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Can You Deep Fry Frozen French Fries? (Important Food Facts)

Can You Deep Fry Frozen French Fries? (Important Food Facts)

Deep frying your french fries is a quick way to make tasty fries.

It’s not the healthiest of foods, but it’s cheap, convenient, and relatively easy to prepare.

Many people have french fries in the freezer at home and wonder if they can deep fry them frozen or if they have to defrost them first.

You can and should deep fry your French fries while they are still frozen. This will reduce cooking time and enhance their quality, as deep frying them will make them deliciously crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. 

Read on to find out why deep-fried frozen fries are so tasty and how to best cook them in the deep fryer!

Do You Need to Defrost Frozen French Fries Before Deep Frying?

a bag of frozen french fries

Thawing your frozen french fries before deep frying them is unnecessary and actually not recommended by most food brands or restaurant chefs.

Think about it; most restaurants and fast-food chains (like McDonald’s) put their frozen fries directly into the deep fryer!

Not only does this save a lot of time, but, as it turns out, deep frying french fries in their frozen state also gives them the very best flavor and texture. 

There are three main reasons for this:

  1. Frozen french fries are blanched, meaning they are heated with boiling water or steam before being frozen. This lowers cooking time and results in a twice-fried cooking style, producing fries that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. 
  2. Blanching also stops the foods’ enzymes’ actions, a process that would otherwise lead to loss of color, texture, and flavor. 
  3. Freezing also seals the fries’ surface, preventing them from absorbing too much oil during frying. This means both crispier and healthier french fries!’

Yes, you read right! Deep frying your frozen french fries actually makes them healthier. Studies have shown that deep-fried frozen french fries typically have a lower fat and acrylamide content. 

So forget about defrosting your fries and just put them straight into your deep fryer! 

Now, let’s take a closer look at how to best fry those frozen potato sticks.

At What Temperature Do You Deep Fry Frozen French Fries?

Frozen french fries are best deep-fried at a temperature of 355 to 375°F (180 to 190°C).

I have found that the optimal temperature for both thin and thick fries is 375°F (190°C).

If the oil temperature is below 355°F (180°C), frying your french fries will take much longer. This often increases oil absorption, making your fries soggy and not all that crispy.

On the other hand, if you fry them at a temperature higher than 375°F (190°C), the frying process will speed up significantly, and if you don’t take them out fast enough, your fries will be hard and burnt.

How Long Do You Deep Fry Frozen French Fries?

frozen french fries deep frying in hot cooking oil

Given that you have preheated your deep fryer to the recommended 375°F (190°C), your frozen french fries should be fried for about 3 to 7 minutes.

Thin fries are usually ready within 3 to 5 minutes, while the thick variants need 5 to 7 minutes in the deep frier.

Of course, the exact time depends on both the fryer model you are using (as temperatures can vary a little) and how crispy you’d like your fries to get.

Sometimes, we like our fries semi-soft on the outside and hence shorten the frying time by a minute or so.

Other times, we want to make them extra crispy and leave them in a minute or so longer instead.

Experiment with the cooking time and see what fits you and your taste best!

GOOD TO KNOW: As a general rule, you should fry your frozen french fries until they start to get golden brown.

Are Deep-Fried Frozen French Fries Crispy?

crispy french fries fresh out of the deep fryer

As mentioned above, deep-frying your frozen french fries can make them very tasty and deliciously crispy on the outside while still being soft and smooth on the inside.

Many people think frying your french fries frozen will make them hard, but the opposite is actually true!

Again, if you defrost your fries before putting them in the deep fryer, they will absorb a lot of oil, which actually makes them less crusty on the outside, especially once they have cooled down a little.

But you won’t just miss out on a crispy fry! If too much oil gets into your fries while they are cooking, you can also say goodbye to the high-quality Belgian-style french fry, which is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Instead, all you’ll get are soggy and soft french fries that will taste spongy and oily. Yuck!

Is It Safe to Put Frozen Fries In Hot Oil?

Putting your frozen fries directly in your deep fryer is safe if they are free from large ice crystals.

But if there is any ice buildup on your fries, it’s important to shake that off before you put them in the fryer, as the ice will expand once it goes into the hot oil.

This usually happens almost instantly and results in smaller or bigger hot water and oil explosions. And that’s not a good thing!

If you’re unlucky, you could get severe burns on your hands and arms, so make sure there are no ice crystals on those fries when you take them out of the freezer!

GOOD TO KNOW: Excessive ice buildup is especially common in already opened food bags that have remained in the freezer for a long time. Always check these opened packages before frying your food in hot oil!

Should You Add Oil to Frozen Fries?

Some people like to spray olive or sunflower oil onto their frozen fries before putting them in the oven or air fryer.

However, adding extra oil to your fries is unnecessary when using a deep fryer.

There is already enough oil in your fryer, and you won’t make your fries crispier simply by adding more oil.

PRO TIP: If you’re not a fan of oil and fat, you can drain them on a paper towel to get rid of that extra oil before serving them!

Do You Need to Salt Frozen French Fries?

a portion of freshly fried french fries with salt

You should definitely salt or season your frozen fries once they are ready!

Take the basket out of the deep fryer, put them into a bowl, and sprinkle them with some delicious sea salt while they’re still steaming hot!

The potato and salt flavors will blend nicely this way, and you’ll get the best taste from your frozen french fries!

PRO TIP: Instead of sea salt, you can also sprinkle your french fries with some BBQ seasoning. It’ll give them an exceptional flavor that totally blows your mind!

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