The Perfect French Fry, According to Science (ft. Jet Tila)

The Perfect French Fry, According to Science (ft. Jet Tila)

[JET] Hey guys, Jet Tila here! And today we’re
gonna make the perfect french fry. [ARIELLE] And, we’re gonna talk about the
science of potatoes and french fries. Hi, I’m Dr. Arielle Johnson. I’m a food scientist. [JET] So my favorite way to cut
french fries is “batonnet.” It’s quarter inch to half inch,
by as long as the russet potato. The potatoes are gonna go into a nice big
bowl of cold water. As you can see, the starches are already starting to leach out. And I’m gonna pat ’em completely
dry in paper towels or towels. [ARIELLE] The potato is a tuber whose job
it is to store water and energy for later use, mostly through a molecule called “starch,”
which you may have heard of. Inside the raw, alive potato, starch is found
bound up in the form of starch granules— layers upon layers and coils of
starch molecules. They’re basically glued together. They are not soluble in water, they’re very hard and they’re not very tasty. As we cook the potato, applying heat through boiling or
roasting or frying in this case, the starch granules start to soften up and take on water and kind of unravel a little bit in a process known as
“starch gelatinization.” [JET] So the first initial fry should yield a
colorless and floppy french fry. I’m gonna take a
spider and lower them in there and let them cook for the first fry at 325 for
about five minutes-ish. We’re gonna get way more color on
the second fry at 365 and that’s where we get our crunchiness. [ARIELLE] What we’ve done
here in this initial, low-temperature fry is added enough heat to the potato so that the
starch granules go through gelatinization process. So they have let water in, loosened up, and formed into a soft gel— basically the delicious
inside of a french fry. [JET] I want that oil to get back up to about 375,
and when I put the fries in, they’ll lower down to about 365, cook for about five to ten minutes until they’re golden brown and delicious. [ARIELLE] The first thing that we accomplished
in the second, high-temperature fry is the dehydration of
the surface of the fry. The removal of water through the high temperature oil
allows the starches now on the surface to become crisp and give us the amazing
crisp-on-the-outside, tender-in-the-middle texture that we look for in a
good fry. You can see this happening as you’re frying. When you put the fries into the oil, at first you’ll see a lot of bubbling. As that water boils away and goes away,
you’ll see a lot less bubbling towards the end. The second thing we accomplished from
the second, high-temperature fry is the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction gives the outside of the french fry its great, golden brown color, as well as its classic toasty french fry flavor. You might know the Maillard reaction from
roasted coffee, or baked bread, or the amazing brown flavor
of a well-grilled steak. It is the reaction between naturally-occurring sugars and amino acids in ingredients brought to a high temperature. [ARIELLE WINKS AT CAMERA AND
EATS A FRY] Mmm! [JET] So these fries are ready to go and what that means
is they’re golden brown on the outside, super crispy. This is pretty critical: fresh out of the fryer you want to season your fries so that salt sticks to the oil, and just a little bit of that herbage, and garlic and give that a toss. [JET TOSSING FRIES] and listen to that sound!
That is a…it’s a sound of beauty. So that is the science
of the perfect french fry. [JET ENJOYS A VERY HOT FRENCH FRY] Crispy on the outside, super creamy and
pillowy on the inside. I can do this all day, bro. Just gonna keep smashing.

10 thoughts on “The Perfect French Fry, According to Science (ft. Jet Tila)”

  1. I have two questions:
    1. what type of potatoes do you recommend? (I use maris pipers for chips!)
    2. do you leave the fries to cool between the first and second frying?

  2. A video about fries that boasts both science and perfection should at least discuss what oil to use (you will get a different result from using tallow vs peanut oil).

  3. "RUSSET" Potatoes are long, which is why fast food chains love them, but they're ESPECIALLY prone to BLIGHT, which is why farmers DRENCH THEM IN HERBICIDES/PESTICIDES. If you want to eat potatoes, make french fries, use another potato there are thousands of species.

  4. Here from Alton Brown's Twitter.

    Can you prepare the recipe up until after the first fry and then freeze the fries to be used at a later date, and if so, how would you alter the second fry to cook from frozen?

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