The additional boiling brought no new attributes to my fries, they were the same as they generally are, good but not great. We blanched fries for 6 lengths of time: between 5 minutes 20 seconds and 20 minutes. I grew Kennebecs last summer, and — although I didn’t fry any of them — they were indeed delicious right out of the ground. In the informal side-by-side tests I have run over the years, dried fries have always won. As if on cue, Alex posted about In N Out’s great burgers and shitty fries: His answer was “it’s the best.” I knew that was going to be what he was going to say. We had always liked them –because they are super-crunchy, but now we were a little disappointed by the texture. For my 355ºF fry, I heat my oil to max(375ºF). We are super, super careful when we take the fries out of the water. [3] Blanching is also utilized to preserve color, flavor, and nutritional value. I’d be interested to see if we can find a way to control for that.”. I don’t know if there is some fungus out there that you could culture and have the same effect. These delicious, slender fries have a crisp exterior and a creamy interior, contain 1/3 less oil than traditional methods, and could not be easier to make. The texture was a side issue we noticed. This should give us a “no touch” fry. Kenji Alt The SP-L injected fries were a complete disaster. I think the 170 degree part (for longer than 15 minutes since your fries are bigger) is definitely worth a shot since during your process the fries are reportedly quite fragile. The blanching mode was referred to Yang, Wu, Li, Zhang, and Qi (2019), and with some modifications. To summarize the differences: McDonalds fries are 1/4″ square, yours are 3/8″. On an average week, we go through 500lbs of French fries. Heston says to fry at 250°f for this step, but I found with a home sized fryer like mine, the batch of fries made the temperature … I have seen all of the suggestions about blanching. davearnold barely swings and recovers in a flash. So I did not believe him 100% when he mentioned this potato from Maine called Kennebeck. N.B. I run a small diner and we are looking to use homemade French fries as opposed to the frozen variety. [5], Traditionally, blanching is done using either a water bath or saturated steam. // May 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm. As the potato is fried, the starch swells and eventually dehydrates, forming a crust on the fry. [5] The degree to which compounds diffuse out of food depends on the food's composition and characteristics, the water to food ratio, the blanching temperature, and other variables. I love your scientific analyzations of food. davearnold Blanching is a cooking process in which a food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is scalded in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocking or refreshing) to halt the cooking process. The 20 minute fries didn’t brown well and were overly salty; nobody liked them. Turn off the heat once the water starts to boil. // May 15, 2010 at 6:42 pm. Sometimes, if the fries don’t get dried off right away, I’ll put the convection on low (60 or 70°C) to dry them out faster. [4] Blanching is often seen as a pre-process to later preservation steps. This just means precooking the fries in oil preheated to 350 degrees F. for about three to five minutes, depending on the thickness (the thicker the fries, the longer the blanching). In the French fries production line or potato chips production line, we usually blanching machine. [4] Ascorbic acid, thiamin, and many aromatic compounds are heat-sensitive. Now if you could just figure out the secret recipe for the Krabby Patty… Are you folks still selling the Pectinex SP-L? The water never went below 85°C and it returned to a boil in 1 minute 30 seconds. The only case of fat blanching that I know of is in making really good French fries… Breakage is a problem. Ack – just saw you address that in a tiny graf towards the bottom of the story. Make sure the water temperature doesn’t drop below 80°C. We boiled a large amount of water and added all the potatoes at once. But now that I was more focused on internal texture, I wasn’t sure how the tests would pan out. The one thing I’m a little surprised you guys didn’t try out was higher frying temperatures (like, borderline-dangerous temps). We don't know why. Conclusion: There is a line of comments on this in the first fry post. you can make crunchy fries a number of ways, but the best way to control the inside texture and outside texture is by blanching then frying twice. Blanching stops enzyme actions which otherwise cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Are your fries 3/8 inch? // May 30, 2010 at 11:57 am. Once the fries are dry and cold, fry at 325°f until a crust forms. This was a fry you could eat cold. When making french fries, the cut potatoes are often blanched in medium-heat oil and then cooled before frying them a second time at a higher temperature. [8], Fruits, vegetable, and nut peeling are also important in food processing. I haven’t thought about it. After washing, additional blanching can be done by adding low concentration of glucose. // May 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm. 4 and 5 are especially important. I ‘ve sent a paypal payment to Nastassia but got no reply. Blanching and freezing potatoes for French fries is a simple process. Awesome detailed analyzation of the humble fry. [5] Drawbacks to the blanching process can include leaching of water-soluble and heat sensitive nutrients and the production of effluent. After my first try, I was astonished and convinced that he was right. [3], The blanching process expels air trapped inside plant tissues, which is a vital step before canning. Another unexpected aspect is, there were a few left around the next morning and in the interest of science I tried one and it was still very nice. For blanching potatoes, you want to start with room temperature water. I’m anxious to try the myhrvold/young method that uses an ultrasonic bath. [6] In both methods, the food is heated for a short period of time and then introduced into