Cold Oil French Fries (recipe from Episode 9)

Cold Oil French Fries
Cook’s Illustrated, August 2009

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re using an electric stove, high heat is too high; try medium-high. In any case, don’t step away from the pot while frying.

2 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 6 medium), scrubbed, dried, sides squared off, and cut lengthwise in 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch batons
6 cups peanut oil
1/4 cup bacon fat, strained, optional
Kosher Salt

1. Combine potatoes, oil, and bacon fat (if using) in large Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until oil has reached rolling boil, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 15 minutes.

2. Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and continue to cook, stirring ocacasionally, until golden and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to thick paper bag or paper towels. Season with salt and serve immediately.

4 thoughts on “Cold Oil French Fries (recipe from Episode 9)

  1. Shaun

    Umm.. “Until oil has reached a rolling boil.” Are you sure this is what you mean? Oil doesn’t boil. It smokes, then bursts into flame. I think you mean until the potatoes start bubbling – which is the moisture in them turning into steam.

  2. mamster Post author

    You are correct, Shaun, but since the water in the fries is boiling and releasing steam, the effect really does look like boiling water.

  3. Mary

    I love this recipe – I use it all the time. One thing I learned – the hard way – is do not pre-cut your potatoes and store them covered with water until you’re ready to cook them. I drained and dried them as well as I can, but there was so much residual water left, they overcooked (steamed through) before they browned; and they really didn’t brown much anyway after all that. Fortunately, lobster rolls were on the menu, so no one missed them.

  4. Megan

    I just made them with sweet potatoes. So good! I have an electric stove and I had them just over medium heat and it was fine. And even though the oil may not technically boil, that is the best description for what to look for.

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