Sugar Is Your Ticket To Ultra-Crispy Homemade French Fries

basket of french fries
basket of french fries - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

We know that salt is a crucial ingredient when making french fries. It's what turns boring, bland potatoes into crave-worthy morsels, perfect for dipping in ketchup, slipping in your next burrito, or crumbling onto casseroles. However, when trying to achieve the perfect texture for french fries (soft on the inside, crispy on the outside), one of the best ingredients to turn to may also be one of the most unexpected — sugar.

While you may have heard that some fast food establishment add sugar to their fries to keep you coming back for more, there are plenty of worthy reasons to include it in your homemade batch. Just as a salty brine can be used to draw moisture out of chicken skin before frying, sugar has the ability to bind with water molecules, extracting liquid in a similar manner. But that's not all it can do. When you fry your spuds, the sugar will react with the amino acids (creating what's called the Maillard reaction), which results in a nice, crunchy, golden-brown coating. In fact, the latter reason is why McDonald's uses sugar (in the form of dextrose) on its fries to create that signature golden hue.

Read more: 23 Types Of Potatoes And When To Use Them

Submerge Your Spuds In Sugar, With Or Without Water

potato wedges soaking in water
potato wedges soaking in water - Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

So, how can you add sugar to your fries, without morphing them into a dessert? One way is to make a sugar-water solution to soak your potato strips in. First make sure your granulated ingredient is completely dissolved in water, then marinate your spuds in this liquid for a good long time in the fridge — ideally overnight. Although it may seem a little nerve-wracking, you want a couple tablespoons of sugar and enough water to completely submerge your potatoes. After you've drained your potatoes and patted them with a paper towel, proceed with deep-frying like normal.

However, for a less time consuming method, you can skip the water bath. If you're baking or air frying, sprinkle the same amount of sugar over your spuds once they're cut, then let them sit in a colander for up to half an hour in the sink. There's no need to rinse off the granules, but you will still want to pat your fries dry with a paper towel. Whichever method you go with, feel free to toss your potatoes in whatever seasonings you like once they've emerged from their sugar soak. When they're cooked, you'll have golden, extra-crispy fries.

Read the original article on Tasting Table