French fries are a delicious side dish or quick snack paired with a yummy sauce, and making it from scratch is time-consuming, so many opt for the frozen one instead.
Which brought about the question, What is the oil temperature for frozen French fries to get the same crispy yet soft texture as the fresh ones? Also, the secret of delectable fries lies in the frying process. The oil needs to be at the right temperature, and if it is too cool, it will absorb the oil; if it is too hot, it will burn.
So, what is the oil temperature for frozen French fries? Frozen fries should be deep-fried at around 350°F for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fries. Slim-cut fries can be prepared within 5-8 minutes, while chunky cuts can take about 8-10 minutes.
Best Oil Temperature for Frozen French Fries
The best oil temperature to deep-fry frozen French fries is 325oF. You can also deep fry French fries for three minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown and crispy. One of the most critical steps when deep-frying chips, is to ensure that the oil is at the right temperature.
If you add too many frozen potatoes and then cook them in hot oil, you will end up with soggy fries due to the sudden temperature drop. Using the proper deep-frying temperature ensures the fries are cooked through and gives them a crispy exterior.
Also, if you want to use a temperature higher than 375 degrees, you will need to increase the tendency of burning your French fries or they may end up being undone. Moreover, some types of French fries, such as shoestring and basket-weave fries, can be done at 375 degrees F.
How Are Frozen French Fries Made?
Before we explain further on how to fry frozen French fries at home, it is crucial to know how they are made since their preparation plays a massive role in their cooking time . Frozen fries are prepared the same way as home-cooked fries, but a few factors give pre-packaged fries an advantage.
firstly is the potatoes themselves. Not all French fries are made the same way! It is common to get varying textures and flavors from different types of potatoes.
The type, size, and age matter when picking the perfect potatoes for French fries; manufacturers only source the best potatoes from around the region. Frozen French fries go through multiple processes to achieve that distinct crispy and fluffy texture.
This is how:
Blanching the Potatoes
The potatoes are cut and then blanched in hot water for some time which helps to soften the outer skin of the fries and improve the texture.
Blanching also helps the fries achieve a long shelf-life as it kills off any bacteria and help to reduce frying time of the fries too. Once blanched, the potatoes then rest in cold water.
This frying process is essential as it adds flavor with specialized cooking oils and helps the fries achieve a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior.
The fries are quickly fried in an industrial-grade fryer that half-cooks the fries at a specific temperature. This process takes a few minutes but produces a crispy exterior when refried at home. The oil also prevents the fries from sticking to each other while packaged.
Every manufacturer has their secret sauce when preparing the fries, but most follow the same procedures with minor adjustments!
After blanched and half-fried, the fries are moved to a flash-freezing machine, frozen to below 0°F temperatures, allowing them to retain their texture, moisture, and flavor.
Keep in mind that slowly freezing them will result in low-quality and dry fries, so they must be flash-frozen. The fries are then kept at 0°F and can last for a few months at home.
Ways to Fry Frozen French Fries
Frying frozen fries at home is easy. All you need is the following:
1. Using Oven
The oven can do the job for individuals who stay away from oil and prefer healthy, clean-tasting French fries. Just follow the instruction and get a crispy exterior and mealy interior French fries.
All you need is to preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. While your oven is preheating, keeping the French fries in the fridge is best, no need to thaw them.
2. While the oven is heating up, prepare a non-stick baking sheet or spray your baking pan with cooking spray or use butter or olive oil.
3. Once the oven is well heated, spread your frozen French fries evenly onto the baking sheet.
4. Bake all the French fries in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
5. Once the first side is golden brown, flip the French fries to bake the other for another 10 minutes and take it out from the oven and rest for 2-3 minutes.
2. Using Deep Fryer
Using deep fryer is the perfect way to cook frozen French fries. Most chemical reaction between the frozen French fries and smoking hot cooking oil makes it so crispy after frying.
Here is how,
1. Fill your deep fryer with oil and let it heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Take the fryer basket, add your frozen French fries, spread the French fries evenly, and do not overcrowd the basket because it won’t cook well if it’s overcrowded.
3. fill it with at least ¼ of the frying basket to ensure that it’s going to be crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside.
4. Slowly lower the frying basket onto the deep fryer with caution. Be careful not to split oil on yourself since the oil might splatter at times.
5. At least fry for 4 minutes per batch until it turns golden brown.
6. Once the French fries are cooked, set them aside on a paper towel to absorb all the excess grease from the oil.
3. Stove Method
Here’s another unique technique you can use to achieve that crispy fried French fries. The stove method is quite the same as a deep fryer, but we will use the stovetop instead.
How to Use Stove Method,
1. Take a nice skillet and set it up on the stovetop.
2. Fill it up with cooking oil at least ¼ inch from the bottom and medium-high heat it until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Season the fries with a bit of salt.
5. Then, evenly spread the first batch of your frozen French fries onto the skillet. Ensure you put just enough French fries where the oil coats them perfectly.
6. Cook the French fries until it’s golden brown and crispy according to your liking.
7. Remove the cooked French fries with a spatula drainer and set them aside on a paper towel to eliminate the excess oil.
4. By Using Air Fryer
Here’s the modern way of frying your frozen French fries without adding oil.
Here is How,
1. Rub some olive oil or lard in the air fryer basket. If you have a cooking spray, this method is faster. It is done by spraying it onto the surface to grease the fryer basket.
2. spread your frozen French fries evenly in the fryer basket, and be careful not to overcrowd your fryer basket. Depending on your air fryer’s size, you can put more French fries as long as it’s still not overcrowding the basket.
3. Air fry the French fries for about 18 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Randomly shake the fryer basket, flip the fries, and spread the heat evenly.
5. Check if it’s golden fried and crispy; but if it’s not, Just return it and cook for some more.
Do You Need to Thaw Frozen French Fries Before Deep-Frying?
Now that you know it’s acceptable to deep fry frozen your French fries, the next question is how long does it take to thaw them before frying.
First, , know that defrosting the frozen French fries before deep-frying is a bad idea. Defrosted French fries tend to absorb too much cooking oil, and you can end up having greasy French fries. So, it’s highly crucial that you avoid thawing the frozen French fries before deep frying.
Also, the fry’s exterior remains intact and crispy when it’s cooked, unlike when being thawed, where it gets crumbly or flaky—resulting in a less crispy exterior and mushy interior.
Do I Need to Defrost French Fries Before Frying Them?
According to most experts, it’s best not to defrost your frozen French fries when frying them. Defrosting French fries will make them drenched with water, and affects the French fries’ crispness when cooked.
However, the results will differ from when you’re frying it while it’s frozen. As I said earlier, there’s some chemical effect with the cold French fries Versus the hot cooking oil that makes it even crispier.
Now that you know the oil temperature for frozen French fries, and if you don’t want to spend most of your evening peeling and cutting potatoes for fries, grab the bag of store-bought frozen French fries and pop them into a sizzling hot pan with oil and fry for about 3-7 minutes.
Another essential thing to note is that you should add it to oil in small batches, as this will prevent lowering the oil temperature, which can result to a greasy fries and soggier French fries. Then once you’ve started frying, you should turn them over occasionally to ensure they are cooked evenly .