The Real Reason Arby's Crinkle Fries Are Crispier Than Others

If there's anything about fries that could be said to be controversial, it would have to be – no, not their nutrition, as just about everyone agrees they're not too healthy - but their shape. Some prefer fatter steak fries, some like thin, crispy shoestring fries, while still others favor waffle fries. Fast food fans whose favorite chain is Arby's, however, get to choose between two different options that are none of the above.

Arby's, an out-of-the-box kind of chain that's known for roast beef sandwiches rather than burgers, is likewise following a different path when it comes to their fries. For years they have been one of the few establishments to offer curly fries, they are now offering another lesser-known fry variant: crinkle fries. These fries seem to have first made their debut alongside the boneless wings they test-marketed in certain areas late last year. While the wings haven't yet made it onto Arby's main menu, those crinkle fries must have really caught on since they are now being offered nationwide. If you're thinking, "eww, crinkle fries, those nasty, limp things dished up by every elementary school cafeteria," well, Chef Neville, Arby's VP of Culinary Innovation and Brand Executive Chef at Arby's, would like to set you straight on that score. He says Arby's crinkle fries are way crispier than the competition, such as it is.

How Arby's gets their crinkle fries so crispy

When Mashed spoke with Chef Neville, he outlined 3 main points in favor of these crinkle fries. First, he told us, "The shape of our crinkle cut is specially designed to have sharper peaks and deeper valleys than a standard crinkle fry." This shape, he says, "gives the fry exterior more surface area, which results in a crispier texture." Secondly, Arby's coats their fries with a light, starchy batter, something Neville says is "almost invisible after cooking," but adds some extra crispy texture to the potatoes. He also informs us that the batter helps retain heat, something that can ensure the fries don't get all cold and gross before you get out of the drive-thru.

Lastly, Neville let us know that Arby's fry cooks are trained to cook the crinkle fries in small batches. This allows the oil in the fryer to stay hot throughout the cook time rather than dropping in temperature when a large load of potatoes is dropped in all at once.

How the crinkle fries stack up against the curly fries

So which type of fry should you be ordering, the new crinkle fries or Arby's old standby, curly fries? Arby's does not have any plans at present to ditch the one fry in favor of the other but will be offering both types of fries for the time being. The way Neville describes the difference between the two is that "The curly fries feature our signature curly fry flavor and are more highly seasoned," while, in contrast, "the crinkle fry is more of a crunchy meets salty experience [with]...more of a potato flavor."

As to which fry you should order, Neville's advice, not surprisingly, is to "Get them both!" He says it shouldn't have to be an either/or thing, but to allow you to have different fries to fit your moods and your foods. "Whatever the combo," he assures us, "it's a match made in heaven" – at least on any given cheat day.