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How Do Your Fries Stack Up?

The perfect french fry can elevate a meal from run of the mill to exquisite decadence: crispy
on the outside, pillowy in the middle, savory and starchy, it is a staple side for good reason.
Because of that, it’s definitely a good idea to make sure your fries are what they should be,
and think of cost-effective ways to elevate your french fries to keep people coming back for
more. As a starting point, here are a few basics of fry magic-- not just the ABCs of making
them, but some pointers for how to improve on what you’ve got already.

What makes a perfect french fry?


To begin with, there are three main categories to judge french fries on: appearance, taste,
and texture. While fries might seem like such a basic food that it’s nearly impossible to

mess them up, the characteristics of a perfect french fry are pretty much set in stone, and
without knowing them, you can’t fairly judge what you’ve got.
Appearance
The perfect french fry is-- of course-- golden brown. It’s no wonder that that phrase appears
on so many packages; it’s a sign that the outside of the potato is thoroughly cooked and
crisp. Occasionally there might be a few spots where leftover potato peels darken a bit
more than the rest of the potato, but uniform color is a hallmark of a great fry; if there are
dark spots that aren’t from peels, those indicate overcooking and uneven cooking-- an
indicator that fryers might not be working properly.

Texture

French fries should be lightly crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside-- they should
never be obviously greasy or mushy. The best fries are made from fresh potatoes, and
usually fried twice: once to par-cook the cut potatoes, eliminating some of the water from
the inside of the pieces, and a second time to complete the cooking at set the crisp exterior.
Of course, there is a place for par-cooked, frozen fries, in terms of saving time and
prepwork, but fresh-cut fries will always be superior, particularly because the texture is
easier to control; with frozen products, accidental thawing and other factors can affect the
finished product.

Taste


While french fries have a reputation for being decadently fatty, they should never taste
greasy, or-- perish the thought-- like anything else that has been in the fryer. They should be
lightly salty, and have the slightly sweet and earthy taste of the potatoes themselves.
Nobody likes a fry that tastes like salty grease and styrofoam.

How to get the perfect fries


Well-made french fries come down to three basic things: good potatoes, good equipment,
and good technique. Fresh-cut fries are almost always the best, so while prepping pounds
upon pounds of potatoes might sometimes seem like more trouble than it’s worth, it can

make a huge difference in having a consistently satisfying end product. Restaurant
equipment is another major-- but relatively simple-- factor: your fryers should be the right
temperature, clean, and efficient. Technique comes down to knowing how to double-cook
the fries, how to clean and peel and cut the potatoes, and how long to hold fries before
making a new batch.
Restaurant supply stores can provide not only the deep fryers you may need-- in whatever
size you need-- but also tools of the trade to quickly peel and cut potatoes uniformly each
time. Important factors to consider when buying equipment are how easy it will be to clean
as often as you can, and how easy your equipment will be to service and/or replace. There
are a range of options to fit any and all operations, so it’s easy to find exactly what you
need.
In addition to good potatoes, you need good-- and clean fry oil. Oil that’s too clean,
obviously, is going to result in pale, undercooked fries; but oil should be carefully
monitored to keep debris out of it, and changed regularly to make sure that it hasn’t gone
rancid or taken on any odors over the course of use. Keeping the oil fresh is one of the key
factors in making sure your fries are great.

It’s a worthwhile idea to check on the consistency and the quality of your fries on a regular
basis, and to make sure your equipment is up to snuff. Deep fryers and other restaurant
equipment can make a huge difference between french fries that are just okay and ones
that have customers ordering extra servings. With a wide range of options available for
restaurants of all sizes, it’s possible to make room in almost any budget to update the key
equipment as needed and take things to the next level.

2018-03-22 00:00:00
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