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Slow-fried french fries

Bon Appetit has a recipe they say Robuchon swears by: slow-fried french fries. You put the potatoes in the pot, pour oil over, cook for 40-45 minutes on medium, then about 15 minutes on medium-high. Has anyone tried this? It sounds very, very easy and worthwhile, if it's as good as Adam Rapoport says.


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  1. I saw that too!! I would also love to know if this works, will eventually try it myself, just been a bit too busy to do so at the moment.

      1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

        That's like the hotdog recipe that came with my slow cooker. Seriously, who would want to wait 2-3 hours for a hotdog?

      2. Check out these earlier threads with user reviews of Robuchon's method:

        Fries - Robuchon method

        Cook's Illustrated "Cold Oil" French Fries

          1. re: MGZ

            To be fair, they are offering their own take on the recipe, with longer, slower cooking. The CI recipe calls for a rolling boil within the first 5 minutes, and then constant high heat for 20-25 additional minutes. The BA recipe takes twice as long, which kind of undermines some of the advantages of the cold-oil method (it's supposed to be faster and use less energy). But if someone tries it their way, I'd be interested to hear about the results.

          2. I've tried starting them in cold oil...turn the burner on high....remove when brown method...It works for maybe a slightly crispier fry, but in my experience not much....An hour? At any level of heat.......No thanks!

            1. I've tried something like this and the results are excellent, but it does not take an hour to make a batch of fries the way I do it. Terns like "medium" and "medium high" are worthless, since there are no standards for stove burner design. My burner controls go low --> high, so where is "medium"?.

              I just put the fries in cold oil and turn the burner about half way, When you get a lot of bubbling action, crank the heat up to about 3/4 of the maximum, and cook until golden brown. I use a lot of oil, about 2 liters for just one large potato, so that effects the time it takes to come up to temperature at each stage. Bottom line is, the method works, but you will need to experiment a bit to get it right..

              Oh yes, total time for me is about 20-30 minutes.

              1. I'm curious how a professional chef with a great reputation (Joël Robuchon) would even consider using a method for cooking french fries that required an hour's cooking time. Does he par-fry them on "medium" for 40- 45 minutes and hold them for the order to be placed so he can cook them the final 15 minutes? For a certainty, I can't believe he would require that the customer wait an hour for the order to be served. Personally, I do use the twice cooked method for my fries (cook at 325, drain, and finish at 350) but it doesn't require an hour to get the job done.

                1 Reply
                1. re: todao

                  I'm sure he doesn't cook fries like this in his restaurants, since for one thing you can't do a second batch without starting with new, cold oil. This was a trick he suggested (I saw it on TV) for home cooks, and I don't recall the exact cooking time, but it was definitely less than an hour. Maybe he published it in one of his cookbooks and someone can look it up and post it here.

                  I always thought the twice-cooked method ideally called for the fries to cool back down to room temp or even refrigerator temp before the second frying. In which case it would take a lot longer. I have tried all of these methods at different times, but never a side-by-side test.

                2. I have had mixed results. The fries can turn out tough, and if thin they are definitely tough. Better results with soaking in salt water and double frying; first at 280, second at 350. For thick fries this is a good method.

                  1. Hello guys, I know I'm 2 years late for the discussion, but I've just tried this method (albeit I didn't have a deep enough pan to fully cover the potatoes without risking a lot of spilled oil, so I had to stir them quite a bit) but it still went great!
                    I'm posting this for other late arrivals that feel unsure about the recipe and don't want to risk burning their kitchen down..

                    PS: If you also only have a shallow pan be careful how you move the fries about as in the late stages of the first, slow, cooking they become quite easy to break and squish.
                    PPS: Even with a shallow pan, try your best to have the fries fully submerged in oil.. Of course this means a lot more limited portions..
                    PPPS: I accidentally discovered that if you let the cut potatoes dry for some time before frying they tend to become a bit more crunchy on the outside (in the 2nd phase of medium-high heat) while retaining taste and a nice juicy texture on the inside (which is good if you like that sort of thing).

                    1. Burger with cold oil fries. Didn't take an hour. Cook on medium heat

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: scubadoo97

                        I saw the following method on ATK a couple of years ago and I've cooked fries tis way since. Excellent results:
                        I use 'Kennebec' potatoes.
                        Cut into about 5/16", no bigger. Unpeeled but washed and patted dry. Into good size pot for safety.
                        Say four potatoes.
                        Cover with room temp. oil. I use sunflower b/c it's reasonably cheap.
                        The oil is about an inch above the potatoes.
                        Turn burner to med. heat.
                        Soon the potatoes are bubbling happily away. The oil doesn't need to be screaming hot.
                        ATK said when the potatoes stop bubbling b/c of the water leaving them they are ready. They are then nice and brown.
                        One thing they stressed was NOT to 'play' with the potatoes when they are cooking. This works. LEAVE them alone!
                        Chinese ladle to remove potatoes from the oil. Into bowl lined with paper towels. Sprinkle on some Kosher salt.
                        The results are really good. Fries are not greasy.
                        If you cut the fries too small they will get crunchy. Some like them that way,

                      2. I didn't try it, but I'll. Thank you for recipe ;))