Chef Lena Tries 10 Of The Weirdest French Fry Recipes To Find The Perfect One

Chef Lena Tries 10 Of The Weirdest French Fry Recipes To Find The Perfect One

(upbeat synthesizer music) – I’m very excited because
today I’m on a journey to make the perfect french fry. It smells really bad. (eerie music) – Why? (fry crunches)
(woman laughs) – There is no time when I
wouldn’t eat a french fry. You could wake me up in
the middle of the night and be like, “I made
some really good fries,” and I’d be like, “Yeah, sure.” I grew up with Steak
‘n Shake french fries, which are really skinny and crunchy, but I love all types. I even like bad fries sometimes
if I’m drunk. (laughs) There’s a lot of different
ways to make french fries, and I’m gonna try to tackle
as many of them as I can and do some comparing. I’ve read a lot of conflicting
information on the internet about what makes a fry so crunchy. Some say soaking in salt water, some say in vinegar. I’ve seen a couple pickle juice posts. One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that russets
are the best potatoes for the job. I’ve hand cut them into
quarter inch thick fries, and I’ve treated them in
several different ways. Some were soaked with salt. Some were soaked with vinegar. Some with pickle brine, and then some in just plain water. And I’m also going to test
one that I’ve just cut fresh. I must explain my sticky note situation. We’ve had these in the kitchen for as long as I’ve worked
here, so like 2 1/2 years. I use them almost every day and somehow we never run out, but I’ve never seen new ones come in. But I love them. It makes everything kind of a joke. It’s like whatever you
write’s the punch line. I am going to heat up some canola oil, and we will start our
process of double frying. The ones that I soaked
just straight up in water, they don’t have much bend. They’re pretty stiff. But the ones I soaked in pickle juice have a really nice amount of bend. And then the ones that I soaked in salt are like crazy bendy, even like this very thick fry. It’s wild. I’m really excited to see the difference. So the first one we’re
doing is with water. We’re gonna do a double fry method. We start at a low
temperature, so like 325. We fry the potatoes until
they’re soft on the inside, and then we bring the heat up
and we fry them again very hot and that will create the crispy crust. We’re doing the one with salt. Then the one with vinegar. And then the one with pickle brine. They all look about the same, and the control one that I didn’t soak at all got a lot darker with those starches on the outside. So now our second round, we’re deep frying to make them crispy. So I’m going to jack the
temperature up to 375, and we’re gonna cook them until crisp and then give them a taste and season them with salt obviously. (upbeat synthesizer music) Let’s start with water. – Okay. – Not crispy on the outside. The inside is not bad. – Mm, these taste way better than they look like they would taste. – These are with salt. – Okay, yes, crunch. – The crunch is coming. The issue with mine is like
the potato isn’t fluffy. – [June] I think that’s the classic look. – It is very classic. The surface of the fry looks really good. – Blistery.
– Yeah. – [June] Bubbly, like there’s air inside. A much nicer crunch too, you can hear. – [Lena] Yeah. – [June] The snap or crunch. – Can you taste the vinegar? – I can’t. If you didn’t tell me you
marinated them in vinegar, I wouldn’t have and I
probably still can’t. – Yeah. – But there is something
blander about this compared to this flavor. – Yeah.
– It’s not quite as potatoey. – Yeah, totally. – Tell me about the control. – I just cut them and put
them straight into the fryer. I didn’t rinse off–
– No rinse. – the starch or anything. And as you can see, they turned a slightly unappealing color. – I think because we didn’t
wash off any of the starch, it’s like all the sugars
that are still on there just kind of caramelized very quickly. The inside tastes wrong, not in terms of texture
but in terms of taste, like when you undercook your potatoes by three or four minutes. This is what I’ve been – [Lena] Pickle brine.
– looking forward to. – I think I’m gonna go
for this one and this one. (Lena laughs) Look at that, bubbles on the surface. Blisters between the bubbles. – It tastes a lot like pickle. – Even if we don’t go
forward with this one for your classic potato fry, this needs to be a recipes. – Yeah, it’s good. It really does taste like a pickle. – I think we can sell this at Shake Shack. – Oh yeah, pickle fries. – The vinegar I think
wins for classic fry. The overall winner is the classic. Straight after you take
them out of the brine, they’re still kind of wet, so they will hold onto the salt better. And then you could pat them dry like you pat these dry before frying. – Thank you for your advice. I will feed you more fries soon. I’m so sorry. (laughs) (chime sounding) Vinegar is the best. We loved it, but it
needed a little flavor. Are people gonna think I’m
psycho for taking notes with a red Sharpie? (laughs) It’s just all we have. I’m sorry. I’m excited, but I also
have a stomachache, and I need (sighs) water. Water! (upbeat music) Day two, french fries, super stoked. I’m wearing my lucky tee for my favorite boardwalk
fries place in Delaware. Let’s get going. We already know that we
wanna brine them in vinegar, but I’m trying a couple different methods for adding the salt. Those hae been brining in
vinegar, a vinegar solution, for half an hour, and I just drained them and dumped them out. So we’re adding salt to draw
out some of the moisture, and then I’m gonna just dab
them dry with a paper towel before we fry them. These guys I brined for 20
minutes in the vinegar solution, added some salt to the
