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Need a good French fry method

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have a really good method of making oven baked French fries?  I’ve tried par-boiling and flash frying them but they still lack the texture of high quality, (high priced) frozen varieties.

post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelchef View Post

Does anyone have a really good method of making oven baked French fries?  I’ve tried par-boiling and flash frying them but they still lack the texture of high quality, (high priced) frozen varieties.

 

What texture are you going for?  There's a hundred different ways to make a fry.  How thick do you want them, are you against frying them, and I haven't had the frozen kind to know what you mean about their texture.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Wow! I had no idea there were so many acceptable ways to prepare french fries.

My cutter is standard size, whatever commercial fries are about 7mm. The texture I'm seeking is creamy inside with a dark, crispy outside. It can be done easily in hot oil but the healthier oven method eludes me.

post #4 of 24

I've never heard of a standard size for french fries, they come in all sizes.  From McDonald's thin all the way to wedges which is one potato cut into 4.  For what you describe, (fluffy inside - dark outside) I can't think of a way to do that in the oven unless your oven is very very high, high enough to burn quick.  Try it, Steam the potatoes, season them with oil and whatever seasonings you like and put them in a very hot oven but keep an eye on them.  Maybe even the broiler would work. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

Sorry, when I think of french fries a vision of 'typical' fast food fries comes to mind. I didn't think of the wedges, man-size or even shoestring. your point is taken as well as the advice. My oven goes to 550F so I'll give your suggestion a try. Thanks!

post #6 of 24
I use a method for baked potatoes that yields a crunchy brown exterior and fluffy interior. Maybe you can apply some of this technique to your French fries to get what you are looking for.

I take 70 count russet potatoes, peel and dice(6 pieces each). Then boil the potatoes for 12-15 minutes. They should be raw in the middle and only 1/4" around the outside should be cooked( start with boiling water). Drain the potatoes and toss with whatever oil and seasonings you like and lay out on a sheet tray to cool. Pop the chilled potatoes in a 400*F oven and bake about 30 minutes. The cooked part of the potato creates a nice crust while the inner portion steams itself.

For fries, the times and temps will be different. I'm thinking that due to their delicate shape that you may want to try steaming them and then spray with oil/ flavoring solution prior to baking at what I would guess to be a higher temperature. Just thinking out loud here, I hope this could be helpful.
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

Your advice is appreciated. I’ve tried similar approaches but it seems that only oil is going to give us the finish we’re looking for.

I tried steaming some today but later in a 500F oven they quickly turned into very hard dog treats.

Will just keep trying but oil seems to be the only solution.

Thanks for replying

post #8 of 24

I've had pretty good success with cutting them in 1/4 -5/8 inch thick sticks, then give a light coating of oil. I usually just toss them in a large bowl with some oil, not a lot. If your focus is minimal oil, give them a good dose of oil in the bowl to coat, then spin in a salad spinner to leave just a sheen.  Season them before baking is better in my opinion, and I'm a big fan of seasoning them with sumac and  za'atar for this technique. Space them out evenly and bake them at 450 on a parchment lined baking sheet 20-30 minutes. Toss and redistribute at about the halfway point in cooking as they brown more on the side touching the metal tray.

 

Best with a harissa spiked toum (which sort of defeats the lower fat of baking the fries, but it's so good with the za'atar)

 

I've had good success with this toum recipe which I usually do with a stick blender.

post #9 of 24

Sorry it didn't work.  The good thing about potatoes is they're cheap and you can experiment with them indefinitely.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 24

Ruxbin which is a great restaurant in Chicago has a fantastic step by step blog on how they make their fries.

 

http://ruxbin.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/homefries/

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hey Nicko,

 

The link was fantastic and now has us sidetracked.

 

We have pretty much decided that what we want to achieve can only be done by deep-frying.

 

Thanks to everyone who offered ideas and suggestions.

post #12 of 24

Ha I guess I should not of skimmed over the thread (bad habit). 

 

Cooks Illustrated has a good technique. Soak the potatoes first in water to remove the starch. Season with oil, salt and pepper then cover them with foil in the first 5 minutes. Bake at 475. Be sure to flip the potatoes half way through.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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post #13 of 24

Yo can also tray one of those new artifacts: Airfryer from Phillips or Tefal Actifry. Almost no oil at all. Just a few drops. But I never tried them son no idea of the results.

post #14 of 24

Nathans  f Coney Iland made great fries  they were thick crinkle cut fried in peanut oil and with an onion cut in half in the oil first  for flavor then taken out when thoroughly cooked.

CHEFED
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post #15 of 24

Ming Tsai has used an actifry on his show. Results looked pretty good.

post #16 of 24

The Tefal Actifry was launched in the UK a number of years ago, initially it was dogged by reports of the machine exploding.

post #17 of 24

The Emeril Lagasi deep fryer is pretty good. It even strains and stores oil, and thermostat is dead on as I checked it with extrnal thermometer.

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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kippers View Post

The Tefal Actifry was launched in the UK a number of years ago, initially it was dogged by reports of the machine exploding.

 

Yikes! Talk about a bad day in the kitchen the last thing you want is any amount of hot oil exploding onto you.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
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post #19 of 24

Has anyone tried the Russian method of making chips(fries)? Place large winter store pots in a net and hang them in a warm dark place till the go wrinkly and look like you should throw them away.Peel, thick cut, twice fry for the crispest tastiest fries ever.I wall told that the starch turns into sugar hence the golden and very crispy shell.

 

They are the Dogs eaten with a unctuous strog. 

post #20 of 24

Potatoes start convert their starch to sugar at temps somewhat under 50F. Basically, preparing through winter for a new growth in the spring.  So refrigeration should get you to the same point faster than aging them.

post #21 of 24

700

I grow about 6 varieties of spuds each year, these are 25% of my roosters drying before winter storage.They shed is insulated and double glazed to stop temp extremes. These spuds take about 6 to 7 months to hit wrinkly perfection, if I put them in a net in the airing cupboard( dark and always warm) they take about 4 weeks to be ready?

post #22 of 24

I use Russet potatoes cut lengthwise into 1/8s, boiled in salted water for 11-12 min then into an oven at 450 for about 10-15 min.  For a little extra color hit the broiler for a couple of minutes.  If you want to season them do it just before they go in the oven, I usually salt mine then.

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of your suggestions I've managed to acheive what was sought. As a bonus we have discovered Yam Fries which are sensational. Thanks to all.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelchef View Post

Thanks to all of your suggestions I've managed to acheive what was sought. As a bonus we have discovered Yam Fries which are sensational. Thanks to all.

What was your method?

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