How Does In-N-Out Cook Its Fries?

When it comes to California-based burger chains, In-N-Out reigns supreme. Ever since it first opened in 1948, burger fans have been flocking to its locations for the fast food joint's popular burgers and shakes. In-N-Out's menu hacks have become a must for many of the chain's regulars — especially when it comes to the fries. 

A burger just isn't a meal without fries, and as it turns out, a lot of folks just aren't very big fans of In-N-Out french fries. Making a decent french fry shouldn't be a difficult thing, but it's something that In-N-Out struggles with — at least the eyes of folks like chef David Chang who called them "garbage." 

Here's how In-N-Out goes about making those fries that so many people simply can't seem to eat without an "animal style" upgrade. 

In-N-Out's fries are made very quickly

According to In-N-Out's company website, they use only "the finest, freshest potatoes" that are shipped straight from the farm to the store before being cooked in 100 percent sunflower oil. That's rather vague, though, and there's actually a little more to these fries. 

Once the potatoes are peeled, they're soaked in water before being put through a dicing machine (via YouTube). After that, the sliced spuds are put into a basket that spins them around incredibly fast — likely for the purpose of drying them out before hitting hot oil. From there, the fries are put into a large metal bowl and taken over to the hot oil for frying (via YouTube). 

It's a pretty quick process that guarantees customers don't have to wait too long for their orders.

Not frying them twice could be In-N-Out's mistake

For better or worse, In-N-Out keeps its fry-making process pretty simple. Unlike McDonald's fries, In-N-Out fries aren't seasoned with chemical flavorings and they aren't pre-fried, frozen, and then fried again. As for the other popular french fry on the block, Five Guy's opts to use peanut oil rather than sunflower oil for its fries. 

The biggest complaint about In-N-Out's fries seems to be that they have a short shelf life before developing a "soggy cardboard" texture (via LAist). According to Steve Samson, chef and owner of several Los Angeles eateries, not blanching the fries and cooking them twice is probably In-N-Out's biggest fry mistake. 

That said, a former In-N-Out manager by the name of Kathy, recommended to Thrillist that customers order them "fry well" so that they're extra crispy. Hey, it's worth a try, right?