mix and then brined it for 10 more minutes. Same brine time, but
these just had salt added a little bit later in the brine. We’re gonna double fry both of these, taste them, see which
one has better flavor and then move on to our next test. Let’s do it. We’re gonna bring it up to
325 for that initial fry, and then we’ll hit them
again in the 375 oil. (upbeat synthesizer music) So our first fry is done. They look really good. So I’m gonna bump up the temp to 375, and then we’re gonna fry ’em again and hit ’em with some salt. First fry of the day, 12:00. That’s an appropriate time to eat a fry. We’re starting with our salt
and vinegar brined fries. They look nice, definitely
crunchy on the outside. I’m gonna give ’em a try. Mm, already better than I think any of the ones we did last time. Nice and creamy on the inside. I’m into it. They’re very tender on the inside, which is really nice. This is a good fry. Now, we’re testing the ones
that we sprinkled with salt and then dabbed dry. Also looking, honestly pretty
identical to the other ones. Ooh, very creamy on the inside. Mm. I think you’re gonna like these better. Mm.
– Mm, I like the potato taste. – Yeah, they’re a lot potatoeyer. I think drawing out some of
that moisture really helped. This was the one we sprinkled with salt. This was June’s idea,
’cause June’s a genius. I think that works. I think I like this method better. I’m gonna stop eating fries now, because I’m so hot and we
have to eat so many more. I’m just gonna finish this one. So now that we have our method down, I have three oils that
I wanna test them in. I’m just gonna start cutting some fries. I have prepped my potatoes, and I’m ready to fry. I have three oils. One we are familiar with, but
I’m just frying up a batch so we can compare and contrast. So this is the vegetable oil
that we’ve been frying in. And then I have this pot
here for our peanut oil. And when we’re done frying both of these, I’ll do the last batch with duck fat. Duck fat is super expensive. This jar was $10. So it’s definitely a splurge if you wanna make your fries with this. It smells like fried chicken a little bit. It does smell a little bit gamey. It’s just straight up duck fat. Oh my god, it looks so intense.
– Oh my gosh. – $15 worth of duck fat and
like 40 cents of potatoes. (funky upbeat music) It smells really bad. It smells like Jell-O to me. It smells like gelatin when you’re like soaking, ugh. To me it smells like gelatin. – Why? – There she is. (June laughs) Help us please. – [June] You can use it now, 2019. – Yeah, this is 2020. It’s fine, just smells terrible. I mean, they look beautiful, but hopefully the smell will have cleared by the time Lauren tastes it, so she isn’t swayed by the fragrance. It comes from this one.
– It smells awful. (laughs) – It smells so bad. – I was so excited for duck fat too. – I know. – Now I’m like a little scared. – They still look really good, but yeah. – I would just like to note,
the fry size is perfect. – Oh thank you. – I hate super thick fries. – I’m loving hearing
everyone’s fry preference. These I’ve technically had before. – Okay. – But. – Yum.
– Yeah. – You can hear it.
– Yeah. They’ve definitely got some crunch. – Perfect amount of salt. – Thank you. – They’re like a better
McDonald’s fry almost. – Thank you, that’s a great– – I love McDonald’s fries. (Lena laughs) I love those. – So this is peanut oil, which everyone has told
me is like the best. – I don’t know if I taste
a significant difference. – Yeah, the surface of these looks a little more blistered, but– – [Lauren] Are these
ones less greasy maybe? – I can’t find any major difference. The flavor seems the same. – [Lauren] These are the dreaded duck fat. – Oh well. – They’re really good. – They are good. (laughs) The crunch on the outside is so nice. We fried this many fries in
$15 worth of duck fat, so. – I would definitely not
wanna buy $15 worth of fat. It tastes like fancier. – Yeah, yeah. – For sure. – I also feel like I couldn’t
finish a basket of those the way I can polish off. I mean they’re heavy, but they’re good. Verdict, I mean, I think
peanut might win by a hair. That’s show I feel. – Yeah, I have no opinion. I don’t know. I think I would use either.
– Yeah. Well that’s good, that’s a good– – It’s the same temperature and cooking time right?
– Yeah. – But I do agree, these ones seem, whether or not it’s that
much of a difference of what you fried first, these ones do seem a little bit crispier. So, yeah, I’ll always go
for the crispier ones. – Stay tuned, I’ll be bringing
you a lot of fries later. – Perfect, thank you.
– Thank you. (upbeat synthesizer music) Once you’ve patted your fries dry, drain ’em and then bring our oil up to 375 and fry them for four minutes more. So now we’re gonna pop them into a bowl lined with a paper towel, and we’re just gonna shake
off that excess grease, salt them, plate them, and eat them. They’re really good. I love the exterior a lot. They get really bubbly and
crispy all around the outside. They’ve got sort of a
blistered look to them, which is very appealing. I’m gonna try it without ketchup. Mm. Super creamy and smooth on the inside. They’re not like those hollow fries that when you bite in,
there’s nothing in the middle. It’s a good fry. I love fries. I just do. Wanna try some fries? – Yeah. Oh my gosh. – You made this?
– Ketchup and mayo. (laughs) – Ketchup and mayo, huh?
– Aren’t they good? – Yeah, they look like bagged fries. – I just enjoy eating them. They’re fantastic. – Thank you. – Once you have fries like
this you can’t go back. – Is it like Five Guys? Is that the restaurant for these? – They are like Five Guys.
– Yeah. (fry crunches) – Oh.
(women laugh) – I love these fries.

