Non Soggy deep frying

As a birthday present I was given a deep fryer. It has a max temp of 375 degrees. I have been playing around with it and can not seem to get crispy results. My basic problem seems to be that to get stuff crispy, I have to burn it.

I have been experimenting with French fries since they are cheap and pretty readily available. The general problem is that they come out semi crispy on the outside, generally soggy in the inside.

My methods are to slice the fries into 1/8 inch strips, wash and store in cold water for a while to rinse away the starch. At 375 degrees, I fry them up till golden brown. Soggy, to get them even somewhat crisp, they have to be really brown, they more resemble the seasoned fries in color at this point.

I have my suspicions about why this is and have been trying other methods. First, I have played with vegetable and caonola oils. I have not tried lard or that white cube of Crisco yet J at first thought, I blamed the oil, thinking that perhaps certain oils could maintain the heat better. I suspect I need to be able to get hotter than 375, but all the recipes I have ever seen are marked at ~375.

I have tried double frying as well, where you fry till golden, then rest and refry, these were a slight bit better than the rest, but still not perfect.

I am beginning to think that achieving fast food style fries is not possible. The closes these come are to In-n-Out in consistency. I am beginning to think that the fast food industry pre-bakes the fries and only deep fries them to get them heated and golden.

I am in the middle of freezing the fries before fying, in thought that since that is how the fast food places get them, perhaps there is something to this, them being cold will prevent the insides from getting soaked with oil.

Suggestions? Am I not able to get the heat I need unless I get a commercial unit? Should I pre-cook them? Is it the oil? Can one replicate Mc Donald’s fries at home?

Also, wanted to make Tempura and vegetables as well, do you need to pre-steam the vegetables to get them soft before you batter and fry?


They should be double fried:

fry them at 340F for 4-6 minutes and take them out
turn up the heat to 375F let it get to temperature and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until golden/brown

The temperatures are law but the times vary according to the size of the “fries”. The times I quote are for British or Aussie “chips” - not shoestring but not wedges.

By the way McDonalds fries are flash fried, then frozen and washed with a dextrose solution so that they “colour” nicely.

Make sure you don’t overload the fryer. Some of the heating elements are pretty small and it doesn’t take much to reduce your 375 degree oil down into the sub 300 range. And when the temp starts to drop, the food absorbs the oil instead of simply cooking in it.

and quit washing them, you cannot “wash away” the starch. Potaoes are starch through and through. It puts too much water into your oil, which has to boil away, which lowers your temperature.

I just bought “How to Read a French Fry”
and it is a most fascinating book, answers all of your questions.

The double fry method is the one. That is how they cook their chips ( frys ) in Belgium and they are the best in the world.

The key question, it seems to me, is how big your fryer is, and how much you’re attempting to fry at one time. As pipper noted, you’ll get better results with a high oil-food ratio than if you have a lot of food and a little oil, the reason being that adding the food drops the temperature of the oil, which inhibits browning and crisping. Try frying a small batch and checking the results.

Alton Brown, of “Good Eats” fame, advocates the double fry method.
Here’s his fish & chips recipie.
BMalion, the reason for the soak is not to remove the starch, it’s to remove the surface starch. This allows the steam to escape, which provides for a fluffy interior and keeps the grease out.

He also agrees with Max Torque and pipper - keep the batches small.

Re: your tempura question. Make sure the veggies are room temperature and cut into manageable pieces. Drain off excess batter before frying; and as noted above, fry in small quantities at proper temperature. I would not steam the vegetables, as you will end up with a soggy product.

Cut the potatoes[use russets, they are a bit dryer than the all-purpose ones] to your liking, and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Sift some cornstarch over the potatoes, you want a LIGHT even coating, don’t dredge them in it. Fry a handful, or two, at a time. The cornstarch should make them color up at the right stage for perfect eating. Drain on paper towels, salt lightly, and eat IMMEDIATELY. Extras[as if] can be kept warm in a 200degree oven, but the texture changes repidly. You may have to try different thicknesses of potatoes before you reach nirvana. Enjoy!

I have to disagree with this. If you use paper towels, your fries are still sitting on the grease. If possible, arrange some type of draining rack.