In the Mood for the Best French Fries? If You Don’t Mind the Cleanup, Here They Are.
Here we have Classic French Fries, cooked as they should be cooked. First they’re fried at 325 degrees (you will need a thermometer – I use an instant read Thermapen)for 6 to 8 minutes, drained and held over for awhile until you’re ready to eat them. At that time, the oil is heated to 350 degrees and the potatoes are cooked for only a couple of minutes. Perfect French fries. I hesitate to call anything perfect, but when you come upon something like this, there’s really no other way to describe them. I couldn’t improve on these if I tried. The technique is classic for a reason.
It’s how I was taught by my French cooking teacher decades ago and it’s how Cook’s Illustrated still recommends it be done. This is all about the technique and anyone can make these. They’re not hard. Well, I hadn’t made them in many many years and for whatever reason decided I was in the mood. As I said, I couldn’t have been happier with the results. No reason for false modesty here.
But I will NEVER make them in my kitchen again. The reason I don’t make these more often all came back to me when it came time to clean up the kitchen. As those potatoes were happily bubbling away in the oil, those little bubbles were releasing a fine mist of oil into the air which settled on every single object in my kitchen – fridge, microwave, toaster oven, cabinets, floor, etc. Everything had to be soaped down. The only way I will tackle these again will be to set up my pot of oil outside on my grill. That way, I will avoid the cleanup. Nope to making French fries in my kitchen. This will not be happening again. But they really were perfect.