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"Duck Fat Fries"

cgarner Jul 20, 2012 12:58 PM

Much like the big "Kobe Beef" in America discussion, I got into a similar discussion regarding Duck Fat Fries

What percentage of duck fat do you think restaurants generally use to cook fries when they call them “duck fat fries”??

I had a batch of these fries recently which didn’t really have any discernable flavor of duck fat

My husband said “they can’t call them duck fat fries unless they’re fried in duck fat”
I chuckled… he’s so cute!
(He didn't believe that the "Kobe burgers" he had at a local Pub weren't real Kobe Beef, either)

Of course they can… they could possibly use very little duck fat in a large industrial fryer and still call them duck fat fries… right??


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  1. TeRReT RE: cgarner Jul 21, 2012 10:02 AM

    Anywhere I have worked we have only used one fat for making fries. Sure you can mix fats fine, and some might, but places I have worked have used all duck fat, or all canola oil and even one place used only clarified butter.

    1. z
      zzDan RE: cgarner Jul 21, 2012 10:36 AM

      I do this every year or two. Get locally grown organic potatoes at a farm stand, make your fries from them. Organic can give you a fuller taste. You can try Whole Foods but too often their organic vegetables are a commodity without more flavor than the conventionally grown. Have sea salt on the side to use as you want. Have some good ketchup to dip fries into. For a spicy variation I have a small cup of ketchup that has had cayenne stirred into it.

      You can have malt vinegar, aioli, mayonnaise dips.....just not my thing
      PS .... I doubt I could taste the duck fat either.

      4 Replies
      1. re: zzDan
        Veggo RE: zzDan Jul 21, 2012 10:46 AM

        Do you use duck fat?

        1. re: Veggo
          zzDan RE: Veggo Jul 21, 2012 11:37 AM

          No. Just a good vegetable oil.
          When people use duck fat they are trying to improve the French fries. Instead, try organic potatoes to get a better French fry

          1. re: zzDan
            pj26 RE: zzDan Jul 24, 2012 07:20 AM

            A good duck fat chip (as opposed to fries) can be a thing of beauty, crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside with a certain richness of flavour/crispiness I don't think you can get with a vege oil.

            1. re: pj26
              Chowrin RE: pj26 Aug 4, 2012 04:50 AM

              How does this compare iwth lard chips? sounds like it doesn't keep as well...

      2. linguafood RE: cgarner Jul 24, 2012 07:38 AM

        Duck fat fries are so last century. Try some goose fat fries some time :-)

        4 Replies
        1. re: linguafood
          MikeG RE: linguafood Jul 24, 2012 08:59 AM

          I'd never heard of using duck fat for non-duck things until the FDA banned imports of goose fat, even in cans and jars... we don't have much of a domestic supply and last time I checked, what exists is far more expensive than it used to be.

          1. re: MikeG
            MikeG RE: MikeG Jul 25, 2012 05:51 AM

            Errm, that should've been "the USDA" not FDA...

          2. re: linguafood
            linguafood RE: linguafood Jul 24, 2012 09:19 AM

            Aforementioned goose fat fries. Sadly, the photo is a bit dark and blurry. BEST fries I have ever had.

            1. re: linguafood
              Veggo RE: linguafood Jul 24, 2012 09:26 AM

              Finally a useful purpose and noble ending for all the canadian geese that s**t all over golf courses!

          3. h
            Harters RE: cgarner Jul 24, 2012 08:16 AM

            I recently had duck fat fries at Duck Fat, Portland, Maine. They make a BIG THING of them. They were good fries but nothing too special.

            Folk were waiting 45 minutes for a table. I'd never wait 45 minutes for any meal.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Harters
              Veggo RE: Harters Jul 24, 2012 08:21 AM

              Thanks, I was curious about the duck fries. I have 2 pints of duck fat which I won't squander making french fries.

