FRENCH FRIES

FRENCH FRIES
THE HISTORY OF FRENCH FRIES
Don't let the name fool you. French fries might not be exactly French. Who doesn't love a good side of french fries? But forget everything you know about today's fries. The originals were more like fried potato chunks. Think home fries meet steak fries. And the origins of fries are still highly contested. There's still serious drama between Belgium and France over who can claim the frite as their own. But before we get into the birth of fries, we can't forget the actual star of the show: potatoes. Potatoes are an ancient crop first cultivated in Peru around 8,000 to 5,000 BC. It wasn't until the 1500s when some Spanish conquistadors discovered the greatness of potatoes and brought it back with them to Spain. You know, just like how Christopher Columbus discovered America.



Once the potatoes landed in Spain, the vegetable eventually spread across Europe just waiting to be sliced, deep-fried, and devoured at 2:00 a.m. Now, here's where the fried debacle ignited. On one side, many people claim french fries originated in Belgium. Back in the 1700s, villagers along the River Meuse would usually eat small fried fish. But when the winter got super cold and froze the river, they would turn to potatoes instead, slicing them up and frying them instead of fish. When World War I was going on, American soldiers who were in Belgium stumbled upon the fried potatoes, but because people in southern Belgium speak French, the American soldiers called them french fries. Way to complicate things! On the other side, we have France. Many people from France claim french fries really are French.


Some say they were created by street vendors on the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf in 1789. But how did they go from a European street treat to an American fast-food obsession? Oddly enough, Thomas Jefferson might be responsible for introducing french fries to the U.S. Jefferson first encountered fries when he served as American Minister in France from 1784 to 1789. That's when he fell in love with the potatoes.

During his time there, he collected about 150 recipes, and among these recipes, it includes one for *clears throat* which translates to potatoes deep fried while raw in small cuttings. He would serve his White House guests this fried potatoes recipe from France, thus french fries. For some reason fries didn't really catch on with the public until the 1900s. Soldiers who came back from World War I would ask for the fries that they had in northern France and Belgium. The fries then really took off stateside. People started pairing them with hamburgers, and burgers and fries became a thing. Fast-food chains like McDonald's and Burger King helped make the combo popular and suddenly Burgers and Fries sort of became America's thing.

Nowadays, french fries are a beloved food all over the world in tons of different varieties, like shoestring, curly, waffle, crinkle, wedges, cheese fries, chili fries, or poutine. With endless condiments on the side, like ketchup, mayo, or both. And since we can't truly confirm whether we owe fries to Belgium or France, we salute them both for inventing the perfect side dish. or main depending on who you're asking. A bag of crispy, fresh McDonald's french fries. Golden brown. Very tasty!

THE UNTOLD TRUTH OF MCDONALD'S FRIES
McDonald's french fries are arguably the best fast food item ever invented. With their perfectly crisp exterior and distinct addictive flavor, it's hard to come up with a superior menu choice. But even lifelong admirers of McDonald's fries might not know everything there is to know about the iconic fast food side. Here are a few little-known facts about McDonald's fries.


Here's the beef
Vegans and vegetarians might assume that deep fried potatoes are a safe pick, but if you're noshing at a McDonald's in the states, that's not the case. According to the McDonald's website, stateside, their famous fries contain "natural beef flavor" as well as "hydrolyzed milk." In India and other countries where abstaining from animal products for religious reasons is a widespread practice, McDonald's keeps them out of the fries, according to ABC News. Not counting the obvious potatoes, a whopping 11 additional ingredients go into making the U.S. incarnation of the most addictive side of all time. In 2015, McDonald's hired electrical engineer and former Mythbuster Grant Imahara to break them all down. It's hardly an unbiased examination, but Imahara insists you haven't been enjoying a, quote, "Franken-fry composed of chemicals." For what it's worth, Imahara says the "scariest" sounding ingredient of the bunch, dimethylpolysiloxane, is actually just an FDA-approved anti-foaming agent which keeps frying oil from splattering and frothing.

