It happens every time I put more than a tablespoon of oil in the pan. I get spritzed/splattered/scorched with hot oil. No way am I going to attempt deep frying. No matter how much I’m longing for homemade French fries…
Frying isn’t complicated. If you understand the basics and mind a few simple rules, your food will be perfectly crispy - instead of you.
Make sure you have the right tools to fry. Use a heavy, thick walled Dutch oven, thermometer that can set in the pot, a spider or big slotted spoon for lowering food into the pot and fishing it out, and a pan or rack with a layer of paper towels for draining away the extra oil on the food.
It’s important to have your oil at the right temp. If it’s too cold, the food will absorb the oil, and you will end up with a greasy unappetizing mess. When the oil is the right temp, around 360° for deep-frying and 330° for shallow-frying, it forms a barrier on the outside of the food which “steams” the inside while crisping the outside.
When deep-frying, don’t fill your pot more than 2/3 full. Oil expands when it’s hot, and adding food will also raise oil levels.
Use oil that won’t smoke at high temperatures. Canola, peanut, vegetable, and safflower work best. Use non-hydrogenated as much as possible.
When shallow-frying, fill the pot with 1-2 inches of oil and heat to 330°-350°. You can use oils that have a lower smoke point such as olive oil. Shallow frying works best for thin foods such as breaded fish fillets or pork cutlets.
Season with salt, pepper, and other spices right after removing the food from the pot before the oil dries.
When you’re finished frying, let the oil cool and then strain it into a glass jar. Store it in the frig for a week and use 2-3 more times before discarding.
Restaurant-worthy French fries take a few extra steps, but are easy to prep ahead of time and are well worth it! This double-fry method yields fries that are crispy on the outside, and mashed potato soft on the inside.
Restaurant Perfect French Fries
Adapted from a recipe by Top Chef University
3 large russet potatoes
Vegetable oil for frying
Cut the potatoes into French fries (no peeling needed), and immediately place in a large bowl of cold water to wash off excess starch and prevent browning.
Blanch potatoes in a large pot of salty boiling water for about 4 minutes or until tender. Strain and lay in a single layer on a sheet pan. Place in the freezer for an hour.
While the fries are in the freezer prep the fryer. Fill a Dutch oven 2/3 full with oil. Heat to 350°-360°. Remove the fries from the freezer and immediately fry for 2-3 minutes until crispy on the outside. Do it in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Place back in the freezer to cool again for an hour. Remove and bag for future use or double-fry immediately.
Re-heat the oil to 360°, and fry the French fries for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Place on a paper towel lined sheet pan to drain and sprinkle with salt and desired seasonings. Serve while still hot. Serves 2-4.