The perfect French fries are light and crispy, with a crunchy exterior and soft interior. Making such perfect French fries is easy when you choose the right potatoes. So, what potatoes are best for French fries?
Starchy potatoes are best for making crispy French fries. The potatoes should be firm with dense flesh and less moisture content. Russet or Idaho potatoes, especially Russet Burbank potatoes, are great for French fries. Other suitable varieties include Maris Piper, King Edward, and Yukon potatoes.
Let’s take a deeper look at this now.
How To Choose The Best Potatoes For French Fries?
The best French fries are soft and fluffy on the inside with a crispy golden exterior. They’re crunchy but soft.
Starchy potatoes are the best choice for making French fries. They don’t become soggy because they have less moisture.
Starchy potatoes also brown evenly on the outside. Another requirement is that the potatoes should have firm and dense flesh if they’re to form thick fries.
Waxy potatoes aren’t good for making French fries because they become soggy and limp.
Similarly, most varieties of potatoes with red skin and new potatoes become hollow, greasy, and limp after frying because of their high moisture content.
3 Best Varieties Of Potatoes For French Fries
Even when using starchy potatoes, it’s essential to choose the right potatoes and prepare them properly to ensure good results.
Let’s take a closer look at the different varieties and their characteristic features.
1. Russet Potatoes
Russet potatoes have brown skin and beige-color flesh. They’re larger than regular white potatoes, with a long oblong shape. The skin is thick.
These potatoes are a good choice for French fries because they’re white, dry, and mealy. They have a very low moisture content. Hence, they crisp evenly when fried in oil.
2. Maris Piper Potatoes
Maris Piper potatoes have golden flesh and beige skin. They’re soft, mealy, and lightweight potatoes without much moisture.
These potatoes work well in French fries and cook to a fluffy mass in the center.
3. King Edward Potatoes
King Edward is an old potato cultivar with authentic, earthy flavors. It produces very flavorful fries when cooked in hot oil.
These potatoes crisp up nicely due to the lack of moisture. Hence, it’s a good variety to prepare French fries with.
What To Look For In Pototates For French Fries?
Apart from choosing the right potato variety, it’s also important to choose potatoes with the best characteristics.
Potatoes with the following characteristics will improve the quality of results.
- Well-rounded shape: Good French fries have a thin and long shape. To get this shape, choose round potatoes that you can cut into the right size for delicious French fries.
- Floury texture: French fries are nice and crispy when you make them with potatoes that have less moisture. Choose floury potatoes that cook nicely to form a fluffy interior for best results.
- Color: Yellow potatoes make the most appealing French fries. They end up with a beautiful golden-brown color on the edges and a beautiful yellow color throughout when fried. White and red potatoes don’t look as attractive as yellow potatoes.
How To Prepare Potatoes For French Fries?
Although it’s easy to prepare potatoes for French fries, you can perfect the result with a few simple tips and tricks.
Let’s find out what they are.
1. Remove Excess Starch
Potatoes are starchy vegetables. Even yellow varieties like Russet potatoes that are good for French fries contain starch.
Removing the excess starch will make your French fries crispy. Peel the potatoes and soak them in water to get rid of the starch. Coldwater is preferable.
Some cooks like to soak the cut potatoes in refrigerated water for eight hours. It will draw the starch out and make them stiff.
2. Choose The Correct Oil
It’s important to choose the right type of oil to fry French fries perfectly. The oil should have a high smoke point and be stable at temperatures as high as 375°F.
Oils with a high smoke point don’t break down or disintegrate when heated to a high temperature. Hence, the process will create crisper fries.
Safflower oil, canola oil, or peanut oil are commonly used for making French fries. Many restaurants and fast-food joints serving French fries use refined peanut oil.
You can reuse the frying oil to make several batches of fries. However, it’s important to cool and store the oil carefully between uses.
Filter the oil after each use and store it in an airtight container between each use.
Discard the oil if it starts smelling acrid or changes color. Using stale oil will affect the flavor of the fries and also make them soft and soggy.
3. Use The Double-Frying Technique
You can prepare French fries by deep-frying them in oil once. However, the double-frying method yields better results.
Blanching and frying them twice improves the crispiness and taste of French fries. The first step is to blanch them until they’re slightly limp. Then, fry them again in hot oil until they’re crisp and brown.
The ideal oil temperature for the first blanching stage is 325°F. For the second step, you must further heat the oil to a temperature of 375°F to ensure that they crisp up properly.
4. Cook In Small Batches
The potatoes should be fully submerged in oil to crisp up properly. If the oil is not hot enough or the potatoes are clumped together, they will steam instead of cooking.
Now, deep frying is only one technique to make French fries. You can use other methods and different types of equipment to make delicious fries.
Air-frying and grilling are some of the other ways in which you can make crisp and delicious French fries.
Although these methods don’t use as much oil as deep-frying, they produce deliciously crispy potato fries. You will barely notice any difference between French Fries made in a deep fryer and an air fryer or oven.
When preparing French fries in an air fryer or under a grill, it’s important to turn them mid-way through the process.
Based on your preference, you can either add the salt and any seasonings you like to the potatoes before placing them in the air fryer basket or after taking them out.
What Potatoes Are Best For French Fries In An Air Fryer?
Air frying is one of the healthiest ways to make French fries because it uses less oil than deep-frying.
The two best varieties for preparing French fries in a deep fryer are Russet potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes.
After cutting them into the right shape, spread the potato fries out evenly inside the air fryer. Air should circulate on all sides of the potatoes for them to crisp up properly.
What Potatoes Are Best For French Fries In A Deep Fryer?
Most cooks prefer to use oil vats that hold large amounts of oil for deep frying. Fill it at least up to the level where the French fries are fully submerged.
This will ensure that the French fries cook evenly on all sides and become crunchy.
Russet potatoes are the best choice for a deep fryer. You can also use all-purpose or medium starch potatoes like Yukon gold potatoes in a deep fryer.