making fries are paper towels necessary

@suspenseful (40326)
Canada
July 26, 2012 1:29pm CST
I am the type of person who will use the grocery bags to put in the garbage and throw the produce garbage on the compost pile. So I figured that it would make no sense to make fries or hash browns, soak them in salted water and drain them and pat them in a paper towel. So what did people do before they invented paper towels. I hate going and buying paper towels just for that, and I would to use toilet paper either. Any suggestions? And how to keep them fresh if I use the mandolene to do them the night before.
3 people like this
11 responses
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
30 Jul 12
I think before they had paper towel, they just placed the fries somewhere until the oils are dry this sure takes longer than using paper towel we did this when we still had deep fryer but now we only use regular pan, so there isn't much oil used and there isn't much in the fries either
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
1 Aug 12
My grandmother said that you had to make sure the oil was hot enough or the fries would soak up the oil. Since we have a smoke alarm, that makes it dangerous so I just make hash browns. I was thinking of getting one of those deep fryers like they have in the restaurants.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
1 Aug 12
If the oil is hot enough, the fries won't soak up the oil...that's why they are crunchy fries made correctly aren't greasy at all.
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
1 Aug 12
yeah deep fryer is best to make them and you can drain them without paper towel using regular pan is good in a way we don't use too much oil just frequent shaking and turning
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@sid556 (31018)
• United States
27 Jul 12
Whenever I've made anything greasy like fries, bacon etc. the paper towels were used to absorb the grease. If you just put them on a plate, they will be sitting in a pile of grease but the paper towel soaks it up so that you are getting less of the grease.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
28 Jul 12
I was thinking of when I first make them, and soak them in water and was talking about hash browns. I really need a deep fryer to do french Fries, but with hash browns, I just need just a little bit of fat. So by the time I lift when with the spatula and put them on the plate, whatever fat has disappeared. I suppose if I get a good deep fryer,and lift it up, the fat would drain back into the container.
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
29 Jul 12
Not ALL the grease will disappear just by lifting them out. If you lay them out on the paper towel, you will see that the paper towel will become soaked with grease. You can skip the paper towel and they will taste just fine but they'll just have more grease than they would otherwise.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
1 Aug 12
But I will save on paper towels and you know how much hey cost even if you do not buy the cheap kinds that falls about easily.
@peavey (15808)
• United States
26 Jul 12
If you cut potatoes the night before, they'll stay fresh as long as they're submerged in water. That's the reason for putting them in water in the first place. I never use salt in the water and I don't drain them on anything. I just pour them into a colander and let the water run off. The reason they say to pat them dry with a paper towel is to keep the water from spattering in the oil when you drop them in. I just stand back a little! I've found that paper towels don't work well to dry things like that anyway because they stick to the potatoes. If you must dry them more, save a paper sack or two and drain them on that for a few minutes. I've done that and it works pretty well.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
26 Jul 12
The sticking to the paper towels was what bothered me most. Your suggestion does make it easier. Liked the part about you standing back a bit.
@peavey (15808)
• United States
27 Jul 12
That's the only way to deal with it!
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
29 Jul 12
Sometimes I fell lie that, but I just scream.
@Shellyann36 (8558)
• United States
15 Aug 12
Before they invented papertowels people used the brown bags that they received from the grocery stores to drain their potatoes on. My Granny did this often. Most grocery stores carry the brown bags till but you have to ask for them. They will not give them to you willingly. Also if you are not using the brown bags to drain your fries you can cut them up and use them on your compost!
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
16 Aug 12
The brown bags we carried from the stores were wet and no use to use when my mother came from the store and she had one of those granny carts. I do have brown coffee filters. I just let them dean in the colander and that seems to work and use a linen or cotton towel to pat the extra water away.
