For the best hand-cut Idaho® French fry yield, we recommend using U.S. grade No. 1 fresh Idaho® Potatoes, 7-15 oz. packed 90 to 70 count in 50 lb. cartons or 12 oz. and larger No. 2 potatoes packed in paper bags. Fresh, unpeeled potatoes for frying should be stored in a dark, cool area, preferably at 55° degrees F. Do not refrigerate, as temperatures below 42° degrees F cause potato starch to turn to sugar. Check the cutting blades, replace if jagged.
Posts Tagged ‘blanching’
Q. I know your philosophy is to blanch potatoes when doing fresh cut fries and understand the reasons why, but is this practical for a chef operator like myself?
Q. Can I do the first blanch for fresh cut russet fries in the oven?
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?
Q. What happens if you pre-cook (blanch) fresh cut 3/8Inch potatoes 350 degrees, in lieu of the recommended 250 degrees?
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?
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.
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.