Creating the Perfect Chip

By Shaune Hall, Falcon Food Service Development Chef 

Summary

Creating the ‘perfect’ chip is a simply a case of creating a process that makes it easy to produce YOUR perfect chip without disrupting your work flow. Double cooked or triple cooked, the key is picking the right way for your business. 

The Perfect Chip is Easier Than You Think

In my years as a catering lecturer I was asked how to make the perfect chip probably more than any other question – and the truth is, it’s really rather simple!

It’s important to note before I get down to the details that all of these ideas are governed by taste – these are techniques I’ve used or seen being used in catering concerns all over Britain. But each chef has his own way of producing their ‘perfect’ chip, and you should spend time experimenting to find your perfect chip and your perfect method – there’s no wrong answers, just taste and opinion.

In this blog post I’m going to outline what you need to do to create a chip that will wow your customers and be the envy of your competitors.

The right potatoes are most of the work

The first step is understanding the potatoes and starch.

It’s vital to choose the right potato if you are going to be making them fresh.

As there are more than 4,000 varieties of potato it can sometimes seem daunting.  But by keeping it simple, you can take away the fear: the key is picking a variety that is relatively low in starch. A major constituent of all potatoes is starch, but some have more than others.

Starch is made up of glucose, or natural sugar (this is why if you chew a piece of bread long enough it begins to taste sweet, as bread has a lot of starch in it and your saliva is breaking it down into sugars). Sugar, when it’s heated, begins to caramelize and turns brown, which can look unattractive.

So I would recommend Maris Piper, which are the UK’s most popular variety and very versatile (you can roast, mash or make wedges from them). King Edwards are also very good, though I’d avoid Red Rooster as they have more starch and colour too quickly so you will have  a darker chip which isn’t as attractive in my opinion.

Peel them, wash them, chop them then wash them again to ensure as little starch remains on them as possible. I’d recommend blast chilling these cut, washed and dried chips before you use them too.

Classeq Undercounter Glasswashers Range
Merrychef Eikon e2s

Chip Cooking Techniques

Two Cook Method

The most common method for cooking chips in catering today is the two cook method.

This works great even if you are using bought in chips – a very common and worthy practice, especially if you are pressed for time! If you are going to be using bought in chips, use chilled, not frozen if possible, as these keep their ‘snap’ or crispness longer than frozen chips.

The two cook method does exactly what it says, you cook the chips for two minutes at a lower temperature, normally 160 degrees C, and then again for 2 minutes at a higher temperature, normally 180 degrees C.

This does two things: the initial cook makes sure that the chip is thoroughly cooked without drying it out or adding too much colour. The second cook adds colour and crisps the chip up. By following this technique you will get a crisp chip with a lovely fluffy interior.

For many businesses this works great and also, incidentally, helps them make their production line more efficient, by breaking up the cooking process and leaving only a short, two minute fry in the run up to plating up, ensuring crisp, hot chips going onto the plate at the last minute.

Classeq Undercounter Glasswashers Range
Merrychef Eikon e2s

Three cook method

This is the method used by gastro pubs and bistros when they call their chip’s “triple cooked”.

It’s very similar to the above method, but they add in an extra stage, where, during prep, they almost poach the chips in oil at a very low temperature, around 120 degrees C, for two minutes.

They then blast chill the chips after draining and drying them, and keep them until service when you follow the two cook method I describe above.

The Shaune Hall Method

I follow a variation of the three cook method, but I wanted to reduce the amount of oil I used in the cooking process. So instead of poaching the chips at a low temperature in oil, I use a steamer, or the steam setting in my combi oven.

So I peel, wash, chop, wash and dry my chips and then steam them for 10 minutes before drying them off, blast chilling them and getting them ready for service. I then follow the two cook method outlined above.

Why taking time over your chips matters

Chips are such an integral part of the British menu, that many businesses need to make them part of their offer. By taking a staged approach to your chips, however you produce them, you can make your production process more efficient and easier to manage. You will also improve the quality of your food and boost your reputation.

Conclusion


The perfect chip isn’t a myth – it’s an achievable and important part of any menu that you can guarantee each and every day of operation. Break the process of production down into the easy steps I’ve outlined above and your customers will be travelling for miles to try out your own version of the perfect chip.

Learn More

If you are interested in the range of Falcon Fryers, have a look at our website. We offer a variety of flexible procurement methods meaning that whatever your situation, and whether you want to rent or buy, we will have something that will suit you.  Click on the link below to see our complete range of Falcon fryer products.

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