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What varieties of potato would be good for making chips / french fries that can be cooked in a deep fryer to give a nice golden crunch on the outside, but still be nice and fluffy in the middle?

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1  
Chips aren't the same as fries. –  Eight Days of Malaise Jul 11 '10 at 3:22
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@random, I think lomaxx is referring to the British (and probably other cultures) term for fries. –  Nathan Koop Jul 11 '10 at 3:54
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Chips are fries on a bulk diet of starch and carbs. They're obese compared to the anorexic fries. Crisps are those thin wafers of nothing. @nat –  Eight Days of Malaise Jul 12 '10 at 2:27

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The potato is probably not as important as the method. Simply frying them will not get you the fry you want. Basically you boil them, then double fry them. Here are the steps for The Perfect French Fry:

Ingredients

2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch fries (keep potatoes stored in a bowl of water)

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Kosher salt

2 quarts peanut oil

Procedure

  1. Place potatoes and vinegar in saucepan and add 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be fully tender, but not falling apart. Drain and spread on paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Allow to dry for five minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in 5-quart Dutch oven or large wok over high heat to 400°F. Add 1/3 of fries to oil (oil temperature should drop to around 360°F). Cook for 50 seconds, agitating occasionally with wire mesh spider, then remove to second paper-towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining potatoes (working in two more batches), allowing oil to return to 400°F after each addition. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Continue with step 3, or for best results, freeze potatoes at least over night, or up to 2 months.

  3. Return oil to 400°F over high heat. Fry half of potatoes until crisp and light golden brown, about 3 1/2 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain at around 360°F. Drain in a bowl lined with paper towels and season immediately with kosher salt. Cooked fries can be kept hot and crisp on a wire rack set on a sheet tray in a 200°F oven while second batch is cooked. Serve immediately.

Worth reading is also the science behind the perfect fries.

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4  
The right variety of potato is very important - here's a guide - allotment.org.uk/vegetable/potato/potato-flavour-type.php –  Debbie A May 14 '11 at 5:08
    
In most non North American cultures hot chips are much bigger than American French fries, and typical local potatoes are different, so this technique does not work. A double boil in oil is usually required –  TFD May 14 '11 at 9:17
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Actually since the point of the blanching is simply to cook through, both oil and water are roughly equally effective. –  daniel May 14 '11 at 18:47

In the UK Maris Piper potatos are good for making chips. A lot of 'chippies' in the UK use them.

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Kestrel, if you can find some. King Edward, although people don't grow them much nowadays because they are susceptible to disease. Golden Wonder, the classic chipping potato.

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Looks like the preferred potato for the Netherlands and Belgium is Bintje, that one is being mentioned in various places. It also seems that a slightly floury potato gives better results than a waxy one.

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