Where's the beef fat?
It's not your imagination, while McDonald's fries are still downright delicious, they do taste different than they did years ago. So what changed, exactly? "...crispy french fries, as only McDonald's makes them …" Prior to the early 1990s, they were actually cooked in beef tallow, AKA beef fat. The move to vegetable oil was made when consumers began to express concerns over the amount of saturated fat in the fries. National Heart Savers Association founder and construction industry millionaire Phil Sokolof spent millions of dollars in the '80s campaigning against the saturated fat content found in fast food from McDonald's and other chains. Eventually, McDonald's caved to the pressure and stopped cooking their fries in beef fat, but at the cost of some serious flavor.

French fried baloney
As with most world-famous foodstuff, there are a number of totally bogus claims circulating online about McDonald's french fries. The Bump reports that an alarming number of people on the world wide web think that eating salty Mickey D's fries, quote, "helps with fertilization because it prompts your body to soak up extra fluids." Needless to say, there is no actual scientific evidence out there to back this claim up. In February 2018, a study on hair follicle growth touted dimethylpolysiloxane as a potential cure for baldness, so a number of imaginative folks online decided that McDonald's fries must be a cure for baldness. Steve Harvey is right: The stuff is only used as a base to cultivate hair follicles, and it is definitely not an ingredient in a "recipe" for a cure. According to a report by the Japan Times, the scientist who led the study addressed and debunked the myth, saying, "I have seen online comments asking, 'How many fries would I have to eat to grow my hair?' I'd feel bad if people think eating something would do that!"

Healthy-ish
If you're looking for health food, you're probably not hitting the drive-thru. But if you are hitting the drive-thru, you might want to know which fast food joint offers the "healthiest" french fries. Turns out, the Golden Arches are near the top of the list when it comes to having the lowest calories and the least amount of bad fats. In 2009, WebMD ranked french fries from 14 popular fast food chains, including McDonald's, to see how they rated nutritionally. McDonald's came in second for lowest calories, just below Sonic Drive-In. Similarly, Mickey D's placed second for lowest fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. More good news for McDonald's fans: According to their website, Sonic's french fries now contain more calories and fat than they did back in '09, meaning the Golden Arches are likely the "healthiest" fast food fries in the game, relatively speaking.



10 MCDONALD'S FRIED SECRETS THAT YOU WOULD NEVER HAVE KNOWN
No McDonald’s meal is complete without an order of their famous fries. It’s no wonder then that fries are the best sellers on their menu. Those delicious fried potato sticks hold many secrets, both pleasantly surprising and downright shocking. It’s time to look at 10 McDonald’s fries secrets that you would have never known!


1. McDonald’s Fries are more than they appear!
It would be quite natural to assume that the ingredients to make fries would be very simple, probably just potatoes, oil, and salt. But that’s not the case with the world-famous McDonald’s fries. What gives them their unique taste (and shelf life) is a whole load of other ingredients, a grand total of 19! Along with potatoes and hydrogenated soybean oil, there’s a plethora of additives; from simple ones like dextrose and citric acid to complicated compounds like  dimethylpolysiloxane, and TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) that are used to impart a better taste, speed up the cooking time, or preserve and extend the shelf life of the fries. And some of the ingredients are listed twice because they’re used at two different stages of the cooking process.

2. Who knew making fries was so complicated!
But what is puzzling is the unnecessary use of these added ingredients by McDonald’s outlets in some countries while completely leaving them out in others. For example, McDonald’s outlets in the UK, Australia, Israel, India, etc. use fewer ingredients and additives to make the same fries as in the U.S. outlets. But that does not mean that the fries at McDonald’s are full of chemicals, acids and fats that are bad for you. You can rest assured that all the ingredients that go into making the fries at McDonald’s are approved by the U.S. FDA (the Food & Drug Administration). And moreover, the quantities of these additives used in the fries are well within the limits that are safe for human consumption. So, you need not fret over having a delicious helping of your favorite fries – probably.

3. McDonald’s fries are made from real potatoes
Adding to the shroud of mystery surrounding McDonald’s fries is the rumor that they are not made from real potatoes, but some sort of fake potato substitute. Well, that’s not true at all. McDonald’s fries are made from real potatoes that are sourced from a wide variety of regions across the U.S. It is also said that the fries sold in Canadian McDonald’s outlets are made from locally sourced Canadian potato varieties. While potatoes come in different shapes and sizes, the team at McDonald’s is very selective in choosing the right type of potatoes for their fries. They have carefully selected those varieties of potatoes that are well known for creating the signature ‘crispy on the outside, soft on the inside’ fry. The most common varieties used in making McDonald’s fries are the different types of Russet potatoes – Russet Ranger, Russet Burbank, etc. Also worth noting is the fact that McDonald’s uses non-GMO potatoes for making their fries.

