Blanching and freezing potatoes for French fries is a simple process. Blanching is the process of scalding vegetables to halt the action of naturally-occurring enzymes present in all vegetables. Keep a batch of blanched fries in the freezer and you'll be prepared for unexpected dinner guests or to satisfy a sudden craving for French fries. Large potatoes such as Russets or Irish potatoes are best for French fries, as the potatoes have a higher starch content, resulting in French fries that are crispy, golden brown outside and fluffy and tender inside.
Scrub the potatoes under running water, using a stiff vegetable brush. You can peel the potatoes, but leaving the peels intact increases the nutritional content, as many of the vitamins and minerals are in the skin.
Place each potato on a cutting board. Use a chef's knife to cut the potatoes into strips about 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch in diameter.
Rinse the French fries; and dry them with paper towels.
Coat a baking pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Arrange the French fries on the baking pan. Blanch the fries, turning occasionally, until the fries are light golden brown.
Cool the fries quickly by placing them in the refrigerator. Place the cooled fries in an airtight freezer container or a plastic freezer bag.
Place the container in the freezer immediately. Use the fries within two months.
Things You'll Need
Stiff vegetable brush
Vegetable peeler (optional)
Nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil
Airtight freezer container or plastic freezer bag
You also can blanch French fries in hot oil. Heat the oil to 370 degrees F, and blanch the fries a few at a time until they are fork-tender. Drain the fries, and cool them quickly in the refrigerator before placing them in freezer containers.
Heat frozen French fries in an oven preheated to 450 degrees F. Alternatively, heat the fries in oil heated to 390 degrees F. Either way, heat the French fries until they're crisp and golden brown.
- University of North Dakota Extension; Freezing Potatoes; April 1995
- University of Missouri Extension: Food Safety
- Washington State University Extension: Potatoes
- University of Georgia Extension: Preserving Food: Freezing Vegetables;
- University of Missouri Extension; Quality for Keeps: Freezing Vegetables; Barbara J. Willenberg; June 2003