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Homemade French Fries

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all!!!

I was just wondering if anyone knows how to make real crispy crunchy homemade fries. I have tried to make homemade fries by taking a potato and slicing it up to make it look like restaurant fries and then baking it (because I can't have anything deep fried). But they always turn out to be soft, like a baked potato.

If anyone has any advice for me, it would be muchly appreciated. :D

Jen
post #2 of 14

Not soggy french fries...in the oven

Hi there. I actually just saw a show on the food channel about this. The chef peeled the potatoes then sliced (however you like to slice your fries). He did 1/4". Anyway, as he was slicing them he put them in a bowl of water. After he was finished slicing the whole lot of them he thouroughly, very thoroughly dried them. You might even try letting them sit on paper towels for a few minutes after you dry them. He actually rinsed and dried twice I think. Then he popped them in a really really hot oven, mine turn out great at 425F but I also have an industrial convection/bake oven. You might need a higher setting. Just keep an eye on them the first time you try in your oven so you can figure out the proper setting. He used just salt and pepper to season but whatever you like would work. I find that the salt helps dry them out more. Hope that helps.
post #3 of 14
Can you have any fat? You can make really crisp oven fries, but you have to use a little oil to do it (I do this with baking potatoes, and it works really well):
  1. Cut your potatoes in slices, sticks, whatever shape you want
  2. Rinse them and dry them REALLY WELL on towels
  3. Put them in a big bowl and sprinkle them with a little oil -- enough to coat them lightly (if some pools in the bottom of the bowl, let them sit until all the extra collects)
  4. Spread them out on a cookie sheet (leave the extra oil in the bowl) and bake them at 400 degrees
  5. Stir them around from time to time, so they don't stick and do brown on (most) sides. Sometimes it takes as long as 30 to 40 minutes or more if they're cut large; keep an eye on them so they don't burn
  6. When they're brown and crisp, drain them on more paper towels to remove any remaining oil
  7. Salt, serve, and crunch away!

Works for me! :p
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your suggestions, I will defintely try them. :D

Suzanne.....No, I can't have any oils as they will upset my stomach, they are too high in fat for me. I can use Fat Free PAM cooking spray though, do you think this might work instead of using the oil??

BoatChef.......I also have a convection oven where I am ALWAYS finding I have to use a lower heat than what some recipes call for. How long do you usually bake your fries for on the 425 F setting??

Jen
post #5 of 14

Convection/Bake Oven

I honestly can't give you an exact time. I just joined this yacht after working on the east coast for the summer on another yacht. I have two ovens and six cooktops and the ovens are also six years old and have never been serviced. Unfortunately the ovens don't both cook at correct tempuratures (they are gaggenau if anybody out there can tell me who will service these in San Diego). So I am reduced to watching and checking until I get these down. I figure I'll eventually figure out exact cook times the more I use them. So I would recommend that you watch the first few times and then you will have an idea of how long to cook them. I think you should use the slightest bit of that cooking spray if you don't have a good non-stick sheet. Good Luck!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks BoatChef. :) I will do my best to make sure the fries turn out good and I will keep a close eye on them for the first few times I make them.

I know it will probably be a trial and error process until I can figure out how long will be the best to cook them.

Thanks for the tip on using the cooking spray. I would have never even thought of them sticking to the pan. :o

Jen
post #7 of 14

You can do a modified version of steak fries...

"Bake" the potato in your microwave. Let it cool then slice into wedges lengthwise. Like about 8 wedgies.

Thoroughly spray (and you do have to be thorough, not just a quick spritz) the potato slices on all side with flavored pam of choice. Bake on sprayed sheetpan not touching in a preheated hot oven - 400+ for 10 minutes.

The desired result will be golden brown. After 10 mins, check for doneness(opening your oven for the shortest amount of time as possible so that you don't let all the heat out). After that check every 5 minutes or so.

The moisture is what causes the floppy effect. When you pre-cook the potato then thoroughly "seal" the remaining moisture in by the oil spray, the potato can't steam itself but doesn't dry out more from the cooking process.

After you take them out of the oven you can imediately season them with what you want. (chicken boullion mixed with salt is nice, garlic salt, any salt free seasonings...)

April
post #8 of 14
As far as the convection oven, about a 50 degree reduction works. That's what I've found at least.
gXa
Geoffrey Atkins
Culinary Institute of the Pacific
gatkins@hawaii.edu
Reply
gXa
Geoffrey Atkins
Culinary Institute of the Pacific
gatkins@hawaii.edu
Reply
post #9 of 14
Due to the amount of water in potatoes, I recommend laying the slices on a bed of rock salt (do this with baked potatoes, too, scoring the top for moisture release). When you leave them just laying there with no air circulation on all sides, you'll end up steaming them, creating soggy fries (or a not truly baked potato). The rock salt will soak up some of that moisture and let more air underneath all while adding a little seasoning at the same time!
gXa
Geoffrey Atkins
Culinary Institute of the Pacific
gatkins@hawaii.edu
Reply
gXa
Geoffrey Atkins
Culinary Institute of the Pacific
gatkins@hawaii.edu
Reply
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
April........Thank you for that suggestion. I was wondering though, how do your fries turn out the way you do them?? I've tried baking the potatoes in the oven, and I've tried to "bake" them in the microwave. I absolutely can't stand the way they turn out in the microwave, I would rather settle for the hour they take to do in the oven rather than the few minutes they take in the microwave.

gXtXa......Thank you as well. I will have to try doing the fries without the salt. I can't have an excess of salt as I have high blood pressure. How would it work if I were to flip them after baking them half the time??

Jen
post #11 of 14
you'd probably still get a slightly soggy fry, but not nearly as bad as you would not flipping em. also, if you get a very coarse rock salt, the amount of salt on the fry after cooking would be negligible. like i said, its all just helping with the airflow. still, flipping them is worth a shot. learning from trial and error is the best way.
gXa
Geoffrey Atkins
Culinary Institute of the Pacific
gatkins@hawaii.edu
Reply
gXa
Geoffrey Atkins
Culinary Institute of the Pacific
gatkins@hawaii.edu
Reply
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
True, I know I will have to go trial and error for the baking time anyway. I will try it without the salt to see how they come out. If they turn out soggy, I will try them with the salt.

I would prefer not to use the salt, but I will if they turn out soggy. I really hope something works for me as I really would love to have "french fries" again.

Jen
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
I tried the baked french fries tonight and they turned out not too bad, actually. I baked them for 20-30 min on 425 F heat and as long as they were still hot to warm, they were crispy. When they got cool, they were less crispy, which is to be expected anyway. I did not use the salt and they were not soggy.

I was impressed with the result and I will have them again like this. :smiles:

Jen
post #14 of 14
Cut potatoes. Rinse the potatoes to remove excess starch. Blanch the potatoes in water until they are *just* cooked, then cool off on a tray. Cook them under a broiler to finish, turning them so all sides are browned.
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