The Truth About How Chick-Fil-A’s Waffle Fries Are Made
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The Truth About How Chick-Fil-A’s Waffle Fries Are Made

For those who love potatoes, there’s nothing
more satisfying than one sliced to perfection and served as a french fry. Now imagine those crispy, thin-cut potatoes,
but even better. Is that even possible? According to Chick-fil-A, the answer is yes,
and they’re called waffle fries. The “A” in Chick-fil-A stands for Grade A
quality. That means that the Atlanta-based restaurant
wants nothing less than perfection in the food each location serves to its customers
daily. This is especially important for waffle fries,
the number one selling item on the menu. Producing a mouthwatering waffle fry means
not settling for mediocre potatoes. That’s why Chick-fil-A sources all of its
spuds from the states of Washington and Oregon, particularly from farms down in the Columbia
River Basin where they care just as much about Chick-fil-A’s customers as the restaurant
itself. Chick-fil-A takes great care in choosing its
suppliers, ensuring they follow very strict quality and safety standards. Creating the country’s best-quality potatoes
doesn’t come easy. From watering the land to tending the soil
all the way through digging, so much care goes into growing the spud that will one day
become a Chick-fil-A waffle fry. “It’s just rewarding to know that we did our
part and that’s gonna put food in someone’s belly down the road.” What is it about the soil in the Columbia
River Basin that makes it such an ideal place to grow potatoes? The answer, it turns out, is none other than
volcanic ash. One of the most notable American volcanoes
is southwest Washington’s Mount St. Helens, which had a major eruption in 1980. This eruption disintegrated more than 230
square miles and spewed over 540 million tons of ash. To put that into perspective, a midsize SUV
weighs about 2 tons. After the eruption, mineral and nutrient deposits
that were in the rock of Mount St. Helens were then deposited within the surrounding
basin. When ash is periodically added into existing
soil, it actually improves soil quality, maintains moisture, and helps with productivity. It’s crazy to think that such devastation
can provide any benefit, but in the case of potatoes, and the waffle fries they eventually
become, it can. There’s something unique about Chick-fil-A’s
waffle fries. You probably don’t notice it with your first
bite, as you’re probably distracted by the crispy outside texture and large surface area
that can hold record amounts of gourmet dipping sauces. But by the time you get to the end, you’ll
see it. Those last few pieces in your waffle fry order
are missing something: the holes. But why would Chick-fil-A put you through
that kind of torture and turn something so beautiful into something that looks like an
unbaked potato chip on one side? According to the chain, the answer is simple. It’s because they use real potatoes. And since no two potatoes are the same, you
might end up with a few of what they call “potato skin fries.” Some customers may find it hard to grasp,
but the no-hole potato skin fry is a Chick-fil-A staple. It comes with the territory. So the next time you order up a side of waffle
fries, know that you’ll most likely come across a fry butt or two. Timing is everything when it comes to the
perfection of Chick-fil-A’s waffle fries. If you’ve ever burnt a piece of toast or pulled
chicken off the grill a little too early, you know that being a little off on the timing
can mean disaster. “How do you want that cooked? Burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell?” For a restaurant that serves hundreds of bags
of waffle fries a day, consistency is important. Luckily, Chick-fil-A has the cooking of its
most popular item down to a science. Once the frozen fries are poured into the
fry basket, they’re then lowered into the fryer. At this point, the fry cook only has to press
the waffle fry button on the machine to get the process started. The button is set to cook for two minutes. It’s really that simple. After those two minutes, the fries are pulled
from the fryer crisp, golden, and ready to be seasoned. Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy said, “Food is essential to life. Therefore make it good.” There’s no doubt that Chick-fil-A waffle fries
are good, but it might surprise you to know how simple they actually are. There are just two main ingredients Chick-fil-A
uses to bring out that monumental flavor of these crispy-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside
treats. Waffle fries are poured into a fry basket
and dipped in canola oil when cooking. Once the timer goes off, the fries are shaken
of all excess oil. After the oil and before the serving comes
one final ingredient: a touch of salt. Chick-fil-A uses two pumps of sea salt from
its special salt shaker to sprinkle over the waffle fries. Then the fries are tossed around with that
perfect amount of salt to bring out the real potato flavor in each bite. Aside from the canola oil and the salt, there
are a few chemical compounds for color retention and anti-foaming. But that’s pretty minimal compared to other
fast food fries. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
treats are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.


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