4. McDonald’s fries are actually cut with a knife
Contrary to popular belief, McDonald’s fries do not have any ridiculous-sounding secret manufacturing process where potato pulp or mush is carefully shaped into uniformly sized fries! McDonald’s fries are made from real potatoes that are cut with a knife - albeit a high-precision electronic one! Rest assured, there is no potato goop involved here. As per some reports, the process of creating the perfect fries at McDonald’s starts with the unloading of potatoes on a conveyor belt. The potatoes are then thoroughly rinsed, peeled, washed and passed into a tube with high-pressure water in it. They are then shot into another tube (at about 60 miles an hour) where a succession of razor-sharp blades cuts the potatoes into fries of precise length and width. Overall, there is admittedly a high-tech process involved in slicing the potatoes into fries, but that just adds to the hygiene value of the fries. Since there is no human involvement in the slicing of potatoes, you can be almost certain that there is no danger of any sort of contamination.

5. That special flavor that makes McDonald’s fries so tasty!
Ever wondered what makes the fries at McDonald’s taste so yummy and different from fries at other fast-food outlets? Let’s just say that there’s a secret ingredient for that too! It’s their ‘natural beef flavor’ that imparts the famous ‘McDonald’s fries taste’ to the fries. But why would McDonald’s add beef to their fries? There’s a story behind that. Way back in the 1950s, when the oil hydrogenation process (conversion of liquid vegetable oils to semi-solid fats to bring about a change in their physical properties like melting point, etc.) was difficult and expensive, the McDonald’s oil supplier was in quite a jam.

So, they supplied McDonald’s with a concoction of beef fat and oil. Fast forward to the 1980s, the oil supplier removed the beef fat from the oil that was loaded with saturated fats, but McDonald’s wanted to retain the ‘beefy flavor’ that their customers were accustomed to by now. So, they added in a ‘natural beef flavor’ instead. It has been debated quite often if the fries at McDonald’s are really suitable for vegetarians and vegans. In fact, the company was even sued by Hindu and Buddhist groups in 2001 for trying to pass off their fries as a ‘vegetarian-friendly’ option on McDonald’s menus. To avoid offending customers with cultural or religious restrictions, the fries sold in Indian outlets of McDonald’s completely bypasses the use of any beef flavor and just use potatoes, vegetarian palmolein oil, salt and a tiny bit of dextrose.

6. You can always ask for ‘fresh fries’
Did you know that you could ask for ‘fresh fries’ at any McDonald’s outlet? Everyone loves hot crispy fries that are well salted and straight out of the fryer. Most often, it’s the delicious fries that draw most people to McDonald’s. Getting a whiff of the long golden sticks of deliciousness as soon as you open your meal bag, sinking your teeth into the crunchy exterior and biting into the fluffy interior is what comes to mind when you think of McDonald’s fries. And if there were even a slight deviation from this, it would be a terrible disappointment for most. But since McDonald’s is a ‘fast-food’ restaurant, making everything from scratch, including fries, would not be a quick or cost-effective process.

As a result, occasionally, you end up receiving fries that have been sitting out for some time, probably under the warming lamp. But there’s a secret hack to ensuring that you always get the best fries at McDonald’s – a secret code word. The key to ensuring that your fries are always crispy is asking for ‘fresh fries’ when you place your order at the counter. It’s as simple as that!

7. McDonald’s fries come pre-frozen and are re-fried before being served to you
Believe it or not, there is an actual assembly-line production process involved in creating the perfect McDonald’s fries! As mentioned earlier, the process involves the unloading, peeling and washing of potatoes before they are fed into a high-pressure water tube to be sliced into precise fry shapes. As soon as they are out of the slicing tube, the fries are liberally sprinkled with dextrose and other additives to give them all a uniform color, and prevent them from eveloping a gray tinge. Then, they are partially fried and some more additives including the ‘natural beef flavor’ are added to the fries. The partially fried fries are then flash frozen to lock in everything. These frozen fries are neatly packaged and shipped to McDonald’s outlets all across the country.

