy thermometer submersed in the oil, too.)

Then, make sure you work in small batches and carefully watch the temperature of the oil drop. If it drops too much, too fast, you'll have to really crank up the heat to compensate. You'll also have to make sure that the temperature is right for the next batch. It'll take you a while to get the hang of temperature/batch control.

Another thing. You didn't mention drying your fries before the initial cooking. That's very important. At home, I use a salad spinner. I grab a batch (which for me is a handful) out of the water and spin in the salad spinner and (carefully) drop in the heavy cast iron vat o' oil.

How does McDonald's do it? Purpose-built gear that had been made as idiot-proof as possible. We, on the other hand, have to use general purpose gear and strive not to be idiots. :chef:
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Soggy Fries

I used a salad spinner as well. It must have been the oil temp.
post #8 of 13

I have to make regular batches of fries ...

They cut them fresh and then store the cut potatoes in water in 5 gal buckets in the fridge.

Right now they take them directly out of the bin and chuck them in the oil. The results end up inconsistent. Sometimes soggy sometimes not...It messes up the oil pretty good too. (Plus I don't think it's been changed for several weeks)

I would like to prep several orders worth by drying them but how can I keep them on the bench without them turning brown. (assuming they last that long :D ) Can I dry them and cover with plastic? Treat them with something in the soak water? (natural of course)

Anyway, I'd like some input about it if any of you kind people have some hinters.

Thanks

April
post #9 of 13
Check out this post from a while back started by Chefbk. There was a method that I presented and it seemed to work well. Personally I have had great success with it over the years too.Hope it helps. Just don't know the temp range of those fryers for nthe home. Most of the ones I used in commercial kitchens had a 225 degree setting. :D http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18824
post #10 of 13

Soggy fries

I TOO HAVE HAD THE SAME PROBLEM. i'VE TRIED VARIOUS POTATO VARIETYS, OIL TYPES AND TEMPS, ETC. ETC. ON AND ON. BUT THE REAL SECRET IS ANIMAL FAT, AT LEAST IN PART. MCDONALDS IS ALWAYS BEING SUED BY IDIOTS WHO EAT VAST PORTIONS, MULTIPLE TIMES PER WEEK, NEVER EXCERCISE AND ARE NOW FAT. GO FIGURE. THE REASON MCDONALDS RESISTS CHANGING THEIR FORMULA IS BECAUSE IT MAKES THE BEST **** FRIES IN THE WORLD.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
You mean good old lard.
post #12 of 13
ric,

I believe Mickey D's removed Tallo from their shortening formula years ago. Unless they have gone to a different formula in recent years, (there was a product Sysco sold a few years ago that was to have been cholesterol free but....) they still use liquid shortening which contains no animal fats. They also use a ton of gluten in thier Fries. I doubt there is much "real" potato left to them when the are finished being processed. ;)

IMHVPO there are only a couple good things about McDonalds. Most of them are organizationally based and not one of them is about the food's taste or nutritional value.:smiles: (Why people use them and some of the others out there as a "Benchmark" is beyond me.) :rolleyes: :)
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Soggy Fries

ACTUALLY, OF ALL THE HAMBURGER JOINTS, MCdONALDS' HAS THE WORST FRIES.
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