Ask Dr. Potato

With 746 posts, chances are there's already an answer to your question. Please try searching below before submitting a question to Dr. Potato. Use multiple words to help narrow down the results. For example, search for "potatoes" and "group" if looking for an answer on cooking potatoes for large groups.

Back To Dr. Potato Home

Unable To Blanch My Fries, What Do I Do?

Q:

I run a small diner and we are looking to use homemade French fries as opposed to the frozen variety. I have seen all of the suggestions about blanching. I have two, two bay Fryolators. I am a 24 hours operation and we have very little time when the fryers are freed up, especially to blanch the volume we need. On an average week, we go through 500lbs of French fries. What other suggestions do you have in order to improve our quality and efficiency?

A:

Using 500 pounds of frozen French fries a week and having a 24/7 operation is a perfect reason to continue to use frozen fries. I know fresh cut fries sounds enticing but when the reality sets in of having someone dedicated to cutting up all those potatoes and rinsing them to get rid of excess starch and sugars and finding storage in the walk in for buckets of sliced potatoes in water, and increasing the fry time for all your food orders that call for fries; it is harder than you think. Especially if your customer base won’t pay extra for fresh made. Are your current frozen fries skin on? That might be an easier switch.

When comparing fresh and frozen here is a link to calculate the cost differences: LambWeston Fresh vs. Frozen French Fries Calculator

I think the picture from this article on blanching or not blanching points out why it is helpful to blanch fries: The Burger Lab: How to Make Perfect Thin and Crisp French Fries

The un-blanched fries can turn out dark (especially if the potatoes were stored too cold before they got to you). I know a few places that successfully do fresh cut fries without blanching, like In N Out, but they are the exception rather than the rule and have a whole bank of fryers to work with. Others do it, but plan on some inconsistencies in color and additional time to cook during peak serving periods. 

Ask Spuddy Image