At each McDonald’s outlet, the fries are fried again and salt is added before being served to customers in paper containers. The refrying process (and the additives) is what gives McDonald’s fries their signature crispy outer layer all the while retaining the soft mashed potato interior of the fries. With such an intricate process required to make the fries, it is no wonder that the fries are partially cooked in a factory setup, and merely re-fried and salted at the actual outlets. This partial frying, flash freezing and refrying process is what enables McDonald’s employees to serve up your fries order so quickly. So the next time you order a portion of fries, think about all the processes that went into bringing you the perfect portion of fries.

8. These fries are not for the weight-watchers!
The calorie-count of fries at most McDonald’s outlets is seriously high. On an average, a medium portion of McDonald’s fries has about 340 calories, 44 grams of carbohydrates and 16 grams of fat. Yes, you heard that right, 340 calories for just a side portion of fries! And if you’re like most people, a medium portion of fries is not the only item that you would order. Add a burger, soda or milkshake to the meal combination and you’re left with a dangerously high calorific meal. What makes McDonald’s fries so high in calories? To begin with, it is a well-known fact that potatoes are high in carbohydrates and generally not advisable for those on a weight-loss diet.

Add to that the trans fats present in the hydrogenated soybean oil that is used to fry the fries, and the fact that the fries are fried twice, once at the factory and a second time at the outlet, adds enormously to the total calorie count of the fries. Responding to customer demands and legislation, McDonald’s outlets in most European countries use non-hydrogenated oils during the cooking process of the fries. Thus, the fries served at McDonald’s outlets in these countries are free of any trans fats and low in calories.

The calorie-count of McDonald’s fries does not seem to affect the popularity of this menu item at all. To most customers, a burger meal without fries is simply incomplete. While McDonald’s fries are obviously not suitable for those watching their weight, it would be quite okay to consume the fries in moderation or even consider it as an indulgence and have them once in a while. After all, that’s what a ‘cheat day’ in your diet plan is for! Ask for salt-free fries at Mickey D’s Just like there is an option of asking for ‘fresh fries’ at McDonald’s outlets, you also have the option of asking for ‘fries without salt’. Who knew! While the option of asking for ‘fries without salt’ definitely qualifies as a hidden McDonald’s secret, it most definitely does not make the employees’ lives any easier.

When you ask for ‘fries without salt’, a fresh batch of fries has to be made especially for you since the ready-to-go fries that are served to everyone else are already salted. The employee in-charge of preparing the fries has to wipe down the fries scoop and the fries counter, to prevent cross-contamination with the salted fries, before preparing a fresh batch of fries just for you. And you also run the risk of getting fewer than usual fries in your order when you order ‘fries without salt’. If any fries fall out of the container, the employee will not be able to replace them simply because all the other fries would probably be already salted. But overall, it’s quite nice to know that you have an option of ordering salt-free fries should you desire them.

9. More than just ketchup to use as dipping sauce
While most fast-food restaurants offer just the usual ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise dipping sauces, McDonald’s has a plethora of options that you can pick from. While most McDonald’s outlets in the U.S. offer specialty dipping sauces only with their McNuggets, there’s nothing stopping you from asking for those same sauces for your fries as well. All you have to do is ask, and the employees will most likely provide you with the sauce of your choice with a smile on their face.

And if you’re wondering what these specialty dipping sauces are, well, there are the usual suspects – ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. But there are also combination sauces like ketchup + mayo or a DIY mayo-chup. You could even try your fries with barbecue sauce, creamy ranch, honey mustard, tangy BBQ, chipotle BBQ, sweet and sour, spicy buffalo, sweet chili or even McDonald’s Signature sauce. With such a delicious variety of sauces, you have absolutely no reason to shy away from ordering that large portion of McDonald’s fries and enjoying them with a couple of your favorite dipping sauces at hand!

10. There’s a reason why they always look the same
If you’ve always suspected that the fries at McDonald’s always look the same or look exactly ‘as shown on TV’, then you’re right – they do always look the same! And according to the people at McDonald's, the secret to this uniformity in appearance is the dextrose that is added to the fries right after they are cut into the quintessential fry shapes. Dextrose is a form of sugar, when added to the fries, gives them a unique golden color that we associate with McDonald’s fries. In short, dextrose is a kind of coloring agent that ensures that the fries have the same color and appearance, irrespective of the season or time of the year.

