Posts Tagged ‘blanching’

Blanching Fresh Cut Fries

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Q. Can I do the first blanch for fresh cut russet fries in the oven?

Why Are My Fries Sometimes Dark?

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Q. I have been to several of the same gourmet hamburger and fry chain locations and sometimes the French fries are really dark and unappetizing. How can that happen?

What Happens If You Pre-Cook Fresh Cut Potatoes At 350 Degrees?

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Q. What happens if you pre-cook (blanch) fresh cut 3/8Inch potatoes 350 degrees, in lieu of the recommended 250 degrees?

Can You Deep Fry Fresh Cut Fries Directly After Cutting Them?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Q. I have a question involving making fresh French fries at county fairs and special events.  Can you get by with fresh cutting the fries and deep frying? Or do you have to cut, rinse in cold water, then fry at two different temperatures to get them to taste good, with a crisp on the outside, and a fluffy texture inside?

Are My Black Potatoes Still Good To Eat?

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Q. I cut up vegetables and put them along with a chuck roast in a freezer bag, to have a meal ready for the crock pot when I had surgery. I took the bag out of the freezer last night, dumped the ingredients in the crock pot and refrigerated until this morning. It has been cooking on low for 5 hours and all of the potatoes are black. After researching, I found I should have blanched them first.  Are they still good to eat?

How Do I Leach Out Starch For Making Fries And How Can I Make Them Crispy?

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Q. Is ice water more effective than room temperature water for leaching out starch for making fries? Also, do you know what method creates a light and crispy exterior verses one which is hard and leathery?  Is it the potato or the process?

A. Chilling the water or adding ice is a method that helps the cells seal up and makes for a crisper fry when blanched. Warm or room temp water is better for leaching the starches, some operators or manufacturers actually blanch (or boil) the potatoes in water to remove excess starches. Many making fresh cut fries, first cut the potatoes, rinse in water till the water is clear, then transfer to plastic buckets with water, place in the walk in and come back in a few hours. Typically the excess surface starch will drop to the bottom of the bucket. By the way, this excess starch, when captured, makes an excellent thickener for soups and is gluten free too!

Light and crispy defines the results you get from using a high solid, low moisture potato. Typically, the Russet Burbank variety from Idaho works very well for this. Medium to medium high solids, such as the Yukon Gold or Russet Norkotah can work, but I have found that you need to blanch them at a lower temperature for longer. Search “high solids” and “fresh fries” on the Dr. Potato web site, top right corner. You can also scroll down to the cloud words (most often mentioned) and click on solids or fries or starch there. It could also be the oil type or oil temperature, when a lot of potatoes are added at once it drives down the temperature.

What Causes Blanch Time to Increase When Using Low Solids Potatoes?

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Q. What causes blanch time to go up when making French fries with low solids potatoes? What is the mechanism at work here?

A. Low solids means the potato has more moisture than a high solids or starch potato such as the Russet Burbank variety. So, what a potato processor does when they have to use a lower solids spud is dial in the right amount of cooking time and temperature as best as possible compensate for the removal of the excess water without the potato getting over cooked.  We recommend with the Norkotah variety, which typically may have less solids on average, you reduce the blanching cooking temperature, but also cook it longer. You’ll have to experiment with the times and temperatures, but start by blanching 15-25 degrees cooler and for another 1-2 minutes. The final product should still be light colored and not dark, but bend slightly to the touch so it is thoroughly cooked.

With new crop potatoes, they may contain excess sugar and starches, so be sure to cut and rinse in water until the water runs clear. Hopefully this helps.  Thanks for using Idaho potatoes at your operation.

Blanching French Fries

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Q. How do I blanch fries before frying them to make the best fresh cut fries?

A. First, cut and rinse the fries to get rid of any excess starch or sugar and then store them in water with some concentrated lemon juice (1 tablespoon to one gallon of water ratio). Drain the water, and then fry until the fries have a glazed look and are a little limp. How long it takes for the fries to become limp depends on the variety of the potato and cut of the fry. Pull the fries out and place uncovered in shallow bus tubs. Cool the fries to room temperature and then refrigerate. Put lids on the tubs until you are ready for the final frying.

I Froze My Potatoes and They Turned Black… What Did I Do Wrong?

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Q. Our church group made a potato and ham casserole with a cheese sauce.  This consisted of cubed ham, sliced potatoes (raw), some milk and cheese.  The casseroles were placed in aluminum baking pans, covered with foil and frozen (about 1 ½ to 2 weeks), then thawed in the refrigerator and baked.  The potatoes turned dark (almost) black.  Obviously, they were not able to be eaten. What did we do wrong?

A. So sorry to hear the plans for a casserole dinner were ruined. What an expensive result…

Potatoes turning black, good question, here is the short answer… raw potatoes can’t be frozen. There is an enzyme reaction that has to take place to keep the potatoes from turning black. In the future, you’ll need to cut the potatoes, placing them into water with a little lemon juice or white wine vinegar (something acidic) and then you need to blanch them by heating in water till mostly done. Then drain and layer your casserole as usual.

You hit upon the scientist’s discovery of how to do frozen French fries. Ray Dunlap of Simplot found that if he partially cooked the potatoes they could be air dried and frozen for frying later. Thus, McDonald’s switched over to the crispy shoestring potatoes they still use today.

Should we Blanch our Idaho® Potatoes?

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Q. We do not blanch out potatoes; we cut them directly into a Cambro container, cover with water, and fry within 36 hours. The potatoes turn out differently from one lot to another.  Can you help?

A. Probably not… The biggest error that I see units make when they fry fresh potatoes is not blanching them.

In addition to not blanching, here are a few other tips to keep the potatoes from failing or turning out crispy:

  • Filling the baskets too full (the potatoes in the center never get fully cooked).
  • Not giving the cooking fries a shake part way through the cycle to better distribute the potatoes to get rid of any cold spots.
  • Frying at too high a temp (375ºF is TOO HIGH!). Don’t exceed 350ºF.

You mentioned Cambro, here is there web site.

I especially like using the Cambro Crisper to place cut potatoes into with water. They have a drain at the bottom to get rid of any excess starch that comes off of the potatoes.

Why blanch?

There are scientific reasons. To say it simply… a double fry removes a considerable amount of moisture from the potato and seals off the surfaces of the exterior of the potato on the first “blanch” which can be done in water or oil. The potatoes need to be dry or drained of excess moisture before the second fry. They can be stored overnight. The second frying, or “finish fry”, removes additional moisture but crisps up the exterior so you can end up with a texture of a baked potato center inside and crisp golden exterior. The second you drop potatoes into hot oil it can drive down the oil temps by 50 degrees or more. As respected cookbook author, Shirley O. Corriher, says in her book CookWise “adding cold food is like adding lumps of ice”.  Without blanching the potatoes it will take much longer to rid the moisture and take longer to crisp up.