America's Test Kitchen Just Revealed The Secret To Better French Fries

Yesterday, "America Test Kitchen" announced they had discovered how to make your french fries that bit better. "We burned through 50-odd pounds of potatoes to land on an uncommonly easy approach," they announced on Instagram, telling anyone interested to follow a link to their website.

The easy approach they landed upon is to introduce bacon grease as a flavoring for the frying oil. "And now you've figured out how the English have been frying chips for centuries," one commenter responded. It's not just the English either. The fact that adding bacon grease or another lard to the oil delivers a richer flavor has been stumbled upon again and again in recipes. The reason fats make fried food taste more appealing is, as Fine Cooking explains, that they are generally more flavorful than vegetable oils and they solidify more as they cool, meaning the fried food lacks the oily taste you might otherwise get.

McDonald's faced a whole controversy over this

What is rather annoying about "America's Test Kitchen" finding that bacon grease makes your fries more flavorful is that a major reason we don't use saturated fats in deep frying is because of the health craze waged against the original McDonald's french fry.

Admittedly, McDonald's used beef tallow instead of bacon grease for cost-saving reasons, but the resulting fry was, as Atlas Obscura reports, McDonald's "signature fry, with its crispy edges and buttery, soft interior, delighted customers (including James Beard and Julia Child) and helped McDonald's spread worldwide." However, Phil Sokolof, a business mogul, had suffered a heart attack at the age of 43. Blaming his diet, he decided to devote himself to the removal of high saturated fats from the fast-food industry and took specific aim at McDonald's french fries.

Eventually, McDonald's surrendered and switched its beef tallow with vegetable oil, which is neither healthier nor even as tasty. Still, the public bias against meat fats in fried food became fixed, so much so that it takes an exploration of 50 pound of potatoes to realize what people broadly knew beforehand.