Since the potatoes are partially cooked at a factory, all the natural sugars in the potatoes are lost and it becomes necessary to introduce another form of sugar to counter-balance the loss. Dextrose is used in the production process of fries in almost all the outlets of McDonald’s all over the world. Now that you know why McDonald’s fries always look the same, go on and have a nice big portion of those yummy fries! Order up more by staying right here. Just tap on our next great video. And show us some love by hitting that subscribe button and ringing that bell to join our notification squad so you never miss out.

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10 MCDONALD'S FRIED HACKS YOU WISH YOU ALWAYS KNEW
Who doesn’t love McDonald's french fries? They’re one of the most popular food items from one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the world. Even if you consider yourself to be a french fry aficionado, you may be unaware that there are certain ways in which you can improve your french fry eating experience. So let’s get busy and explore ten McDonald's french fry hacks you wish you always knew!


1. The Dipping Cup Trick
Between the grease and the condiments, eating french fries is a surprisingly messy task. This hack is one of many that will help minimize the resulting damage. Ketchup is the classic companion to french fries. They’re really not the same without it. Sometimes, ketchup comes in packets (which we’ll get to later), but other times you have to pump it into a small paper cup. Emphasis on the small. More often than not, you have to load up on several of these cups, just so you have enough of the condiment to get you through your meal. Grabbing a handful of packets is one thing, but filling and transporting a bunch of full ketchup cups? Far more inconvenient.

That’s where this hack comes in. Before you fill the ketchup cups, unroll the rim, just like you would a Tim Hortons coffee cup during Roll Up the Rim season (to all the Canadians out there). This will significantly increase the capacity of the cup, allowing you to get way more bang for your buck. You’ll need way fewer ketchup cups to meet your condiment needs, making the whole process more efficient. Additionally, this is a bonus if you’re sharing your fries with someone, because the wider brim means there will be a larger surface area of ketchup available, so the two of you won’t have to compete to dip your fries.

2. The Receipt, Please
This hack may or may not work, but it takes minimal effort and has substantial pay-off, so why not try it? The pay-off in question is a serving of freshly-made, not-yet soggy french fries. There’s another means to achieving this same end that we’ll discuss later which seems far more reliable, but this one’s interesting enough to be included. Apparently, asking for your receipt after ordering may indicate that you are a mystery-shopper (once known as a Gapbuster). Mystery-shoppers are tasked with assessing brand standards and customer experience, so, naturally, if a McDonald's employee suspects that that’s who you are, they’re going to give you the best of the best.

And the best fries aren’t the ones that have been sitting around for hours waiting to be ordered. No, the best fries are the ones that come straight out of the fryer. They’re hotter, crispier, and all-around way better. To top it all off, you might actually get faster service as well. The best strategy is to try this around lunch and dinner, since those are reportedly the time frames during which mystery shoppers are most active. This hack requires pretty minimal effort on your part, and on the part of the McDonald's employees, so next time you’re at McDonald's, remember to ask for the receipt and see what happens.

3. DIY French Fries
Sometimes you want fries, but don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of leaving the house and having to interact with people. Everyone has those days. Luckily, that doesn’t mean that you have to go without, nor does it mean that you have to settle for the subpar fries that have been stashed in the back of your freezer for who knows how long. If you want to emulate McDonald's fries, you’re going to have to put in the effort. But don’t worry, the outcome will make it all worthwhile. There are several different recipes to be found on the Internet, but this one will get you as close to McDonald's fries as possible. Julienne peeled potatoes, then soak them in a concoction of corn syrup and water.

This mixture needs to be refrigerated for thirty minutes. To pass that time, start heating peanut oil to 375 degrees in a deep fryer, if you have one, or a heavy bottom stock pot. Take the fries out of the fridge, and remove them from the sugar water they were soaking in. Drop them into the oil for no more than a minute and a half. This will partially fry them, turning them a nice golden color. Once they’re removed from the oil, place them in the refrigerator once more, for ten to fifteen minutes. Next, add beef fat to the oil, and raise the temperature to 400 degrees. Drop the fries back in for five to seven minutes. Finally, drain the oil and voilĂ ! The result should be some perfectly crispy McDonald’s-style french fries. Don’t forget to add salt for a truly authentic experience.