              1. re: Veggo
                MonMauler RE: Veggo Jul 24, 2012 08:41 AM

                Veggo, I use the duck fat I render almost exclusively for frying potatoes, which is the best application I've used it for. IMHO, it creates far better fries than any other type of oil I've used - nice crunchy exterior, soft and fluffy interior, with a rich, decadent taste.

                Sometimes I will use duck fat to fry eggs. Otherwise, it will occassionally go with roasted or sauteed veggies. Otherwise, I'm curious as to what you use it for other than frying potatoes. I guess I've gotten tunnel vision as to using duck fat for fries ever since my first few attempts, so any suggestions as to other applications where you think it is superior to other types of fat would be greatly appreciated...

                1. re: MonMauler
                  linguafood RE: MonMauler Jul 24, 2012 08:49 AM

                  Duck fat is great for scrambled eggs, too.

                  1. re: linguafood
                    MonMauler RE: linguafood Jul 24, 2012 09:29 AM

                    Oh yes, certainly. I was including scrambled eggs in my "frying eggs" mention above. Frying in duck fat takes eggs to a whole different level of deliciousness.

                  2. re: MonMauler
                    Veggo RE: MonMauler Jul 24, 2012 09:08 AM

                    MM,I recently returned to Florida after a long project in Dallas, where the nice lady in my gourmet store gave me unlimited duck fat and livers with my roasted ducks (which I also do myself, but I don't get the nice snowy-white fat). I frequently made duck hash with ample fat, also used it for frying eggs. I used butter and duck fat in equal amounts in my duck liver pate. I brought 2 pints with me, which I'll probably use for frying potatoes and for coating brussels sprouts halves before I roast them - they are good - I have some in the fridge now.

                    1. re: Veggo
                      MonMauler RE: Veggo Jul 24, 2012 09:31 AM

                      The duck hash you mention sounds great. I will definitely do that. The duck liver pate, though, sounds absolutely out-of-this-world. I want some now. I am definitely making that sometime in the very near future. Thanks, Veggo!

                    2. re: MonMauler
                      sandylc RE: MonMauler Jul 24, 2012 07:01 PM


                  3. re: Harters
                    Old Mumsy RE: Harters Aug 4, 2012 03:53 AM

                    Those fries at Duck Fat ARE something special! (Of course, you have to drink one of their milkshakes with them, too.) I've never waited for a table there, but I have seen people waiting. Wouldn't go that far for french fries.

                    1. re: Old Mumsy
                      Chowrin RE: Old Mumsy Aug 4, 2012 04:51 AM

                      I would. But hell,you like what you like.

                      1. re: Chowrin
                        Old Mumsy RE: Chowrin Aug 4, 2012 10:43 AM

                        Hmmm... maybe if I was faced with a 45 minute wait while craving Duckfat fries and a milkshake I would change my tune REALLY quickly.

                    2. re: Harters
                      Chowrin RE: Harters Aug 4, 2012 04:51 AM

                      then you're missing out, if nothing else, on the... stephos experience (thats a restaurant in vancouver).

                      1. re: Harters
                        JMF RE: Harters Aug 4, 2012 11:10 AM

                        I've had their duck fat fries and poutine with duck gravy around 5-6 times. Once I was there with a ten minute wait. Otherwise I never had a wait. Once the fries/poutine was just ok, the other times it was great.

                      2. mels RE: cgarner Jul 24, 2012 08:22 AM

                        At a recent lunch at an upscale burger joint, my table ordered regular fries and duck fat fries (communal baskets). Compared side to side, the duck fat fries were a little more rich than the regular fries but other than that, no discernible taste difference.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mels
                          Harters RE: mels Jul 24, 2012 08:56 AM

                          A similarish situation exists in the UK, where traditionally fish & chip shops would fry in beef dripping. Most now use vegetable oil - partly because it's cheaper, partly so they can sell to vegetarians. I like to think I can tell a difference when a place is frying with dripping - but I wonder if I'm just kidding myself.

