Is an air fryer the same as an oven with a fan?
Air Fryer vs Convection Oven – An air fryer can be thought of as a sort of mini convection oven. Both appliances use a fan to circulate heated air throughout the cooking cavity. An air fryer or a countertop oven on the air fry setting usually circulates the air a bit faster than in a convection oven.
This can sometimes give you a crispier finish that is just a bit closer to an actual deep fried finish, depending on your recipe. A convection oven has the same advantages over an air fryer as a regular oven—size. If you’re making multiple dishes or batches at once, a convection oven can help prepare it all at once.
But if you’re simply preparing one pan of crispy fried cauliflower, an air fryer is just the right size and can save you the time of heating an entire oven. For maximum flexibility, why not have both? Use your air fryer or countertop oven for single batches and your convection oven for bigger jobs.
Why do you need to dry off the potatoes before you put them in the fryer?
How to Deep Fry French Fries – The best method for achieving perfect, crispy french fries is to deep fry your potatoes twice. Below, we’ll explain the best way to prepare potatoes for frying, how long to fry french fries, and how long you can hold fries before serving.
- Wash the potatoes: Ensure that your potatoes have been properly washed before you begin the cooking process.
- Optional: Peel the potatoes Depending on your preferences, peel your potatoes before frying.
- Cut the potatoes to your desired size: You can cut them by hand or use a french fry cutter for maximum efficiency and uniformity.
- Soak the potatoes: Be sure to soak the potatoes for 3 to 24 hours in a water and vinegar mixture. Soaking them will help to remove the excess starch and promote crispness. To make the mixture, put 1 tablespoon of vinegar into a gallon of water. This vinegar will help to keep the potatoes from oxidizing and discoloring.
- Dry the potatoes: It is important to dry your potatoes before frying them to prevent spattering. Use a clean towel to pat them dry on a sheet pan or put them into a salad dryer to remove the excess moisture. If you store the potatoes uncovered in your cooler overnight, this will help to further dry them out.
- Blanch the potatoes: Begin to blanch the potatoes by frying them at 325 degrees for 3-6 minutes. The time will vary depending on the cut of your fries. Shoestring fries, also known as matchsticks, are only 1/8 inch thick and cook in a minute or less. Small, 1/4 inch French fry cuts take 2-3 minutes. Larger cuts like 3/8 or 1/2 inches will take 4-6 minutes. You are done blanching the potatoes when you can bend them without breaking them.
- Cool the fries: For efficiency, you can blanch several batches of potatoes and let them cool in your fridge or walk-in cooler. When it’s almost time to serve them, remove them from the cooler to be fried a second time.
- Fry them again: After cooling the fries, fry them a second time at 375 degrees for 2-3 minutes. Since you have already blanched the potatoes to partially cook them, this second round in the fryer will make them crispy. Look for a golden brown exterior to know they’re finished.
- Season the fries: Be sure to season your fries while the oil is hot. The hot oil will help your seasonings stick to the fries. Use salt, spices, fresh herbs, or even oils to flavor your fries.
- Serve: The ideal holding time for french fries is no more than 5 to 10 minutes. After that, the fries will lose some of their crispiness and become cold.
Creating the perfect french fries takes time. This process will help you to achieve the crispiest final product, but you can always adjust the frying time if you prefer soft fries. Experiment with seasonings, cuts, or even frying oils to create the best signature fries for your establishment.
Does soaking potatoes in water make them Crispier?
The Key To Crispy French Fries – Why soak potatoes for French fries? Soaking the sliced potatoes in water helps to draw out some of the starch from the middle of the potato, resulting in a sturdier, crispier French fry. Out of curiosity, I tried soaking potatoes 3 different ways:
in cold water in hot water in salted water
You can definitely notice a difference between soaked and un-soaked fries (the un-soaked ones go limp when you pick them up) but there’s not a huge difference between the type of soaking methods above. Why use salt water for soaking potatoes? There’s moisture naturally found in potatoes, and moisture is drawn to higher concentrations of salt. (This is a process called osmosis,) So, if you put the potatoes in a salt water bath, that will help draw out some of their moisture, resulting in crispier fries.
- I noticed that the fries soaked in salt water turned out slightly crispier than the other methods, so that’s what I recommend trying here, but just know that any soaking is better than no soaking at all.
- How long do you need to soak potatoes? Soaking potatoes for 15 to 30 minutes is sufficient, but you can soak them for up to an hour, if you have other things to do around your kitchen.
I think soaking any longer than that would be unnecessary.
Do you have to soften potatoes before frying?
Country Potatoes That Are Buttery On The Inside and Crispy On The Outside – The secret to perfect fried country potatoes that are crispy on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside is to boil them in salt water briefly before frying them in butter and oil.
If you start with raw potatoes and try to fry them, you’ll end up with potatoes that are burned on the outside and crunchy on the inside. That’s because it takes much longer for the inside of potatoes to cook than the outside. The key is to boil them first in salt water. This gives the inside of the potatoes time to get all nice and tender and seasons them from the inside out.
Potatoes are like sponges – they soak up a lot of water. If you season the water with plenty of salt, the potatoes will absorb the salt water. This means your potatoes will be seasoned all the way through – not just on the outside. Another reason to cook potatoes in heavily salted water is that the salt will allow the water to boil at a hotter temperature.
Does soaking potatoes make them cook faster?
Soaking Potatoes – The additional step of allowing the peeled, washed and cut potatoes to soak in cold water removes excess potato starch from the outside. This will help with the crisping up of the potatoes when they bake or roast. Soaking the potatoes in cold water also prevents the potatoes from browning too fast when cooking. Reheating the oven baked potatoes in the air fryer is a great way to save time and re-crisp the potatoes.