Business & News

Expert's Tip To Cooking The Perfect Golden Fries For Your Restaurant

Jun 16, 2023

Expert's Tip To Cooking The Perfect Golden Fries For Your Restaurant

Everyone in your kitchen knows how to cook frozen french fries, right?

With the extraordinary turnover in kitchen staff driven by the pandemic, fry-cooking competency isn’t a given anymore. As a result, the average kitchen worker today possesses less experience than they used to. And what they don’t know can hurt you.

Less experienced non-management- workforce graphic

Fries are a staple side dish to popular menu items like burgers, pizza, or steak. They are even more profitable as a dish on their own, offering your diners an option for a light snack. However, overcooked, soggy, or underseasoned fries can really impact your diner’s experience and their desire to come back. 

In this article, we’ll offer best practices to make better fries and dispel a few myths along the way. You’ll learn about selecting the right fries, proper storage and handling, cooking and holding.

Store your frozen fries correctly

Frozen fries are brittle and can break apart easily. Don’t stack heavy objects on top and avoid overloading the freezer when storing them, making sure to leave some space for cold air to circulate. Keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them to avoid thawing, as it will ruin the fries texture.

How to cook frozen french fries for best results

Every fry is different. If you’re serving more than one type of fry, make sure your staff knows the proper cook time for each, and encourage them to set a cooking timer for every basket.

  • Use a skimmer throughout the day to remove slivers of other cooked debris from the kettle that hasten oil breakdown.

  • Preheat your fryer to 345˚F. It may be tempting to turn up the temperature to cut cook times. But fryer oil breaks down faster at higher temperatures. For example, at 369˚F, the oil breaks down 2-3 times faster than at 345˚F. And fryer oil is expensive!

  • Check the recommended cook time printed on the case

  • Fill your baskets to half or less.

    Never fill your basket over the fryer. Doing so can introduce ice crystals and potato slivers that degrade the fryer oil

  • Shake the basket for about 30 seconds after dropping it. This prevents clumping.

  • Wait at least 45 seconds after dropping the first basket before you drop a second basket into the same fryer. Dropped too soon, all those cold fries will delay the fryer oil’s return to cooking temperature and the resulting fries will be undercooked.

  • Never salt fries over the fryer. Salt will reduce the life of your fryer oil.

How to handle and hold frozen french fries after cooking

Now that you’ve cooked the perfect fries, make sure they get to your customers with the best flavor and texture possible.

  • Never hold fries in the basket over the fryer. The heat rising from below will ruin their texture.

  • Instead, gently transfer cooked fries to a holding station or heat lamp to keep them warm.

  • Use a first in, first out strategy, so that older fries get served before freshly cooked fries. This reduces the number of fries that must be discarded and ensures all customers get quality fries.

  • Enforce a consistent method for seasoning fries. Over-salted fries are a real disappointment.

Pick the best frozen french fry for your restaurant

Choosing among the hundreds of available fries can be daunting. Instead, we recommend trying this guide.

Fry length: It takes fewer long fries to cover a plate or fill a container, so premium fries yield more servings per case. And more servings per case boosts profitability. Yep, they cost a bit more. But a premium fry with premium length—like Simplot Select Recipe® Fries—more than makes up the difference. Besides, no one likes stubby fries.

Fry shape: Straight-cut fries—the most commonly-sold cut—are a good choice when you want your fries to feel traditional and familiar (like Simplot Classic® Fries). On the other hand, if you want to stand out, choose an eye-catching shape like Simplot Sidewinders™ Fries. The fastest growing fry formats in 2022 included novel shapes in fries and formed potatoes:2

  • Crinkle Cut: +1.5%

  • Diced/Chunk/Cubed potatoes: +12.2%

  • Formed Rounds: +2.0%

  • Formed Squares/Rectangles: +19.8%

  • Formed Oval Patties: +10.4%

  • Waffle fries: +4.8%

Fry coatings and batters: Coatings and batters add holding time and flavor options. For instance, Simplot Conquest® Delivery+® Fries offer industry-leading hold times up to 40 minutes. Flavor-wise, Simplot’s SeasonedCRISP® line of seasoned/battered fries offers a range of flavor profiles to match nearly any theme or cuisine. Coated fries are also best for loaded fry appetizers because they stay crisp under moist toppings.

Fry cooking speed: For high-volume operations and schools, a fast-cooking fry is critical. Generally, the thinner the cut, the faster the cook time. If speed is paramount for you, try Simplot Infinity® Shoestrings—they cook in as little as 90 seconds. On the other hand, you may have good reasons for choosing a ½”-thick steak fry (like their rich potato flavor and heat retention). Every operator is different.

Premium fries vs. bargain fries: As a rule, it pays to serve premium fries. You get higher yield, fewer defects and more consistent quality. Need proof? Look at the world’s most successful restaurants: every one of them uses a premium fry. Anything less is no bargain.

Choosing Simplot as your choice for frozen fries guarantees your kitchen efficiency, your menu versatility, and your diners a memorable experience. To make sure you’re getting Simplot Fries’ full potential, train your kitchen staff to store, handle, and cook them correctly. Trust us, it’s worth the effort.

Premium fries vs. bargain fries: As a rule, it pays to serve premium fries. You get higher yield, fewer defects and more consistent quality. Need proof? Look at the world’s most successful restaurants: every one of them uses a premium fry. Anything less is no bargain.

Get additional fry-training resources from Simplot

When you buy Simplot fries, you’re purchasing the world’s best. Make sure you’re getting the full measure of value by training your staff to store, handle and cook them correctly. Just email the links to our free video series of “How to Make Great Fries” videos (shown above) to your staff. Great fries are worth the effort!

1 Black Box Intelligence, State of the Workforce, 2022 2 The NPD Group, PotatoTrack, December 2022