Fry Problem Solving

Best Practices

French Fry Preparation & Guidelines

Are you repeatedly encountering the same problem or challenge in your day-to-day operations? Chances are there’s a simple solution—simply refer to the list below for some of the most common troubleshooting tips and cures.

Fry troubleshooting tips & solutions

Select an issue

Fries too light

Probable Causes

Oil temperature too low.
Fry time too short.
New oil.
Poor fryer heat recovery.
Fry basket overloaded.
Bad fryer element.
Early season potatoes.

Possible Cures

Check temperature, increase if necessary.
Do not remove fries before designated color/time required.
Break in oil with use.
Perform fryer recovery test.

Fries too dark

Probable Causes

Fry time too long.
Oil temperature too high.
Old or dirty oil.
Low oil level.
Excessive natural sugar.

Possible Cures

Reduce fry time.
Reduce temperature.
Check thermostat calibration.
Change filter or add new oil.

Too much color variation

Probable Causes

Fry basket overloaded.
Excessive natural sugar.
Late season potatoes.

Possible Cures

Do not overload basket (1/2 full max).
Add oil.

Limp, greasy fries

Probable Causes

Fry time too short.
Overloaded fry basket.
Fry basket hanging above fryer.
Dirty oil.
Oil temperature too low.
Poor fryer heat recovery.
Inferior quality fries.

Possible Cures

Adjust fry time.
Fill fry baskets no more than 1/2 full.
Change filter or add new oil.
Check temperature with an accurate thermometer.
Perform fryer recovery test.
Do not overload basket (1/2 full max).

Tough, hollow fries

Probable Causes

Fry time too long.
Fry temperature too high.

Possible Cures

Adjust fry time.
Check oil with an accurate thermometer.

Fries sticking together

Probable Causes

Overloaded fry basket.
Did not shake during the fry process.
Fries thawed, then refrozen.

Possible Cures

Never fill a basket more than 1/2 full.
Gently shake the fry basket after 30 seconds of cooking.
Check delivery and in-store handling practices.

Low yield

Probable Causes

Rough handling, excessive breakage.
Over portioning.

Possible Cures

Encourage proper product handling.
Check portion weight.

Poor length

Probable Causes

Broken pieces due to improper handling.

Possible Cures

Review delivery and in-store handling practices.

Poor texture
(Poor holding quality)

Probable Causes

Fry time too short.
Leaving basket over fryer too long.
Held too long before serving.

Possible Cures

Use proper time/temperature.
Baskets should remain over fryer just long enough to drain.
Shorten holding time.

Off flavors

Probable Causes

Too many foods cooked in same fryer.
Fry time too long.
Old or unfiltered oil.
Odor contamination from freezer.

Possible Cures

Use one fryer just for fries.
Adjust fry time.
Change filter or add new oil.
Clean fryer regularly.
Keep freezer clean and well organized.

Excessive oil usage

Probable Causes

Failure to drain fry basket.
Oil temperature too low.
Frying thawed and/or refrozen product.

Possible Cures

Drain baskets properly (shake lightly).
Increase frying temperature.
Keep product frozen prior to frying.

Excessive ice crystals

Probable Causes

Product has been partially thawed and refrozen.

Possible Cures

Check handling procedures at all points and keep product frozen.

Excessive oil usage

Probable Causes

Failure to drain fry basket.
Oil temperature too low.
Frying thawed and/or refrozen product.

Possible Cures

Drain baskets properly (shake lightly).
Increase frying temperature.
Keep product frozen prior to frying.

Oil foaming

Probable Causes

Soap residue.
Excessive oil breakdown.
Ice crystals.
Frying low solids products.
Overheating oil.
Overloaded fry basket.

Possible Cures

Check cleaning procedure.
Check addition of fresh oil to fryer.
Use higher solids product.
Check thermostat.
Never fill a basket more than 1/2 full.

Gumming

Probable Causes

Heating oil too fast.
Overheating oil.
'Hot spots' on heating tubes.
Oil broken down.

Possible Cures

Melt shortening gradually to avoid scorching.
Check thermostat.
Check for 'thin walls' causing hot spots on tubes or elements.
Make sure oil turnover is adequate.

Grease-soaked foods

Probable Causes

Heat too low.
Overloaded fry basket.
Partially thawed product.

Possible Cures

Check thermostat.
Maintain 1:7 ratio of food to oil.
Handle product properly.

Smoking

Probable Causes

Old oil.
Partially thawed product.
Contaminated oil.
Overheating oil.

Possible Cures

Make sure oil turnover is adequate.
Handle product properly.
Filter or strain oil daily.
Check thermostat.

Darkening of oil

Probable Causes

Salting over fryer or prior to frying.
Contaminated oil.
Dirty oil.
Overheating oil.
Old oil.

Possible Cures

Salt foods in holding tray.
Filter or strain oil daily.
Clean thoroughly at least once a week.
Check thermostat.
Replace with fresh shortening every 3 to 5 days.