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Can You Deep Fry Fresh Cut Fries Directly After Cutting Them?

Q:

I have a question involving making fresh French fries at county fairs and special events. Can you get by with fresh cutting the fries and deep frying? Or do you have to cut, rinse in cold water, then fry at two different temperatures to get them to taste good, with a crisp on the outside, and a fluffy texture inside?

At events water is scarce and running water with drain is almost impossible. I want to make a good product but am limited with water usage. Some have suggested using frozen fries instead of fresh but I don’t think that would be received well at events. Please advise on best method and give me an idea of the different outcomes if steps are omitted.

A:

The answer is yes, many operators cut the fries right into a bowl and fry them up once. In N’ Out Burger is probably the largest chain that does this; of course they have a line of fryers in each unit. What you are giving up is that a single fry method adds wait time for the customer, drives down the temperature of the fry basket for a longer period of time and thus potentially yielding a soggy fry. A two fry method, sometimes called blanching just allows the potatoes to be partially cooked (can you do anything off premise and then refrigerate the blanched fries for later use?) and when this happens the cells tend to glaze over once the cooked fries sit for a while. The second fry up cooks faster and doesn’t absorb as much oil.