Why It Pays To Buy Frozen French Fries Instead Of Making Them Fresh

We know that purchasing frozen fruit and veggies is a good idea since they're usually full of nutritional value and are frozen at the peak of freshness, resulting in a high-quality taste. But produce isn't the only food that can be a great freezer pick. You may initially assume that frozen french fries would have a mushy, mealy texture once heated, but the opposite is true. These sliced potatoes are typically cooked twice before they make it into your freezer — once when they're blanched and again when they're fried in oil. Only then are the spuds flash-frozen after they've cooled down, which means they're exposed to circulating, ice-cold air much more quickly than with regular freezing. This process preserves the texture of the fries since flash freezing helps prevent ice crystals from forming, which normally melt and produce moisture in frozen foods. The result is ultra-crispy fries once they're heated up. Plus, flash freezing helps keep the cells of the potatoes intact so they have a higher chance of preserving their nutrients.

Aside from all these textural benefits, it's simply easier to pop a bag of frozen fries in the oven or air fryer than it is to make them fresh at home. While it could take up to an hour for the latter, the former should be done after only about 20 minutes in the air fryer — no slicing or seasoning required.

Frozen fries use the cream of the potato crop

Double-cooking and flash-frying french fries aren't the only reasons they can have a better texture once frozen. Companies have their fry-freezing process down to a science, so they can measure the ideal amount of moisture to remove from the potatoes, the optimal oil temperature for each individual batch of spuds, and the necessary amount of oil to remove during frying. Typically, potatoes are even tested beforehand for the ideal starch-to-sugar ratio, and sampled afterward to check that they were fried properly. Unlike fresh fries from a fast food establishment, which can be cooked unevenly and in varying oil temperatures, the uniform process involved with frozen bags ensures you get tasty spuds every time.

If you're convinced to purchase a bag of frozen fries, check that they're free of any additives or preservatives that would smother all that yummy potato flavor. Ideally, you would only find potatoes on the ingredient list, but bags with oil and salt should still be just as tasty.