either cold water or cold air to quickly stop the heating process. What is blanching potatoes? From experience I feel the first fry shouldn’t be too hot, because you need to develop the crust as well as partially dehydrate the potato without browning; but the oil temperature can be significantly higher than it would be in a no-blanch fry because it isn’t necessary to cook the potato in the frying process. Hmm… Degustation of chippies. This takes out the excess starch from the outside of the potato. While water blanching is used for many purposes, fat blanching is a method to partially cook a dense vegetable without browning it. I haven’t adequately tested different frying regimens. Hi Dave, great stuff as always! I don’t think most cooks (who don’t get to use professional equipment) understand how much better a professional fryer is than a home fryer. Or does the sp-l help so much that they don’t fall apart? I don't think it is increased roughness which is causing the fries to get crunchy. Recently I have had an opportunity to make potato chips in the restaurant that I work for. This may be a dumb question (I checked back through the post, and couldn’t find a clear answer), but did you try a control group of fries soaked in plain water for an hour to compare if soaking had any affect on its own? ), davearnold I prefer the higher crust ratio with thinner fries. Our standard practice has been to dry out our fries after the blanch, but before the first fry. [3] The most common enzyme responsible for off-flavors is lipoxygenase (LOX), found in several vegetables. Does the 14.30 refer to a standard fry or do you cut thicker? Add citrus acid or vinegar to the water solution to prevent darkening. // May 29, 2010 at 8:55 am. Before I answer your question, I think the SP-L soak time should probably be increased to 2 hours. Dunno if endogenous enzymes will work. potatoes should be chilled after cutting in cold water for 10 minutes to 30 minutes before frying, to ensure maximum crispiness and so they To prevent darkening, add citrus acid or vinegar to the water solution. Go to and use the email address: Dave, It takes a long time to cook potatoes in vinegar. Brilliant stuff, but what would be the “spoiler alert” for those of us that can’t secure Pectinex SP-L? The ATK method calls for soaking the cut potatoes in hot water for 10 minutes before baking them. How to Make Crispy French Fries at Home. The 170 degrees for 15 minutes show that you both purposely overcook your spuds. On the other hand, the SP-L soaked fries were crunchy enough straight out of the fryer, had a great potato flavor, and tasted not good, but great, when cold. It is made by the same folks who bring you Pectinex SP-L and Pectinex Smash XXL, and it is intended to firm up fruits. Third Rule: Make sure your blanching water is boiling, and don’t let the water temperature get below 80°C. McDonalds also obviously freezes their fries. fries came out fantastic – probably the best I’ve ever had – but I did have quite a few casualties that basically disintegrated when I gently put my spider into the simmering water to remove them… is there a trick, or should I build a draining rack that can be put in the pot prior to adding the fries so I can just lift the whole pile out of the water without disturbing them? Would the PME do its thing on the blackberries and allow their cooking without breaking down? Start the blanch with cold water, or allow the temperature of the blanch water to dip below 70°C when you add the potatoes to the water. I have two, two bay Fryolators. Yep. Some fries, like the SP-l soaked, shouldn’t be force dried at all. These pictures reprinted without permission from "The Effects of Enzymes on Fat Content and Texture of French Fries", G. Lisinska, et al. We blanched two batches of fries, one in boiling 3% salt water, one in boiling plain water. Not to demean your extensive efforts to produce the perfect french fry, but McDonald’s did not blanch their fries in boiling water for 15 minutes. It stayed hard as it cooled, but we didn’t find it pleasant. Plus, who wants to make fries that look like McDonalds fries??? Every time he mentions anything that are related to those 2 things, he goes extremely favorable to whatevery he is talking about. However, in this guide, we are focusing on blanching in water. i know they make sweet potato fries crispy, so maybe it’s worth trying next to the sp-l? The fries that had had not been dried, although not as crunchy as their dried brethren, always had a better internal texture and potato flavor, and remained pleasant even when cold –sometimes they even seemed to get better. One of the chefs was from Maine and he loves Red Sox. They use Kennebecs. Given our blanching times, the soak didn’t make a difference in those tests. Would a little dextrose matter? I also believe that McDonalds uses multiple varieties of potatoes in their fries. Start the blanch with cold water, or allow the temperature of the blanch water to dip below 70°C when you add the potatoes to the water. It just has to form a crust. killing the enzymes that make the potatoes turn purpley-brown. When I’ve used them, I have been getting them directly from the farmer and frying them the day after they were picked. That does wonders for the fry taste. You may benefit from the information found in this article on the industrial process by which McDonalds french fries are created: The cold reality is that McDonalds has forgotten more about french fries than any of us will ever know. Spoiler alert: here’s the final answer … Soak the cut fries for one hour in a room temperature solution of Pectinex SP-L (a pectolytic and hemicellulolytic enzyme mix), blanch in boiling water (don’t overload your blanching container) for 14 minutes 30 seconds (assuming your water takes 1:30 to get back to boil), do not dry before frying. This reduced heat exposure preserves color, flavor, and overall quality of the food; however, evaporation may occur leading to lower masses and product yields. Using the fry twice method in rendered beef suet, fries from different potatoes in a batch would result in part “perfect