100 thoughts on “Chef Lena Tries 10 Of The Weirdest French Fry Recipes To Find The Perfect One”

  1. This should have been a blind taste test. Give your opinions separately. You should have also tried beef tallow as well, why go right to duck fat?

  2. Hold up, the batter is a really important part of a fry! Even a small splash of unseasoned cornstarch slurry will do wonders for making fries that have a big crunch and keep their crunch for longer.
    Also, please use a blend of oils. Peanut oil and then whatever other oil you're using.

  3. blanching the fries helps remove sugar so they don’t brown as severely, also makes them fluffier inside, and adding vinegar to the water strengthens the pectin which helps strengthen the structure so you can fully boil them for 10 minutes without worrying about them falling apart, then when they’re soft fry them at 365 for 90 seconds then remove them and freeze them for at least overnight and then fry them at 375 for 2-3 mins until golden brown, freezing the fries makes the insides fluffier

  4. tip!! 1. Use crumbel kind of patatoes. 2. cut them to about 1cm. 3. put them in a bowl with salted water over night (60 gr. salt on 1 Ltr. water.) 4. wash them good. 5. boill them just to the point they almost fall appart. 6. put them gently on a tray in the fridge without a cuver.(over night) 7. fry them for 3 to 5 minutes on 150 Celcius. pad them. let them cool of completely. 8. fry them on 180 celcius. you will end up with the most crispy patatoes stick you will ever tasted. this methode is Michelin level coocking.

