French fries are a classic staple of American cuisine. If you've ever considered frying up your own, you might have some questions about the process. In particular, you are probably wondering whether or not you should boil or freeze French fries before frying them. Look no further. For your convenience, we have done the research for you all about the best methods for frying French fries.
It is a good idea to boil fries before frying them. Boiling them begins the cooking process, ensuring that you will get crispy french fries every time. It is not necessary to freeze french fries before frying them, but it does result in a desirable texture if you do.
Keep reading to learn more about whether or not you should boil or freeze French fries before frying them. We will talk more about methods of frying, as well as whether or not you can freeze raw potatoes for french fries, should you thaw frozen potatoes before frying them, and why people soak potatoes in water before air frying --all these details and more!
Methods of Frying
There are various frying methods, such as deep frying, pan frying, and air frying. Each of these methods affects the outcome of the fries in different ways.
Deep frying requires oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, peanut oil, or canola oil. When using this method, you submerge frozen french fries in the hot oil set at 375°F. Thinner fries need to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Thicker fries need to fry for 5 to 6 minutes.
Pan frying is when you use a skillet or pan and fry french fries in hot oil in it. You should heat the oil to 400°F to maintain the necessary internal temperature of 360°F. This method takes approximately 15 minutes.
Air frying is a modern day alternative to deep frying and pan frying. It is a healthier choice because you do not need oil. An air fryer takes about 10 minutes to cook a batch of frozen french fries at 400°F.
All About French Fries
It is important to maintain the internal moisture of French fries. When that moisture is gone, it can not turn to steam as it cooks from the inside out, so the fries will become greasy.
If French fries get overcooked, they will become dark brown --and if they are really overdone, they will be too hard. It is helpful to check your French fries halfway through the cooking process to be sure you take them out at the best possible time.
There are a few ways to cook French fries that will come out the way you want them to. It is best to use baking potatoes, known as Russets.
The best way to cook French fries at home and have them come out thoroughly cooked and crisp, fry them twice. Once at a lower temperature and again at a higher temperature.
How to Make French Fries at Home
First, wash your potatoes and decide if you are keeping the skin on them or peeling them. Either peel them or move onto the next step. Next, cut the potatoes into strips that are 1/4-inch thick.
It is important to cut your potatoes into pieces that are uniform so that they evenly cook. A mandolin is a great kitchen tool that will help with this process. You can use a chef knife otherwise.
After cutting them, it is time to boil your French fries. That is if you choose to anyway. Blanching them in boiling water helps ensure your fries are cooked or at least softened before crisping them in whatever fryer you choose. This only takes about 3 to 5 minutes.
Allow the French fries to cool and dry out slightly but not completely. Next, fry them in hot oil, preferably 400°F, for three minutes or until they are your desired crispiness. If you prefer an air fryer, you can cook them for 10 minutes at 400°F.
Use tongs to remove the fries and place them onto paper towels. This will soak up some of the excess oil. Salt them to your liking. Some garlic lovers substitute garlic salt. Pepper and ranch powder are two other options to add to your French fries when seasoning them as well.
Lastly, let them cool, serve, and enjoy!
Can you freeze raw potatoes for french fries?
Yes, you can freeze raw potatoes that are already cut into French fry lengths. When doing so, you need to freeze them laying flat and straight if you want them to retain that shape. Whatever shape you freeze them in is how they will still turn out when they are finished cooking.
It is not necessarily essential that you freeze your potatoes before frying them. If you are in a hurry, you can skip that step. Otherwise, freezing them does make the inside more fluffy.
If you do not freeze your fries after boiling or blanching them, allow them to cool before adding them to hot oil. It is dangerous to add anything wet into very hot oil.
Should I thaw frozen potatoes before frying?
You should not thaw frozen potatoes before frying them. If you do, they will not cook the way you want them to. They can easily become greasy due to not having enough moisture to cook all the way through.
If the french fries that you are making are already frozen they should stay inside of the freezer until you are ready to use them. Fries turn brown if they thaw prior to cooking them.
How long do you deep fry frozen potatoes?
The answer to this question depends on the size or thickness of the frozen potatoes. Thicker fries you have to deep fry at a higher temperature than shoestring fries.
A temperature of 375°F works well for shoestring French fries and basket-weave French fries. As for steak fries, curly fries, or crinkle cut, 400°F works best.
Shoestring fries and basket-weave fries take 2 to 3 minutes while steak fries, curly fries, and crinkle cut fries need to fry for 5 to 6 minutes.
What oil is best for french fries?
Peanut oil is best for frying French fries because it has an extremely high smoke point while delivering a great flavor. Alternative oils with a high smoke point will work as a substitute for peanut oil. Canola oil, grape-seed oil, and vegetable oil work well for fries too.
Should you boil fries before air frying?
Yes. You should blanch, also known as poaching, fries before air frying them if you want them to be cooked all the way through without becoming overcooked.
It is helpful to boil your French fries before frying them. It is beneficial to add vinegar to the potato water because it keeps the potato together throughout the cooking process. Potatoes usually get mushy when boiled, so adding vinegar binds them and helps them keep their integrity.
If you boil them, take them out after 10 minutes and spread them out on dry paper towels. Allow them to dry for 5 minutes. Do not put wet potatoes in hot oil.
Why do you soak potatoes in water before air frying?
You soak potatoes in water before air frying them because it removes the excess potato starch. Doing so also stops French fries from sticking together.
Another reason to soak your potatoes before cooking them is that it halts the oxidation process. When raw potatoes are exposed, the surface dries out fairly quickly and turns black.
How long should potatoes sit in water before frying?
Potatoes that have been peeled should soak in cold water for 30 minutes to 2 hours prior to frying them. This will result in your desired crispiness. You can also put them in the refrigerator overnight to soak.
It is not a good idea to leave skinned or cut potatoes sitting out for very long. Do not soak them longer than you would overnight. They will begin to lose their flavor and consistency if you leave them soaking for too long.
Why are my fries soggy?
When French fries that were cooked in hot oil cool off, the starches in them let out moisture. This is because moisture goes into the French fries causing them to puff up when cooked at a very high temperature.
If you want crispy French fries, you should boil them to soften the inside before the frying process. This is for homemade French fries.
The most common methods of frying French fries are deep frying, pan frying, and air frying. It is beneficial to boil and freeze potatoes. The main reason to freeze raw potatoes for French fries is because of the texture it provides.
You should not thaw frozen potatoes before frying them. They will not cook thoroughly and evenly if you let them thaw prior to frying them.
Deep frying frozen potatoes takes 2 or 3 minutes for thinner fries and 5 or 6 for thicker fries. You do not have to boil fries before air frying them. Blanching potatoes is best for homemade French fries but not necessary for store bought or frozen fries.
The purpose of soaking potatoes in water before air frying them is because they lose some of their starch when they soak in cold water. Potatoes should sit in water before frying. It stops the oxidation process and keeps them from sticking together.
Before you go, check out the following links related to french fries: