Now, you can take those and put them between two slices of buttered bread (a chip butty), smother them in grated cheddar (cheesy chips) or coat them in curry sauce, chippy sauce or meat gravy (the brown kind). So long as they’re relatively thick cut and never, ever curly, they’re chips.

200g Maris Piper per person
Dripping or other animal fat, to cook (enough to half-fill your pan when melted)

The yellow-fleshed Charlottes are already distinctly better looking after the initial frying – positively golden, in comparison with the pasty Maris Pipers. Once they've been in for a second dip, they're even more attractive, boasting a light, even tan, which makes their oddly streaky rivals look rather like the victims of a bad home-bronzing job. Despite their handsome appearance, however, they trail behind in the tasting: the Maris Pipers are soft and fluffy where the Charlottes are disappointingly dense. They also boast the delectably crunchy edges of a good roast potato.

I tried that method tonight, but I ended up with soggy potato chips with a vinegar taste. I know some people like that taste with their chips or fries, but I don't care for it much. I suppose there could've been other factors that affected the outcome.

A plate of them anywhere in the British Isles would simply be referred to as a plate of cold chips.

Microwaving cold fries is basically steaming them. Because the microwave works by heating the inside of the fry first, the moisture inside each fry turns to steam, which makes the outside of the fry lose its crispness. Your goal is gently reheat the inside while re-crisping the outside. For that, you need the stove.

Now I just need to get back to Ireland so I can compete for my perfect ten, with chips.

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This technique is so intriguing! Unfortunately my chips browned well (more brown than in your picture) but never became crispy except on some edges… it was actually rather limp =(

jim
thanks for sharing your method and Im sure it gives great results but I think you missed the point here…
the cold oil method is super simple and gives what we’re all after – crispy shell and soft potato. Try it just once – you’ll be amazed ;)

I saw a similar technique on America’s Test Kitchen this past weekend. Your fries look perfect.

For an interesting twist try the African tubor, cassava. Sprinkle with amchur powder or ground toasted cumin seed and fine sea salt for a moreish snack.

You may just have changed my life. The photos look amazing. How often can you reuse the oil I wonder, more than once?

You could say the chips/fries have gone limp, once they are cold and no longer crunchy.
As others have mentioned "Soggy" works as well.

oh wow these look great!
but i am not a fan of using oil in large quantitys.. prefer to get my hot chips from an awesome tuck shop 5 minutes away :)

The reason for the french method is that the first frying at the lower temp allows the potato to cook through and go all fluffy and then the second frying at the higher temp is purely for browning and crispness. If you just fried them at the lower temp they would cook though and go mushy without browning. And if you just fried at the higher temp (even in 2 batches) the outside would brown before the middles had a chance to cook through. So with the cold oil method and the oil always changing / increasing in temperature you’re giving the chips the chance to cook through and then finishing off with browning at the end higher temp.

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Of course, these fries won’t taste exactly the same as they did when they came out of the deep-fryer, so if you really want to capture that just-fried flavor, your best bet is to submerge them in boiling oil for a couple of minutes. But if you’re going to go that far, you might as well just start from scratch.

Feel free to cut your chips to your preferred size. The more uniform the size, the more evenly they’ll cook but don’t stress about it too much. Who doesn’t love a few little super crispy bits among their fries.

ventilate
My other previous negative experience with frying was stinking out the kitchen. The cold oil method combined with a little ventilation seems to alleviate this.

Duck and chips recipe

Leftover fries also work really well as the basis for other dishes. You can chop them up and use them in a breakfast hash or in a frittata. Or you might repurpose them as hashbrowns or tater tots.

But a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a new technique for deep frying that sounded so simple, the minimalist in me just had to give it a go. A big thankyou to Molly Wizenberg and her podcast Spilled Milk for opening my eyes to the concept of starting to fry potatoes in cold oil. Pure genious.

Another reason I’ve avoided frying is what seems like a waste of oil. You mentioned you can strain and save it, but how long does it keep and how many times can you reuse it?

Cold chips

Fry the chips in beef fat to add flavour. Seasoning the chips with sea salt and vinegar is a must!

There are a few methods, but most of them don’t work very well. You can arrange your fries on a baking sheet and bake them until they crisp back up, but the bottom of each fry tends to get way too crunchy using this method. You can microwave them, but this tends to just steam your pommes frites from the inside. But there is one method we like, and it involves a frying pan.

I don't think I've ever heard someone refer to french fries as stale unless they had been left in a freezer too long before frying or baking.

It's not rocket science folks, just as u start potatoes in cold water to have them cooked inside out first, the same goes for this recipe. made it came out perfecto!!!

