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Subject: Oil for French fries?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Ron 
Date: 11 Dec 1997 00:10:10 GMT
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I've got an electric deep fryer and was wondering what is the best oil for
French fries?  I've heard canola oil is the healthiest (I believe Crisco
liquid oil  is canola) but does it make tasty fries? Thanks. 

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From: cornie[at]aol.com (Cornie)
Date: 12 Dec 1997 14:06:47 GMT
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I don't know how healthy this is, but I love my fries in peanut oil.  

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From: hartmans[at]ix.netcom.com (Kay Hartman)
Date: 12 Dec 1997 15:19:07 GMT
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Rendered beef fat makes the best fries.  When McDonalds got the
reputation for excellent fries, that's what they used.  I know some
other local L.A. places that also have made excellent fries with
rendered beef fat.  Unfortunately, we no longer think we can tolerate
this so we are frying our fries in healthier oils.

French fries, by their very nature, are so unhealthy, I say what's the
difference?  

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From: Elizabeth Falkner 
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 14:02:15 -0500
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Rendered GOOSE fat makes the BEST fries (Oh yes, drool, yum), but I
never seem to have any around...

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From: rain[at]hothouse.iglou.com (Rain)
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 02:02:00 GMT
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JAKH>French fries, by their very nature, are so unhealthy, I say what's the
JAKH>difference?

It's considerable to me, 'cause fries *don't* have to be unhealthy.

The potatoes themselves aren't, of course; quite the opposite, in
fact.  And while any frying medium is going to provide about the same
number of fat calories, my diet is generally healthy, so an order of
well-drained fries now and again isn't going to be enough to make it
unhealthy.  Fries needn't be oversalted to be tasty, either,
especially if they're splashed with vinegar the way I like 'em and
then slathered with black pepper....yummm!

So my only real health concern with fries would be cholesterol, and
that can be eliminated by using vegetable oil instead of meat fat.

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From: Bernie Schopper 
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 21:42:36 -0500
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>French fries?  I've heard canola oil is the healthiest (I believe
>Crisco liquid oil  is canola) but does it make tasty fries? Thanks.

Crisco is soybean oil - the cheapest oil around.
 
> French fries, by their very nature, are so unhealthy, I say what's the
> difference?

Not if they're cooked in a convection oven - no oil is used and they're
as crispy as having been fried.

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From: mel sorg 
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 03:12:40 +0000
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I hate to become the Galloping Gourmet of french-frydom, so stick to 
peanut oil....with a bit of lard for flavor:)
  You never heard so many complaints as when we tried using a new, 
low-cholesterol, good for you oil to cook popcorn at work in one of 
those theater poppers.  We tried a number of things, including gallons 
of butter-flavored oil from Sam's club, but nothing got as many 
compliments as plain old coconut oil.  Only one couple had the guts to 
complain that we were poisoning our patrons.....but it was hard to take 
anyone serious that wore color coordinated polo shirts and matching nose 
rings........

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From: David de Prado 
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 10:42:46 +0100
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Are you looking for a real low-cholesterol oil??
Olive Oil!

I know it's expensive outside Italy or Spain, but this is the real and
(almost) only low-choresterol oil

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From: mel sorg 
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 11:29:36 +0000
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o.k., recheck my post....I'm not looking for low cholesterol oil !   I 
want FLAVOR!  I forgot olive oil, good tasting, but not the traditional 
french fry flavor I'm looking for.

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From: connorbd[at]bc.edu (Coach)
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 02:16:05 -0500
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What, you've never heard of canola oil?

Actually, in my family we use both; we were using olive oil exclusively
for deepfrying for a long time, but about three years ago the prices went
through the roof and we switched over to canola, just keeping some extra
virgin olive oil around for flavor needs. We've started to switch back now
that the prices have dropped. 

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From: hartmans[at]ix.netcom.com (Kay Hartman)
Date: 14 Dec 1997 17:41:17 GMT
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>Not if they're cooked in a convection oven - no oil is used and they're
>as crispy as having been fried.

Yes but then they're not French *fried* potatoes.  They are not French
*fries*.

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From: "Laura F " 
Date: 12 Dec 1997 16:58:15 GMT
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As an aside - McDonalds used to add some other fat to there oil - beef fat
or something like that?  Anyone know how you would do that for home frying
(since they have gone "healthy???" on us)

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From: kate[at]wwa.com (Kate)
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 14:39:32 GMT
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Try half lard and half canola oil.  I did an experiment once.  I hand cut some 
french fries and set up two large sauce pans for deep frying.  One filled with 
lard the other with canola oil.  Cooked fries at same temp and about the same 
length of time.  Put half of each on opposite sides of my boyfriend's plate 
(he had insisted that there was no taste difference and we should always go 
the healthier route).  Needless to say the taste difference was quite apparent 
(I knew of the two cooking fats but he didn't).  Certainly not for everyday 
cooking but I don't make french fries very often and they are already loaded 
with fat so....

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From: Philip Gantt 
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 14:15:36 -0800
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Peanut oil is by far the best in my opinion.  Of all the various cooking
oils, peanut oil has the highest flash point.  This means you can get
peanut oil hotter without smoking in comparison to other oils or fat. 
This translates to crispier fries when prepared properly.  The drawback
is that peanut oil is more expensive than other oils.  It does have a
nice flavor for fries however.

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From: szinski[at]richmond.edu (Steve Zinski)
Date: 16 Dec 1997 17:15:41 GMT
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The proper technique for cooking crispy-on-the-outside light-and-fluffy-
on-the-inside french fries is not how hot you can heat the oil, but the 
cooking technique.

To make perfect fries, you must cook them twice: first by blanching them 
until cooked, limp and soggy (not crispy or browned). Remove and drain on 
a paper towel until cooled to room temperature. Once at room temperature, 
fry again until lightly brown and crisp (usually less than 60 seconds). 
Remove, drain, and lightly salt.

Most fast-food restaurants use vegetable shortening to fry foods and not 
oil. Vegetable oil tends to impart an off-taste in my opinion. Shortening 
does not impart the off-flavor. I've been told that beef lard produces 
the best tasting fries.

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From: wayside[at]cyberhighway.net (Rob Patelke)
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 22:38:13 GMT
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Steve Zinski wrote:
>To make perfect fries, you must cook them twice: first by blanching them 
>until cooked, limp and soggy (not crispy or browned). Remove and drain on 
>a paper towel until cooled to room temperature. Once at room temperature, 
>fry again until lightly brown and crisp (usually less than 60 seconds). 
>Remove, drain, and lightly salt.

Thanks, Steve, what temperature seems to work best with this technique?

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From: Richard Yates 
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 14:01:46 -0800
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Rob Patelke wrote:
> Thanks, Steve, what temperature seems to work best with this technique?

Cook first at about 350 deg, when the boiling has subsided at 400. I
can't see any point in letting the chips cool between times.

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From: Liam 
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 02:21:27 -0800
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Without doubt, the best frys are cooked in rendered beef fat. Also make
sure that you use the double fry method.

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From: Richard Yates 
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 18:19:16 -0800
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Liam wrote:
> Without doubt, the best frys are cooked in rendered beef fat. Also make
> sure that you use the double fry method.

!!!!! I didn't think anyone'd come up with the correct,
complete answer! Be careful of boil-ups, though, when
the chips are wet.


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