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The secret of crispy golden french fries

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

There are few dishes in the world that have as many fans as French fries. At first glance, it is a simple dish, but if you want to do it well and make them crispy on the outside and soft from the inside, there are several tricks that we present to you.

The crunchy layer is almost entirely due to potato starch, explains Joseph Provost, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of San Diego who co-wrote The Science of Cooking: Understanding the Biology and Chemistry Behind Food and Cooking, to The Washington Post. The two main molecules of starch, a type of carbohydrate, are amylose and amylopectin, deposited in solid granules throughout the plant.

When potatoes heat up, especially in the presence of water, these granules release the starch molecules that absorb water and swell up. The starch comes out of the potato pieces until the heat expels moisture leaving empty cells behind. It is precisely these empty cells that give this delicious crunchy texture when biting well-fried potatoes.

Therefore, it is worth choosing species with a high starch content, such as russet, also known as Idaho, or yellow potatoes known as Yukon Gold and some red potatoes. In this way, the final crispy result begins even before you start cooking, but in the supermarket.

Pre-cook the potatoes 

Typically, if you try to get a crispy exterior with raw potato, it will overcook or burn on the outside, and the interior will be undercooked, reveals Provost.

If you’re short on time, you can microwave a few pieces of potatoes so they’re almost cooked before proceeding to brown them in a pan with oil. You can also boil or steam them, but not too much so they don’t get soggy. 

Get rid of moisture

Excess humidity is an obstacle to getting crispy potatoes. For example, if you want to roast whole small potatoes, you need to dry them after washing. If you’ve boiled or steamed pieces of potatoes that you want to grill or fry, drain them well, then put them back in the hot pot for a minute or two to remove any sticky water. As you do this, shake and stir them so that the starches come out and bind.

Giving potatoes plenty of room to breathe while they cook is also key to encouraging rapid evaporation of moisture. To do this, leave a lot of space between the foods or separate them into smaller portions. 

Smaller pieces are going to be crunchy more effectively than larger ones and may require little or no pre-cooking because starches can come out of them faster. In addition, more pieces equal more surface area, which equals more opportunities for browning.

Control heat

The oven or stove should be hot from the beginning. If you’re roasting in the oven, consider using high heat, 200 to even 260 degrees Celsius. At the same time, if you want to fry the potatoes in a pan, it is best to use a cast-iron one, since this metal is especially good at retaining heat. In either case, make sure the oil is hot from the start.

Add or accentuate the starch

You can provide extra insurance by adding a little, but not too much, extra starch. A good option is cornstarch, which is high in amylose, Provost says, making it particularly effective at preparing potatoes so they are crispy. Use only a light sprinkle, probably no more than a teaspoon.

For the French fries, you can start with an initial quick fry and then let them cool. This allows the starches to swell up completely. In the second frying, the rest of the water evaporates, the starches are finished joining and the crunch appears.

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