Employee's Attempt To Expose Five Guys On TikTok Was An Utter Fail

When it comes to fast food burgers, Five Guys is a fan favorite. Founded in 1986, this iconic chain is named after founders Jerry and Janie Murrell's five sons. What started off as a small family project slowly turned into one of the fastest growing franchises in the country. Now, there are almost 1,700 Five Guys locations across America, Canada, the U.K., Europe, and the Middle East, with 1,500 more in development (via Five Guys). Despite the fact that the brand doesn't advertise or deliver, they have still developed a cult following and were named America's favorite burger chain in 2017, according to Simple Most. Known for their mouthwateringly juicy burgers and their heaping french fry servings, it's rumored that there are over 250,000 ways to order a burger at this build-to-order chain.

Even former President Barack Obama has a customized burger order that features lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, and mustard (via Delish). Sounds like a winning combo, Obama. As if that wasn't enough, Five Guys has always prided themselves on the freshness of their food. Unlike many other fast food giants, the owners of this Virginia-based chain are against installing freezers in any location. It reportedly takes three hours every morning to open each Five Guys restaurant, in order to ensure that freshly prepared food is ready for their devoted customers (via Eat This, Not That!). However, this hasn't stopped people from questioning the burger chains' food preparation methods, especially when it comes to their fries.

The Five Guys process for making fries was criticized recently

TikTok user @outbadfastfood recently posted a video attempting to blow the whistle on the burger chain's process of cooking french fries. The video is filmed inside a Five Guys kitchen, implying that the TikTok user is also an employee of the popular chain. "Part one of exposing Five Guys," the video starts off. "Do not eat the french fries, they leave them in the sink overnight...they have a bad smell." The viral post received overwhelming backlash in the comments section, with users denying that there was anything wrong with the way the burger chain cooks its fries. Comments ranged from "Someone doesn't know how french fries are made" to "The 'bad smell' is just starch from the potatoes."

But, truth be told, Five Guys takes their french fries just as seriously as their burgers. "They're our passion," says Chad Murrell, one of the founders' sons in an interview with Food Republic. "They are the hardest thing we have to do, but people think that it's the easiest. If you don't do them right, they're still kinda good and people don't complain. But that doesn't cut it with us!" Murrell, who refers to the fry cooks as "mad scientists," also confirms the very good reasoning behind the Five Guys french fry water soaking process. "You need to blanch the fries to rinse the starch off of them or else the outside will burn up before the inside cooks," he says. 

This is how Five Guys preps their fries

In the attempted take-down video on TikTok by @outbadfastfood, the original poster expressed concern over letting the potatoes soak overnight and the smell they emit. But, that's actually a totally normal part of the process. According to The Pioneer Woman, you can let potatoes soak overnight, and at the very least, they definitely need at least an hour in water before frying (her directions are for two to three hours). This is because water helps get rid of the potato's starchiness.

In another TikTok video, a Five Guys employee @maezthegreat explains and shows just how the chain makes their fries. The whole spuds are thoroughly washed and cleaned before they are placed in a press, which essentially pushes the whole potatoes through blades to cut them into the shape of fries. Once the potatoes are the right shape and a uniform size for even cooking, the individual fries are placed in a large bucket. Five Guys employees then fill the bucket up to the top with water to let the fries soak.

Why soaking fries makes them better

When you soak potatoes or raw fries in water to draw out the starch, it ultimately results in crisper fries according to The Pioneer Woman. However, Fine Cooking explains that soaking potatoes to remove the starch also helps them brown better. It's also important to make sure the potatoes are dry before they are fried because excess water can bring the oil temperature down — when you fry at a high heat, the heat pushes the water inside of the potatoes out and replaces it with oil (via Serious Eats). While it does mean that the fries will take on more oil, frying them at a lower heat will result in a combination of both water and oil in the fries. That means they'll feel and taste soggy, which no one wants.

So, Five Guys' methods are totally sound when it comes to soaking their fries before frying them up. It simply adds to the overall look and taste that makes them so crave-worthy.