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Homemade Fries How-To

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Q. What’s the secret to homemade fries? Whenever I make mine (which I bake in the oven) they are never as crispy as I would like. Help! – Alex, Menasha

A. Homemade fries are delicious, but achieving fries like the ones served in restaurants and other food service outlets are challenging to duplicate. A really good fry is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. To achieve this, the potato has to be completely cooked to the middle which really is the easy part. It doesn’t take a lot of cooking time to get the fry done all the way to the middle, depending of course on how thick it is cut. The crispy outside is best achieved by frying in hot fat. Trying to duplicate deep frying with oven frying is almost impossible because the hot air does not provide the same intensity as a food being submerged in hot fat. For best results, blanch your cut fries in water for a few minutes, which will remove some of the excess starch form the potato and begin the cooking process. Drain and dry the fries, even consider drying them uncovered in your refrigerator overnight. When ready to cook, toss them lightly in a neutral oil like canola and place them in your oven at the highest temperature you can and oven fry them until done, which will depend on the size of the fry. This should get you closer to the fries you are looking for, Alex!
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