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I want to make french fries that are crispy through and through. These days, it's very popular to "double fry" them, resulting in fries that are crispy on the outside and white and fluffy on the inside like a baked potato. I hate white and fluffy on the inside like a baked potato. I want them crispy all the way through.

Here's what I'm doing now: I make cris-cuts, using a cris-cut tool that I specially modified to make the slices even thinner. Then I fry very small batches at 325° F for one minute only in safflower oil. (It's a small deep fryer so I have to make small batches.) When they are all done, I fry them again in larger batches at 385° for about 3 minutes.

The above seems to work all right, but is there some secret to get them really crispy on the inside?

  • 3
    You might want to look up 'matchstick potatoes'. Otherwise, go with the oven recommendation – Joe Nov 25 '17 at 14:59
  • "These days"? How about (at least) the last 45 years... – Willem van Rumpt Nov 28 '17 at 9:46
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I rarely bother to deep fry fries. I buy them precut, blanched and frozen in the supermarket and bake them in the oven. If I bake them as intended, they are fluffy on the inside. If I forget them in there for about double the time, they become harder and crispier throughout.

I don't think you can imitate this with a fryer only, because you need a certain temperature there, else the fries soak up the oil. So maybe do your one-minute fry first, then put the drained fries in an oven for as long as it takes. Or just start with the convenient prepared kind and use the oven from the beginning.

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Normally, French fries are cut thick. To make whole crunchy French fries, just cut them as thin as you can.

The crosscut of ordinary French fries is about 1 cm (0,4 inch), you can make 1 mm crunchy fries. I propose you test different widths and report back on your findings.

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Cook them thrice

The trick to crispy fries is to remove moisture. I highly recommend trying this recipe by Heston Blumenthal. I'll provide a short description, but you should really follow the recipe when you're trying this method.

The first cook is in water (I assume to remove starch and get them softened already), the other two follow roughly the double fry idea.

The important parts are in-between cooks. Rather than just letting them cool off on their own, you put them in the freezer (after cooling). That helps remove even more moisture from the fries which makes the final product crispier.

Side-note regarding temperature: You really shouldn't be frying potatoes above 180 degrees Celsius or 356 degrees Fahrenheit. While deep frying always produces acrylamide which is carcinogenic, frying at temperatures higher than that causes needlessly high levels of the stuff. For more information, see this page by the American Cancer Society.

  • I don't know about this. It seems to me that this would only produce fries that are crispy on the outside, but white and fluffy on the inside like a baked potato. I hate white and fluffy on the inside like a baked potato. What I want to know, is how to I get the insides crispy, too? If you read the OP you would have known that. – Jennifer Sep 24 '18 at 18:15
  • @Jennifer this does make them more crispy on the inside than just baking them twice. This is because more of the water is removed from the fries. The less water in the middle, the easier they get crispy. – JJJ Sep 24 '18 at 18:17
  • I'll have to try it then. – Jennifer Sep 24 '18 at 18:20
  • @Jennifer if you do, I suggest cutting the fries thinner as well. If you have experimented with thickness before, I suggest using the thickness that worked best when you cooked them only twice. Depending on that, reduce cooking time in the water to make sure you don't cook them to mush. ;) – JJJ Sep 24 '18 at 18:25
  • Yes; as I stated in the OP I use a cris-cut tool which I have modified to cut them even thinner than the tool was designed for. I'm just wondering if there's something else I could do as well. – Jennifer Sep 24 '18 at 18:29
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"Potato Sticks" are made but a combo to @BaffledCook and @rumtscho's answers, to cut the potatoes into matchstick sizes. Using a mandolin with a small size may be the easiest way to get a reasonably uniform cut. Deep fry batches in hot oil. Blot excess oil, and add salt or desired spices and put into a pre-heated oven while you do additional batches. The longer you bake, the more crisp through. Larger cuts will tend to take longer and be more prone to soft in the middle. Small batches with reduce temp drops in the oil which would promote a tend to soggy spuds. It can work with larger cuts, so you would want to experiment for exactly the results you want.

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