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Why Are My French Fries So Dark?

Q:

My fries (I use frozen shoe string cut potatoes) are too dark. What can I do?

A:

Here is where I would start with in trying to figure out the problem. Troubleshooting ideas for you to look at include checking the fry time – as it may simply be too long, or the temperature too high.  Is there a new person on staff doing the frying?  Has someone changed what they do?  Are the baskets less full than they used to be? If so, the fries will cook faster.  If there is too much color variation someone may be overloading the basket so the outside fries are done before the center. Fill baskets only half full, more than that drives the oil temperature down and the fries will get soggy.  Are the fries thawed? If so, this can reduce the fry time as the potatoes are not as cold when they go into the oil.*

Some other possibilities…old or dirty oil can cause the fries to darken.  Also, if the fryer temperature is the same and has not changed, check the thermostat calibration.  What shows on the dial on the fryer may not be the actual temp. Hope these tips help.

* By the way, we recommend keeping frozen fries frozen until they are placed into the fry baskets for a crisper finished fry.