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brown fries

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am having trouble with my fries. I use fresh unpeeled potatos, and soak them in cold water. Then I blanch them in 350 degree oil for three minutes and put them in my cooler. When I go to finish cooking them in 380 degree oil, I have to cook them until they are dark brown to make them crispy. They taste great but look awful. Any suggustions so they cook and not get so dark? Thanks Todd
post #2 of 12
What type of potato are you using? Some potatoes have different starch levels. Sometimes there is even a difference in the same type of potato (russets) grown in different areas of the country. I've found that 90 count bakers from WA somtimes cook darker than 90 count from ID. Also I always kept my blanched fries at room temp. Don't know if this will help, good luck.
post #3 of 12
I would second that it is most likely the type of potato used. Are you using russets? Yukon Gold?

Standard russets are probably best.

You might also try blanching at a lower temp. Try like 275-300, for about 5 mins. The gentler less high heat cooking might help them become less dark brown in the end.
post #4 of 12
Agreed. Try blanching at 300-325 for about 2-4 minutes, then cool. Then fry at 375. Classic pommes frites.
post #5 of 12

You might try a little sugar in the water.

I don't know what ratio but one of the tricks I heard was to use a small amount in the soaking water. Potatoes develop more sugar over time which makes slightly older potatoes better for frying. The premise is that the sugar causes them to crisp up faster.

I believe a large major food chain uses this trick as well...:D .

April
post #6 of 12
I second the lower frying point for the first blanch. I had a French visitor some years ago who made french fries on my stovetop without a thermometer. She could tell the temperature by looking at the oil, then confirm it with a sliver of potato in the oil. She blanched them for about 5 minutes, gently turning the potatoes as they blanched. She removed them, let them drain and cool slightly while the oil heated to the higher temperature. (Again, her eyes and experience served as the thermometer.) She returned the fries and stirred them until they were "bien doré"- nicely golden. She used russet potatoes for this. They didn't taste like European potatoes, but they don't use russets- theirs are starchy but creamier.
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post #7 of 12
Make sure when you soak them, you change the water until it stays clear. Potatoes do convert starch to sugar, so older potatoes will work better. McDonalds used to make all their fries from fresh potatoes. They used litmus paper to test for sugar content and if it wasn't high enough they'd put the potatoes aside to age some more. I think 380 degrees is excessive for the final cooking. I'm nothing if not a fry cook, and unless you're cooking donuts I think anything over 360 degrees is excessive. Cooking oil breaks down and deteriorates at temperatures above 360. I have never figured out why the two step method is required for fries, but I'm so scientist. I just know that's how everyone does it.
post #8 of 12
The best potatoes for fries are kennebecs.
post #9 of 12
My favorite potatoes to use are russets, Yukon gold, and kennebecs. Russets are your basic standard potatoes, with a simple versatile flavor that always pleases everyone. You might want a different approach with Yukon golds. Yukon golds taste like butter, so they are great for things like french fries or mashed potatoes. Kennebecs are the fries used in In-n-out, which are great restaurant-style potatoes to use. And remember, presentation is nice, but flavor is key. These potatoes are usually great for just about everything.
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post #10 of 12
are you absolutely certain your fries aren't crisp even when they're just very lightly browned? It's very common for people to overcook things (meat, veg, everything) because they are afraid they aren't cooked or hot enough. If you blanch your fries (I agree, around 300-325 for blancing), you should just do your second fry (at around 370, IMO) until the outside is crisp (take it out, give it a feel or a bite), or just slightly browned.

Oh, and I like russets too.
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post #11 of 12

Cooler issue?

Could it be that you pulled the fries out of the cooler and then straight into the oil? Room temp potatoes might cook more evenly. Perhaps a few moments in the oven to even the temp might help.
post #12 of 12
Foregive my mentioning it, but I assume that you do not store your potatoes in the refrigerator. The way in which they are store affects everything about the way the cook .... NEVER store potatoes in the refrigerator.
If you soak them in water prior to frying, be certain to chill them during the soaking process and be sure to dry them completely before introducing them to the hot oil. This is not only for safety (to reduce boil up in the oil) but it helps them crisp better as it reduces the steam that is created in the potato slice during initial cooking.
I blanch at 350 degrees, remove, drain and chill in refrigerator then take directly from refrigerator and fry at 360 degrees.
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