4. Fancy Fries
McDonald's fries are great as is, there’s no denying that. But sometimes plain fries just don’t cut it. However, you don’t have to miss out on the amazing taste of McDonald's fries if you’re craving something a little different. In the ultimate compromise, you can take it upon yourself to add a funky twist to this classic dish. An example of this would be garlic fries, which McDonald's (kind of) added to their menu in 2016. Think garlic bread, but in french fry form. Sounds amazing, right? Unfortunately, these fries were pretty inaccessible. Other than only being available in California, their supply was very limited. So, all in all, a bit of a flop. But this got us thinking.

Why not amp up your fries yourself? Swing  by McDs, grab some French fries to go and spice them up with whatever your heart desires. If you want to take the garlic route, go for it! You can whip up a batch of garlic sauce at home pretty easily. All you need is some olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Whatever you plan to do with your fries, be sure to prepare the sauce or toppings beforehand, and don’t dawdle on your trip to pick them up at the Drive-Thru. You want the fries to still be relatively fresh when you finally get around to eating them. This hack is great because it allows you to embrace your creative side, while also letting you enjoy your favorite McDonald's fries. There’s no losing here. In fact, you might end up creating your new favorite meal!

5. Ketchup Packet Easy Dip Strategy
Ketchup cups might be annoying, but ketchup packets are on a whole other level. It’s almost impossible to avoid making a mess with them. Well it was until this hack came along. It’s simple – honestly, this hack probably requires less effort than eating fries the usual way does. The corner of every ketchup packet has an easy-tear tab where it opens. When you rip it open, just make the tear slightly larger than usual. Then, instead of squirting all the ketchup out onto your plate (or directly onto your fries like a heathen), you simply dip your fries directly into the packet through the hole. It’s easy and mess-free.

What makes this strategy particularly interesting is that it allows you to cover the maximum possible surface area of the fry with ketchup. Instead of the dollop at the end resulting from dipping, with the packet hack you end up with almost the entire fry coated in a thin layer of the condiment. This technique can be used any time you pick up some fries, but it’s especially useful when you’re eating in the car. It does require a bit of focus, so maybe don’t attempt this at the wheel, but as a passenger it significantly lowers the risk of you getting ketchup all over the car’s interior – or yourself. Both the owner of the vehicle and your nice white pants will thank you for using this strategy from now on. It’s not hard to do, so give it a try and see if it works for you!

6. Leftover Fries to Waffle Fries
Some foods are almost better the next day than they were fresh out of the oven (we’re looking at you, take-out pizza), but fries are not one of them. As soon as your french fries start to cool off, it’s over. Or is it? With this hack, you’ll actually be able to enjoy your leftover fries. If you have a waffle iron handy, you’re ready to go. You heard that right. Reheating fries in a waffle iron might sound ridiculous, but it’ll change your life. It’s super easy; you just dump your fries inside, let them heat up, and then they’re ready to eat. It’s the ultimate transformation: regular, boring fries to waffle fries in no time at all!

Not only will they come out in cool new shapes, but they’ll also taste so much better than if you’d tried to heat them up in a microwave (which is one of the cardinal sins of french fry eating). McDonald's fries are perfect for this technique, since it works best with thin fries. This hack will prevent you from getting sick of eating the same old fries day in and day out, plus it stops perfectly good leftovers from going to waste. Just be sure to give the waffle iron a thorough cleaning afterwards. Otherwise, any future waffles might come out tasting a bit like potatoes. Which, honestly, if you think about it, doesn’t sound all that terrible, but if it’s a communal waffle iron, your roommate might not be thrilled at the prospect.

7. Reheating Leftovers
If you don’t want to turn them into waffle fries, but don’t want your leftover McDonald's fries to go to waste, never fear. This hack for reheating french fries will make them (almost) as good as new. The first rule of reheating French fries is to never, under any circumstances, use the microwave. At that point you might as well just throw the fries out. The optimal approach is to reheat them on your stovetop. Choose your best skillet and let it heat up on the stove before  adding in your fries. Technically, the fries will probably still be greasy enough that you don’t have to add any oil to the pan, but if you’re really committed to getting the best possible flavor, adding some oil to the pan while it’s heating up is the way to go.

