I make the best french fries. Really. Now I know you are going to have doubts but I swear that Steven Pinkert’s fries are better than Five Guys. And in my opinion Five Guys Fries are great. I have been working on my french fry techniques for over a year and I have decided to share it with all 5 of my readers. (Actually I am exaggerating about the number of readers.)
1) French Fry Cutter
2) Deep Fryer
Lets discuss the equipment. The french fry cutters come in several varieties and I will discuss the types that I am familiar with. I have owned a cheap plastic cutter and also a fairly heavy duty metal device. Both use a plunger action that forces the potatoes into and through square cut blades. The blades come in different widths; 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch. I recommend 3/8 inch. The cheap plastic cutter is ok but the excursion of the plunger is short so you frequently have to cut off the end to shorten a potato to fit. Also in the plastic device the handle is short and without the extra leverage of a long handle it can be difficult to force the potatoes through the blades. The metal variety is much more durable. Amazon sells an excellent reasonably priced metal unit that takes a little assembly. Here is the link: Restaurant French Fry Cutter. I recommend the plastic unit if you are only going to make french fries occasionally. If you plan on feeding a crowd of 5 or more say monthly, then the metal unit is worth the extra investment of about $50.00. (By the way, the Amazon metal cutter comes with the suction cup legs.)
The deep fryer is also critical to successfully making great fries. There are several issues to consider. The size of the fryer, the ability of the fryer to reach and maintain temperature (watts), and the accuracy of the thermostat. I have owned many fryers and most recently an inexpensive commercial unit. How often you plan on using the fryer determines how much you should spend. The better the fryer the faster and more consistent your french fries will turn out. At a minimum I would suggest the 12 cup Presto Profry. It is reasonable at Amazon and is okay if not a little slow to work with because of the limited wattage. I currently use a larger 1800 watt unit that is quasi-commercial. If I had my drothers I would purchase a 220 volt unit and install a dedicated 220 volt outlet for the unit. But this can be expensive and I elected not to take this step.
Potatoes (Russet preferred but I buy whatever are available at Publix)
Vegetable Oil, or Canola
I am not too particular about the type of oil or the type of potatoes, but make sure the oil is fresh. Wash the potatoes and cut with the cutter. Place the cut potatoes into ice water for at least an hour. Drain a portion of the cut potatoes in a colander so that the water has run off.
You must cook the fries twice. Yes twice! Place a few handfuls in the fryer basket and make sure the fryer is heated to no more than 325 degrees. Cook the fries for about 3 minutes but do not let them get brown – even a bit. Remove the fries from the oil and let cool for at least 30 minutes but no more than 90 minutes. Now set the heat to 375-400 degrees and wait until the unit comes up to temperature. Now re-cook the fries until they are golden brown or the desired amount. Drain on parper towel, salt, serve, enjoy.
This recipe for making awesome homemade french fries is from Steven Pinkert, Miami Florida.
Copyright 2011 Steven Pinkert