fries” and part soggy unacceptable fries. During producing potato chips or french fries, we generally need to put chips/frozen fries in the hot water for a while. We did this one just for giggles, even though we were skeptical about using PME. We blanched a bunch of fries using several techniques: SP-L soak, PME soak, boiling blanch, blanch from cold, etc. Forgive me if this is off topic. Too much crunch becomes hardness –a turn-off. Howdy Kenneth T, Fry a second time in 190°C oil till crispy and golden brown. Here’s how… [5] Blanching prevents the expansion of air during processing, which reduces strain on the containers and the risk of cans having faulty seams. For our test, we started from cold and blanched for 25 minutes (it took about 15 minutes to boil). He set up conditioning rooms in the basements with fans to allow the potatoes 3 weeks time to convert sugars built up in cold storage to convert back into starch. On one hand this gives you an advantage as you could make all of your fries out of one kind of potato if you wanted but I doubt it will make a difference as their isn’t a huge variation between individual McDonalds fries, at least not that I’ve noticed. Tavarino tried it out and said it didn’t work. Looking forward to your third installment of this series where you intend to evaluate the importance of potato variety, specific gravity and the effects of conditioning. Is there anyway to add the proper enzymes to the water soak without the Novozyme product… like adding another vegetable, fruit, hunk of raw meat, etc. The most outstanding and shockingly easy fries I have make lately were sweet potatoes, washed, unpeeled. Cesar Vega Kroc fried twice in a 94% beef tallow/ 6% cottonseed oil mix , once blanching at 300 degrees then frying at 350 degrees. The current technique in a nutshell: Peel potatoes, cut into fries and rinse. Fries made from peeled potatoes should be chilled after cutting in cold water for 30 minutes to 2 hours before frying to ensure maximum crispiness. Blanche the cut potatoes in water lightly acidified with vinegar, to allow them to cook through while the acid keeps the pectin from decomposing and causing the fries to fall apart. I think most people assume the difference is only a matter of power and capacity. Chefs and home cooks use blanching for a variety of reasons including peeling fruits and vegetables, brighten food colors, prepare for freezing and prep for mis en place. // May 14, 2010 at 9:26 am. I suppose a next question would be potato age, different varieties of potatoes and types of oil. After the potatoes are drained, they are cooked in a low-temperature deep fryer. Even though the Kennebec fry’s exterior is adequately crispy (and stays crispy), the interior sucks. It has two functions:When putting cold water, it is a vegetable and fruit cleaning equipment that can be used to clean a variety of fruit and vegetables. But now I believe it. [3], Blanching is a process used in the home kitchen as well as used as a pre-treatment in the food industry. We inject vinegar into raw fries and then blanch those fries in vinegar. Howdy JK, [5][7], Blanching preserves the flavors found in fruits and vegetables by inactivating enzymes responsible for off-flavor development. altering the texture of the finished fry. Howdy Lou, Recipe is from Cook's Illustrated (July, 2009) and the method is attributed to Michelin-starred French chef Jöel Robuchon. davearnold Then cooled in cold water for 10 min to ambient temperature. Granted, our focus with the recipe was more on hassle and less on quality – we would never be able to publish a three-stage fry. A Response from a Former Cooks Illustrated Tester on Frying in Cold Oil: “We didn’t have the same problem that you guys did with the fries – they were slightly greasier than normal but by no means unacceptably so, and they stayed crisp for longer as well. With a lower oil temperature, the fry spends more time cooking through, and presumably loses more moisture as well. Blanching is the next step in the process, which includes putting the fries into boiling water for a short period and then into cold water immediately after. Just curious if you were planning to follow up and test varieties of potatoes for french fries as well? [5] When almonds or pistachios are blanched, the skin of the nut (botanically the seed coat surrounding the embryo) softens and can be easily removed later. Howdy Kenji, The key to professional tube-style fryers, as you know, is two-fold — 1. huge amounts of power delivered over a large surface area which minimizes recovery time and local overheating; 2. the establishment of a cold-zone underneath the tubes that allows particles to settle to the bottom without scorching and ruining the oil. To test this hypothesis, we made 3 batches of fries: We took oversize fries; blanched the hell out of them; then cut them down with a sharp knife. We figure the best way to do this in a restaurant situation is to use a pasta cooker for blanching. I have tested Kennebecs extensively (though not with your rigor) after hearing lots about how great they are. Weird, because they were all cooked in the same pot. hey Dave – just tried the 2 hour SP-L soak/14:30 simmer/fry/fry…. You don’t want the fry to colour. For some French Fry background, see the previous post FF Supremacy Part 1. Great fries can be made by keeping the skin on to enhance the homemade appearance and flavor. Food Chemistry, vol 102 (2007) 1055-1060). Not true. You can usually test the water just by placing your finger in it, although you should wash your hands first. Howdy Sheryl, Notice the dried fry on top is hollow, but the bottom one is not. As for me, I’ve sworn them off as inevitably producing a not-that-delicious fry, and have since tried them at several restaurants that touted the potato variety and felt the same way. Fat blanching is very different from boiling water blanching. I haven’t done too much research on sweet-potato fries. The dried, standard-boil guys were crunchy –but a bit hollow. Spare no procedure when looking for the ultimate fry! We do them in straight vinegar. Do you still have Pectinex SP-L?