Probably one of the most popular side-dishes in the world, chips (or fries for our overseas friends) are perfect for serving up alongside a main, or even having by themselves with a hearty dollop of your favourite condiment.
Knowing how to fry chips properly can make or break your next batch so here are some tips to make sure you get that perfect crispy and fluffy finish!
Choose your spud!
The potato you use is pretty important, and whilst some people have their own approaches and techniques, you really can’t go wrong with King Edwards or Maris Pipers. This is because they have that fluffy texture for the inside whilst retaining a crispy outside when fried. If you like your chips large and chunky, then the potatoes need to be too!
Which oil should you use?
This is something that comes down to personal preference as different oils have different tastes. For instance, sunflower and sunseed oils are efficient and considered as the ‘healthier’ options as they have higher levels of polyunsaturated fats. However, if flavour is your game then go for cooking your chips in lard or rendered beef fat (which you can get from your local butcher).
Heat up your pan of oil and aim for a temperature around 160°C. You can test this by putting in a piece of bread to see how quickly it browns and crisps, which should be around a minute. For larger chips, you’re going to want to rinse them first to remove the outside starch and patted dry (this is important). Lower your chips in gently and keep an eye on them until they are golden brown before setting aside. If you are doing a large batch, do half at a time to make sure that the oil doesn’t cool down too much. If you’re feeling adventurous, then dial up the heat to 190°C and quickly cook them for a second time to really make the outsides crispy!
Chip pan fires make up a proportion of all kitchen fires so we do want to mention that you should be careful! Make sure that you don’t fill your pan with more than a third of the oil, leave the cooking unattended and make sure that your full attention is on it at all times. For more information, please visit the official advice from The Fire Service.
Season it up!
How you season your chips is up to you but there are lots of different flavours you can use to transform the final result. For instance, you could use sea salt and black pepper, rosemary, garlic or chili flakes. Try different combinations and enjoy a different treat every time.