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Since I can remember I've always been crazy about chips (french fries for the Americans). As a result I always make too much when I make them for me. The problem I have and have always had is that they never seem to keep very well. The minute they cool off they become floury and stale. I find that this even happens with oven chips.

When I was a kid my mother used to reheat chips for me in the morning, melting some butter over it, which help rehydrate them somewhat and give them a bit of flavour, but this never really worked all too well.

What I'd like to know is if any of you know of some tricks to help preserve the chips? And also for interest's sake why this happens? This never seems to happen with baked potato or mash. They do lose some of their flavour sometimes, but not in the same way chips do.

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You say chips and french fries, but the UK chips, if done properly, like you might get from a chippie, are very different to french fries. –  Orbling May 13 '11 at 23:46

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here is an excellent recipe by the guys over at Cooking Issues (and also a follow up report) with almost everything you'd ever want to know about chips. That first recipe is supposedly good even after they've cooled off:

Our standard fries are good even when cold.

Another option is to cook a lot of chips but stop after their first frying and freeze them; when you want to eat them, simply put the frozen chips into the fryer for the second frying. This also has added benefits:

Freezing acts like partial dehydration. When the frozen fries are finished, they liberate water freely, leading to rapid dehydration and good crust formation with a porous interior. Pre-frozen fries are crunchier than fresh and stay crisper longer after they are fried, but they tend toward hollow fry.

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I'm personally of the opinion that no matter what the recipe says, there is never any point in keeping chips past about five minutes after they come out of the fryer. The point is the hot crisp exterior and the fluffy interior, and reheating will never get you back there. –  daniel May 13 '11 at 19:23
    
+1, but this technique does not necessarily work for all local varieties of potatoes around the world. Often just a par-boil in oil is required –  TFD May 14 '11 at 10:24

I've found that reheating Fries/chips in the toaster oven is the best way to reheat them. They're crispy and not dried. They end up just as good as before. if you don't have a toaster oven, maybe a standard oven would work for you?

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I gave up french fries a few years ago (new year's resolution), but I seem to recall this method working rather well ... maybe not as good as before, but better than any other reheating procedure. (and I've also been known to heat 'em up like that, chop 'em into smaller bits, then turn 'em into a tortilla de patatas.) –  Joe May 13 '11 at 23:58
    
+1, I think the key may be that they are on a wire rack, so they get re-crisped all the way around. I think you could get similar results in a standard oven if you used a wire rack rather than traditional baking sheet. –  yossarian May 14 '11 at 14:17
    
Very interesting idea, I shall definitely have to try it. One problem though, I don't have a toaster oven... :( Will give the normal oven trick a try. –  DeVil May 16 '11 at 10:44

If you prepare a lot of chips and blanch them in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, then drain them well, you can freeze them and then just use them as you need them. That is how they prepare frozen chips at the factory. but they don't keep more than about two hours when they've been par-fried first - they lose texture and won't fry crisp.

I've known a lot of chip shops prepare chips by frying at low temperature first, then put them to one side and fry portions as customers ask for them, but with the waxy varieties of potato used for chips in the UK they don't keep more than about two hours when they've been par-fried first - they lose texture and won't fry crisp.

Not a lot you can do to revive them when they have been fried .

My mother would peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices which she cooked in the frying pan - "frying pan chips" as they were called in our family.

Quite often she would peel the potatoes the day before, then leave them to one side in a bowl, covered with water. They always tasted better when she did that ...

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The previous comment thread was deleted because it had turned into a stream of personal attacks. Please refrain from any further personal attacks or suggestions that users of this site are incompetent. If an answer contains inaccuracies then please limit comment activity to facts relevant to the answer. If the personal attacks continue then the answer will be locked. –  hobodave May 16 '11 at 1:50
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As decorum seems to have gone out the window, this post is now being locked. Disagreement and/or factual errors may be indicated by downvotes or comments; however, it is not an acceptable use of the editing system. Period, end of story. –  Aaronut May 16 '11 at 4:17

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