                        2. nomadchowwoman RE: cgarner Jul 24, 2012 09:10 AM

                          I don't know--we had duck fat fries at a restaurant on Smith Mountain Lake that is a stand-out among the mostly casual amd mostly mediocre places along that lake, catering to vacationers, etc, pretty good for what it is but not great. The duk fat fries, however, were pretty darned good, and we could certainly taste the duck fat.
                          I use duck fat all the time, but have never made fries. The taste is very pronounced--and divine, imo--when used to roast potatoes, fry eggs, saute cabbage or carrots, add to beans, etc.

                          1. s
                            StringerBell RE: cgarner Jul 24, 2012 10:05 AM

                            Depends on the vendor, but I would imagine many of them cut the duck fat with cheaper oils like soybean or canola. Anyone who reads labels knows this is a common practice. I don't know how many times I've seen something with "honey" in the name and looked at the ingredients and the sweeteners are something like: "high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, honey." I laughed on Breaking Bad last Sunday when they started off with the food taster "This is our sweetest formation for the American Midwest. While we've upped its Brix number by 14%, we in fact used 2.2% less honey and made up the difference with high-fructose corn syrup."

                            Same thing with "olive oil" spreads: soybean oil, canola oil, palm oil, olive oil. Food marketing is a such a shady business.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: StringerBell
                              Chowrin RE: StringerBell Aug 4, 2012 04:52 AM

                              ... gad. it's the south what likes things sweet, isn't it?

                            2. j
                              Jerseygirl111 RE: cgarner Jul 24, 2012 10:19 AM

                              Anyone ever fry potato pancakes in duck fat? Would it be worth it?


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jerseygirl111
                                MonMauler RE: Jerseygirl111 Jul 24, 2012 10:39 AM

                                It is absolutely worth it! Use it for any type of fried potato preparation. Hashbrowns, homefries, French fries, potato pancakes, etc. It creates a nice golden brown exterior with an increased richness as compared other types of fat, in my experience. I think it is the absolute best fat to use for frying potatoes, and the benefit of frying potato pancakes in duck fat as opposed to French fries is that I generally use much less oil and cleanup is easier.

                              2. Jbirdsall RE: cgarner Jul 24, 2012 10:47 AM

                                I think the whole thing about duck fat fries isn't for flavor, but for a better smoke point than some vegetable oils (Elizabeth Falkner's now-closed Orson in San Francisco used to serve some fine ones). I don't think fries cooked in pure duck fat taste ducky, per se, they're just very, very crisp. Maybe beef tallow is different: I'd expect beef, and of course pork, to have a more assertive flavor. But poultry fats? I'm not sure you'd notice the flavor.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Jbirdsall
                                  cowboyardee RE: Jbirdsall Jul 24, 2012 07:57 PM

                                  Duck fat doesn't have an especially high smoke point (about 375). Several common (and much cheaper) oils are much higher. Refined/light olive oil, vegetable/soybean oil, and peanut oil just to name a few.

                                  Instead, it has often been observed that highly saturated fats (mainly, animal fats such as duck fat) make for crispier fried foods. I'm actually not sure of the exact mechanism of how this works. You can get similarly crispy fries by cooking in clarified butter (which also has a much higher smoke point than duck fat, btw), for example.

                                  Have you tried cooking with duck fat? It's quite flavorful. The flavor does come through in fries and goes nicely with potatoes, which is part of the reason it's regarded highly even in comparison to some other highly saturated fats. But if you personally don't find that you notice or enjoy the duckiness of duck fat-fried fries, try frying in another highly saturated fat and you'll find that you can get the same crispy results.

                                2. Tripeler RE: cgarner Jul 24, 2012 07:27 PM

                                  I do like fries made with bacon fat.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Tripeler
                                    pj26 RE: Tripeler Jul 25, 2012 02:46 AM

                                    Bacon fat will make most things taste better :)

                                  2. twyst RE: cgarner Jul 25, 2012 05:55 AM

                                    Many states have no truth in labeling laws if your operation has less than 3 locations. I live in one of those states and could serve you catfish and tell you Im serving you snapper etc, and it would be 100% legal.

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