Thanks for the inspiration!
I'm not that into deep frying stuff, but as I saw this instructable and we needed some snacks for a party anyway, I thought why not. Yes that is what I thought.

I used "plain norwegian" potatoes, probably Kerr's Pink, sliced them with a cheese slicer to ~3 mm thickness, directly into a (black) plastic bowl with cold water. I finally added more water to completely fill the bowl, then put the bowl in a 4 C refrigerator for 2 hours (the time I had available). The next time I would try to exchange the water after 1 hour, thinking this would increase the rate of de-starching.

If I understand correctly, a potato is not much more than starch and a small amount of cellular protein. So when soaking, you're basically just thinning the slice. And why thin the potato? In order to get that water trapped within the starch network, out! It takes time to remove the moisture, and when enough water has boiled off, the temperature increases to let the browning reaction of sugars (from broken down starch) with amino acids (from proteins) commence. If the browning reaction goes too fast, you may need to stop at a brown but soggy potato slice. I noticed that the slice started off very nearly crispy (the browner ones were more crispy of course), but upon arrival to the party, no-one were impressed by a limp slice between their fingers.

I'll emphasize right here, with a special paragraph, that a soggy potato, cross my heart, tastes fantastic. Yes I will definitively aim for more crispness next time because it's something that needs to be learned and the texture is more attractive, but it's a refreshing experience to have potato chips with some depth to them, a feeling of eating something substantial, something not SO unhealthy. Maybe I should just make fries...

Another point I noticed is that, depending on the variety of potato, your potato may contain some free sugars, not bound to the resilient starch configuration. These sugars will be off browning before you'd want them to. Best get them out of there. They'll be happier in water.

After 2 hours soaking in water, I rinsed them again in cold water and let them drip off in a colander. In a saucepan I added some leftover rapeseed oil and then a bit more fresh, then carefully lowered a layer of slices so that the oil only just covered them. I didn't have enough oil (or small saucepan) to cover it over with a 1 inch layer. I then heated the pan (7-8 on an induction oven top, where 9 is max) and let the water boil off the potato slices. I think one batch took 5-10 minutes and indeed you need to pay well attention once the browning has started. You need to be perfectly ready to lift out the potatoes once your personal taste dictates that they are done.

Anyone used the starchy rinsewater? You could probably dry it off in an oven and get a small amount of starch powder of out it. Use it in a salad dressing to go with your potato crisps??

The only other thing to remember is that no one in the U.K. calls potato chips—meaning the cold, seasoned wafer-thin slices of potato in a bag—potato chips. Those are resolutely and always crisps.

Zero-hassle prep:

Scrub the potatoes and slice them horizontally into 3/8" sticks. There's no need to pat them dry unless you just can't stop yourself. ;-)

Fry:

Stagger/criss-cross the raw fries in layers as you put them into the heavy saucepan.  Cover completely with oil. 

Put the saucepan on the burner and turn the heat to "high".  When the oil begins to boil (about 5 minutes in) use tongs or a fork to stir the fries. This helps keep them from sticking together.  Let the fries boil in the oil 5 minutes longer and stir them again.   

Continue frying for a few more minutes. The bubbling will subside and the fries will begin to brown. When golden, remove them from the oil onto a layer of paper towels.  Salt and serve devour immediately.

Bon appétit!

P.S. The leftover oil can absolutely be reused. Cool and store it in a container until tomorrow. That's probably when you'll be craving another batch of awesome, easy, delicious homemade french fries! 






Runner Up in the
Fried Food Contest

Even though I have a deep fryer I have never used it also to said fear – I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this cold-fry technique! I have to try it as my husband is a chip fiend

However, while all frites are french fries, not all french fries are chips, not from the British perspective at any rate.

Thankyou for sharing this post! I too have a fear of frying – but will have to try this method :)

Reheat Fries

My heart sank a little when I heard this. But I soon reconciled myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to claim number one spot. You see, I have a fear of frying.

Aidan McGee, executive chef at The Truscott Arms pub, London

The most important thing is choose the correct potatoes. Maris Piper are good and Chippies Choice, which we use at Hawksmoor. Boil or steam the chips first until cooked through, then shake to roughen the edges. Allow them to air-dry before you fry.

cold oil potato chips
serves 2 as a snack

I find that floury potatoes are the best chippers because they give that perfect combo of light, crisp outsides and lovely fluffy interior texture. I’ve used both King Edwards and Ottoway Reds with much success. Maris Pipers or good old Sebagos would also be good choices. Interested to hear your favourite chip spuds.