5 Tips for Serving Better French Fries from Pitco
It’s indisputable: America loves French fries. The average American consumes about 30 pounds of fries yearly, and seven percent of all potatoes grown in the United States head to McDonald’s to become fries. While there’s consumer interest in health, Americans continue to commit to restaurants serving the best French fries in ways that often go beyond what’s on the center of the plate or weighing down the takeout bag. This means it’s even more important to make sure those fries are served with high quality and consistency in mind.
Since Thomas Jefferson introduced French fries to America in the 1700s, they’ve grown in popularity. French fries have a museum, most toddlers’ first vegetable is the potato (as a French fry), and true connoisseurs of the fry understand that not all potatoes make equal quality fries. But what factors into the perfect fry?
What Does a Better French Fry Look Like?
French fries are typically the one variable in any bag of fast food. While it’s a generalization to say this, consumers typically know what to expect when it comes to the burger in the bag, And the soft drink is the soft drink. But the fries, on the other hand, are the variable. They can come cold or soggy, oversalted, or just right.
But what is “just right”? The Goldilocks French fry is most likely considered to be a combination of texture, temperature, and flavor. If an operator can get those three factors right and do it consistently, they have a distinct advantage over those who can’t.
The Three-Minute Mistake: Understanding the Role of Oil Temperature
Of all the factors that contribute to crafting a better French fry, the frying process is likely the most important. A commercial fryer should provide the proper conditions for French fry creations. That includes a frying basin that is large enough to process any given batch of French fries.
The frying oil is also critical. It should be filtered appropriately to ensure quality, as rancid oil will adversely affect both French fry flavors and aromas. During the cooking process, that oil should be held at the proper temperature without great fluctuations in either direction. For example, if a new batch of frozen fries is dropped into a fryer basket and that basket is dropped into the oil, how long will it take for that oil to retain its original temperature? The answer to this type of question will directly impact the quality and consistency of the cooked fries.
So how can operators ensure consistent, delicious, and crisp French fries that everyone craves? Follow these French fry cooking tips from Pitco:
Pitco’s Tips for Serving Better French Fries
1) Start with the Right Potato
2) Pre-treat the Potatoes
Before cooking potatoes, soak them in cold water for about 30 minutes. Rinse them, drain the water from them, and pat dry once they’ve been soaked.
3) Consider Blanching Your Fries
The blanching process, which is often cited as the top contributor to perfect fries, involves dipping your fries into scalding water or oil very briefly. Then they’re put back into cold water to interrupt the cooking process. This prevents discoloration and kills off harmful organisms that could be present in the potato.
4) Cook with Skill
Ensure you use high-quality oil meant for potato frying. Avoid overcrowding the fryer. And make sure to fry them for the proper amount of time. Drain and serve properly. You don’t want to leave the customer with a bunch of oil on their plate.
5) Seasoning Means Serving the Best French Fries
Some French fry cooking tips from the best grills, bistros, and chains involve seasoning. When consumers think about eating fries from some of the most iconic places, they’re thinking about different tastes. All thanks to the distinguishing seasoning of their fries. A cook should consider what seasoning works best with the other food served at the restaurant. This is especially important as fries are often paired with chicken fingers, Cajun food, and many types of seafood.
The Unsung Hero: Why Frying Equipment Matters in French Fry Perfection
Serving the best French fries is ultimately a product of the fryer. Using the right commercial fryer in terms of size and throughput, as well as the oil filtered through that fryer’s oil management system, will impact the quality of the French fry more than anything else. Finding a fryer that can accommodate high-volume orders and utilizing holding equipment that can help ensure quality are all parts of the Better Fry Equation.
Not sure which fryer might work best? Try the new Pitco Fryer Selector tool to learn more:
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