McDonald’s Chips Patent

How to make the best hot, crispy chips: freeze them! Totally counter-intuitive, but that’s the McDonald’s secret; the secret that McDonald’s unwittingly stumbled upon.

If you:
– simply deep-fry chips, they turn into “slap chips” – limp and soggy;
– double-fry chips, they become crispy, but with a hollowed-out interior; or
– over-fry chips, they, well, … burn.

There was no obvious path to the perfect chip; a firm chip with “body” – succulent potato within a browned, crispy “shell”. Not until McDonald’s added a tricksy step:

– cut, wash and blanche strips of potato;
– dehydrate by 20%-30% in a convection oven;
– deep fry at 150-190C for 15-60 seconds;
– FREEZE to -18C; and
– deep fry at 150-190C for 90-210 seconds.

As with many great inventions, McDonald’s happened upon this solution by accident. Their initial intention was to freeze-store chips made from fresh, seasonal potatoes; not to change the world of deep-frying forever. Today, twice-frying with an intermediate freezing step is common for many deep-fried foods.

(Patent: US3397993)

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