Q. Can you give me some tips to fix the fry problem at my burger joint? I use the same frozen potato supplier, the same vegetable oil, the same dedicated potato fryer and yet I still get complaints. What’s up with that? Every time I work the line the potatoes seem to be just fine. The customer complaints are in order of issues that come up frequently: fries are too soggy, fries are too dark, fries from one batch are both dark and light, and fries are little bitty pieces.
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.