Why Frozen Fries Are Actually Chef Approved

French fries are one of the most frequently ordered items on a restaurant menu, sold at a relatively low price, but they are one of the most time-intensive foods to prepare from scratch. To make outstanding fries, potatoes must be washed, cut, rinsed of excess starch, sometimes brined overnight for flavor, then dried, oil blanched at low temperature to cook the interior, cooled, and fried again before serving. That's a lot of steps for the humble fry! For most restaurants, there is not enough space or labor time for all these steps, and that's why most chefs reach for the freezer and not the produce bin when it's time to make fries.

Sliced potatoes that are fried once, seasoned, and served are good, of course, but they don't approach the heights of perfection without at least cooking at two different temperatures. That's because the potato starch fluffs up nicely at a low temperature, making for a perfect interior texture. But the outside of the potato requires a high temperature to get crisp. Fully chilling the potatoes between cooking steps is the key to super crisp fries because of how the starch cools.

Prep what you can, buy what you can't

All leading suppliers of frozen potato products are specialists in the precise steps required to create the perfect fry. Considering the time, labor, and space required for these intricate processes, many chefs find it practical and cost-effective to opt for frozen french fries. This allows them to allocate their resources to crafting and perfecting their unique house specialties, ensuring a balance between efficiency and delivering top-notch dishes.

If there's a notion that purchasing a frozen product is a shortcut, it's worth contemplating the array of other store-bought items that chefs commonly rely on, such as butter, sour cream, cheese, mayonnaise, and bread. Additionally, it's important to recognize that potatoes are a seasonal crop. Restaurants opting to make fries from scratch find themselves constrained by the seasons when buying fresh potatoes. The use of frozen fries not only ensures consistency but also provides practicality in navigating the challenges of a busy restaurant.