Engineering McDonald’s French Fries

McDonald’s French Fries are the ultimate gamble.  If you get them fresh, there’s nothing better in the fast food world.  But, and it’s a big but, they have to be hot and fresh.  Any other time, it’s like munching into cold, soggy cardboard.  So here’s a tip: order them without salt and salt them yourself.  It forces the McD’s employees to cook a new batch just for you.

Anyways, all that aside, McDonald’s French Fries are great, so much so, that Serious Eats’s J. Kenji Lopez-Alt went about discovering just how to make them at home.

I’ve been literally giddy with the quality of the fries that have been coming out of my kitchen for the last two days. My wife won’t hear the end of it. Even my puppy is wondering why his owner keeps exclaiming “Holy s**t that’s good!” every half hour from the kitchen. I’ve cooked over 43 batches of fries in the last three days, and I’m happy to report that I’ve finally found a way to consistently reach crisp, golden Nirvana.

Shockingly, it doesn’t seem so complex, and Kenji (one of the best food writers working anywhere) crafts the piece as a food science deconstruction-cum-mystery.

Even if it is slightly more involved than my preferred method, which is to slice up your potatoes, boil them for about 8-minutes and then fry them using peanut oil in a dutch oven, or similar type of pot.

TL;DR Version: Use vinegar when boiling your fries (1 Tablespoon per quart of water), then fry them up.  Or just follow these instructions.

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