  5. Bad temperature control. I do the water soak fries with low cook first and then high cook just like the way you did, but the high fry should be at lower temperature so they fries dont burn.

  6. You definitely overcooked the fries on the first bake! Please visit any small village in Belgium and go to the local "frituur", then you'll know what good fries look like!

  7. Great video but the title is misleading. All they did was fry the fries in three oils and soaked them in water, vinegar and pickle juice.

  8. here in brazil a lot of people coat their fries with corn startch wow and also a lot of people soak them in water

  9. I disagree with those that say the fries are overcooked. Charred pizza and charred burgers are the bomb so why not some extra crispy fries?

  10. I like this series but hate the click-baity, misleading headlines. It would be more accurate to say, "experiments with several techniques" or something similar.

  11. I would have mixed a small amount of the duck fat in with some of the peanut or even the vegetable oil… it would reduce that smell and the heaviness of the animal fat, but still give it some of that flavor… for a lighter, but still more flavorful experience. For cost effectiveness as well, mixing a small amount in would also make that 15$ bottle stretch far more.

    I do a similar method when I make southern style fried chicken.. I take bacon fat, and mix some of that in with my vegetable oil, and it makes a huge difference, not even just in flavor, but also in the texture.. but it would be waaay too heavy to cook in all bacon fat.

    Now duck fat is a much milder flavor than the bacon fat, so you would need more of it.. like for example.. when I make the chicken, I use the grease from one pound of bacon.. and that in itself does enough.. For the duck fat though, I would use probably about a cup of it with the amount of vegetable oil you were using.

  12. I haven't seen you perform the method I watched on America's Test Kitchen. They start their raw potatoes in cold vegetable oil. They regularly (vs. slowly or quickly) raise the oil temp and cook for 10-15 mins after reaching the boiling point. I've tried this method, and always get super crispy, tender french fries.

  13. Normally homemade fries do have a darker look, especially when they’re double fried to be crispier. I don’t think they look burnt

  14. u dont have to tbe belgium to know ur fries ahahahha this look so overcooked almost burnt =S of course I'd have to try one to check the taste of it, but I wouldnt want to just by how it looks in most of the cases…maybe ppl use another potato in here, Idk, but golden it'd be more appealing

  15. Love me some potato. 10 of the 'Weirdest' though? None of these methods are all that weird….. the duck fat is silly and unnecessary though

  16. Is Lena a qualified Chef??

    No difference in temperature, only one "weird" recipe which included pickle brine.
    Didn't try par boiling, pre cooking in the oven, just the same method with three different oils?
    No difference in fry shapes, or potatos..

    :/ Im just a mother who cooks every single day and i have several more methods than this lol..

    So click baity… back to BA i go..

  17. Sorry, I am late coming to the party! I use Yukon Gold potatoes and boil them but not until tender, just half done. They make a deliciously flavorful fry. Also, I do not cook them quite as brown and I do not soak because YG potatoes are not as starchy as russets so you can skip this step. I do rinse and dry the potatoes though. We believe they are much better than russets. Try different potatoes next time to see which ones are better. I'd be interested in your findings. Love your videos!

  18. I feel bad saying anything but it Drives me absolutely insane when people eat with their mouth open… the camera mic picks up the sound waaay too much

  19. The most amazing fries I've made consistently are frozen fries. Cut them then freeze them, much like the bagged stuff, and fry them straight from the freezer, no thaw. I've heard a theory that the freezing changes something in the starch structure. Fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and perfect french fry golden/yellow colour 😄

  20. Lena, you are the cutest, most entertaining and easiest to watch chef on YouTube! Keep on testing and being you. Love you! David in NC

  21. Can we do a eastern style bbq? vinegar base no ketchup. would love to know how to make. can make the pulled pork but the sauce is more trouble.

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