This will also serve to make the fries extra crispy, which is a definite plus. Once the pan’s up to temperature, you can’t just dump your fries in in a giant heap, dust off your hands and wait for them to cook  themselves. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. You’ve got to commit to the process. Make sure the fries are relatively evenly spaced, and not piled on top of each other. The more crowded they are, the less crispy they’ll get. As they cook, stir them around and flip them over with a spatula. When they’re finished, remove them from the skillet and place them on a plate covered with a piece of paper towel, which is there to soak up the excess oil. If you want, you can top off your fries with some salt, pepper, or even Parmesan cheese. Once they’ve been flavored to your liking, you can finally dig in.

8. Fresh French Fries
McDonald's is famous for its fries. They’re actually its most ordered food item. As a result, the restaurant has them cooked and ready to go at all times. This cuts wait times significantly, but it also means that, sometimes, you’re going to end up with slightly cold, slightly soggy fries that have been sitting around waiting to be ordered for who knows how long. This makes ordering fries a bit of a gamble, but, with this hack, you can guarantee you’ll get fresh fries every time. See, the thing about McDonald's fries is that they salt them immediately after they pull them out of the deep fryer. The way to beat the system is to order unsalted fries. This means they’ll have to make a fresh batch, just for you.

And if you really can’t deal with eating unsalted fries, just add the salt yourself afterwards. Just be warned that McDonald's employees might be a little bit annoyed with you and your specific order. Not only do they have to make new fries when there are already several servings ready and waiting, but they also have to go to great lengths to ensure that there’s no cross-contamination from kitchen tools that have been in contact with salt. This means they have to clean the station and tools involved in preparing fries, which is a bit of a waste of time. So, while ordering your fries with no salt will ensure that you get a fresh serving, don’t pull out this hack when the restaurant’s busy.

9. The Paper Bag Hack
Picture this scenario: you’re in the car with your McDonald's takeout (as a passenger – for safety reasons, you probably shouldn’t attempt this as the driver), only to realize that you have ketchup packets and nowhere to put your ketchup for effective dipping. This is presuming you don’t know about the ketchup packet hack already. The necessary tool for the paper bag hack is, no surprises here, a paper bag. Since McDonald's takeout comes in a paper bag, you should have one on hand whenever you need to implement this hack. The steps are simple: fold the bag outwards (like you’re turning it inside out) halfway.

Then, fold the folded part of the bag in half again, in the same direction. Finally, take the outer layer and fold it upward onto itself. Pull apart the sides to achieve a rim perfect for holding ketchup, or whatever your condiment of choice is. Since you can create condiment-holding slots on either side of the bag, you can use two different condiments, or you and a friend can each have your own side. The latter will eliminate the opportunity for one of you to double-dip in a shared condiment, which is always a risk when sharing fries. To make things even easier, pour out the fries into the bottom of the bag. The one issue with this strategy is that, over time, the condiments will cause the bag to get a bit soggy, which may threaten the structural integrity of your creation. To avoid this problem, don’t waste any time in digging into your french fries.

10. The McDonald's Box Hack
This is yet another hack that makes eating ketchup and fries a far more efficient endeavor. It makes use of the classic red and yellow McDonald's french fry carton. The flap at the back of the box can be folded out, away from the fries, to create a kind of horizontal platform, perfect for holding your condiment of choice. Upon this hack’s discovery, it went viral on social media. Many people praised its genius, while others weren’t so impressed. Some people critiqued it as not being the actual purpose of the flap, claiming the reason the box is taller in the back is so that employees don’t burn their fingers on fresh fries. That’s a plausible explanation, and it may very well be the case that McDonald's french fry cartons weren’t designed with this particular purpose in mind, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for it.

People have been trying out the box hack since it was first tweeted about, and it seems have worked out for a lot of them. So regardless of whether or not it was the intended purpose, it’s clearly turned out to be both efficient and effective. We’re all for coming up with new was to avoid making a mess while eating ketchup and fries, and this seems like another great strategy that’ll prevent anyone eating on the go from covering their car with ketchup. All in all, it’s a win in our book. Order up more by staying right here. Just tap on our next great video. And show us some love by hitting that subscribe button and ringing that bell to join our notification squad so you never miss out.

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