@dragon54u (31407)
• United States
27 Jul 12
I rarely use paper towels. In fact, the only time I use them is when one of the dogs throws up or there is a mess on the porch from a wandering cat. I have a roll of paper towels that I've had for the past 5 years and one I haven't even opened from that time, too. I don't know what a mandolene is but I use cloth towels for everything except draining fried foods, then I use newspaper. You can wash towels and nothing goes to waste, especially your money! Using paper towels is like throwing money in the trash.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
29 Jul 12
A mandolin is a box with separate inserts for slicing, grating, etc. They are seen on cooking shows that they used to use before food processors, became available. When my husband was alive, we used paper towels all the time, but even then I thought they were a waste. And of course the money.
@leeloo (1494)
• Portugal
27 Jul 12
A clean dishcloth will do the same thing as long as it is a smooth cloth that does not let off lint, another option is to use a strainerand allow them to stay for a few minutes before frying, it works just as well, and though there is a little more washing up both options can be used over and over again.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
29 Jul 12
That sounds like a good idea. I do have some linen dish towels and they will work. And I have used the strainer.
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
27 Jul 12
I would just put the fries on a wire cooling rack like you use for cakes. That will help the fat drain. I find paper towels just make fried foods soggy. To keep the potatoes fresh, put them in a bowl, cover them with water & put the bowl in the fridge.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
28 Jul 12
That would work. I did grate them and put them in the fridge in water and they were all right. Did not have time to drain off the fat, besides there was not that much since they were pan fried.
• United States
27 Jul 12
I would say maybe keep them I the cold water until you are ready to use them and then maybe you could use a clean hand towel to dry them off since you don't want to use paper towels or toilet paper.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
29 Jul 12
That does make sense. I just put them in the colander, let them dry, and I did find some napkins, but did not need them as the water drained off them.
@bunnybon7 (34463)
• Holiday, Florida
26 Jul 12
not sure what you are wanting to know but if you mean draining the grease or anything from the potatoes, my mom and grandma used brown paper bags torn open and layed flat. also now, if we dont have paper towel my daughter uses a colander, with a plate uher it for to catch the grease when making fries. dips the fries out of the grease and places in the colander to drain.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
29 Jul 12
I use a colander, but I ws thinking of was before I fire the potatoes after I cut them up and to avoid having to cut them up in the am when I m very hungry, so I can just put the hash browns or tries i the frying pan. IK know about soiling in hot water, but did to ow whether it was just to remove the starch or that I had to keep them in cold water over nought to avoid them getting brown or black and then when I had to drain them to put them in the pan, whether putting them over the sink and letting them drip in a colander was sufficient, whether to let them afterwards drain on paper towels or would an ordinary dish towel would work.
@ElicBxn (60427)
• United States
26 Jul 12
Soak them over night, drain them with cheese cloth, pat dry with a soft cloth and then fry...
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
28 Jul 12
That does seem a good idea. I was patting them with some napkins I found, but I do have a lot of cheesecloth and that would be much easier. Do not do that much entraining so really do not need those napkins, but I make a lot of sauce, so do need the cheesecloth.
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@deebomb (15347)
• United States
26 Jul 12
Hello suspenseful. For one thing if you use a mandolin on your potatoes the night before and the potatoes are raw you do want to put them in cold water or they will turn black. I'm sure you know that. When I was a very young housewife I tried freezing some raw potatoes Well I learned my lesson then because they turned black. Paper towels were invented to supposedly save us time and to be convenient. Use dish towels to dry the potatoes or boil the potatoes until they are still firm but still not cooked all the way through. Then you can run them over the mandolin or cut into french fries. That is the way the companies do that sell the prepared hashbrowns and french fries. Run your raw potatoes over the mandolin and put them in cold water in the fridge. Drain them the next day and pat them dry with a clean dish towel as they say to do with the paper towels.
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
26 Jul 12
I guess I have to keep them in cold water in the fridge. That is where I made the mistake. I sort of get extremely hunger in the am and felt that I could not wait. Would that be a terry, cotton, or linen dish towel? I have a whole variety in my kitchen cupboard.