Who doesn’t love McDonalds French fries? They’re one of the most popular food items at one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the world. Even if you consider yourself to be a French fry aficionado, you may be unaware that there are certain ways in which you can improve your French fry eating experience. In this list, we’ll explore ten hacks to McDonalds French fries that you wish you’d known all along!
10. The Dipping Cup Trick
Between the grease and the condiments, eating French fries is a surprisingly messy task. This hack is one of many that will help minimize the resulting damage. Ketchup is the classic companion to French fries. They’re really not the same without it. Sometimes, ketchup comes in packets (which we’ll get to later), but other times you have to pump it into a small paper cup. Emphasis on the small. More often than not, you have to load up on several of these cups, just so you have enough of the condiment to get you through your meal. Grabbing a handful of packets is one thing, but filling and transporting a bunch of full ketchup cups? Far more inconvenient. That’s where this hack comes in. Before you fill the ketchup cups, unroll the rim, just like you would a Tim Hortons coffee cup during Roll Up the Rim season (to all my Canadians out there). This will significantly increase the capacity of the cup, allowing you to get way more bang for your buck. You’ll need way fewer ketchup cups to meet your condiment needs, making the whole process more efficient. Additionally, this is a bonus if you’re sharing your fries with someone, because the wider brim means there will be a larger surface area of ketchup available, so the two of you won’t have to compete to dip your fries.
9. The Receipt, Please
This hack may or may not work, but it takes minimal effort and has a substantial pay-off, so why not try it? The pay-off in question is a serving of freshly-made, not-yet soggy French fries. There’s another means to achieving this same end that we’ll discuss later which seems far more reliable, but this one’s interesting enough to be included here. Apparently, asking for your receipt after ordering may indicate that you are a mystery-shopper (once known as a Gapbuster). Mystery-shoppers are tasked with assessing brand standards and customer experience, so, naturally, if a McDonalds employee suspects that that’s who you are, they’re going to give you the best of the best. And the best fries aren’t the ones that have been sitting around for hours waiting to be ordered. No, the best fries are the ones that come straight out of the fryer. They’re hotter, crispier, and all-around way better. To top it all off, you might actually get faster service as well. The best strategy is to try this around lunch and dinner, since those are reportedly the time frames during which mystery shoppers are most active. This hack requires pretty minimal effort on your part, and on the part of the McDonalds employees, so next time you’re at McDonalds, remember to ask for the receipt and see what happens.
8. DIY French Fries
Sometimes you want fries, but don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of leaving the house and having to interact with people. Everyone has those days. Luckily, that doesn’t mean that you have to go without, nor does it mean that you have to settle for the subpar fries that have been stashed in the back of your freezer for who knows how long. If you want to emulate McDonalds fries, you’re going to have to put in the effort. But don’t worry, the outcome will make it all worthwhile. There are several different recipes to be found on the Internet, but this one will get you as close to McDonalds fries as possible. Julienne peeled potatoes, then soak them in a concoction of corn syrup and water. This mixture needs to be refrigerated for thirty minutes. To pass that time, start heating peanut oil to 375 degrees in a deep fryer, if you have one, or a heavy bottom stock pot. Take the fries out of the fridge, and remove them from the sugar water they were soaking in. Drop them into the oil for no more than a minute and a half. This will partially fry them, turning them a nice golden color. Once they’re removed from the oil, place them in the refrigerator once more, for ten to fifteen minutes. Next, add beef fat to the oil, and raise the temperature to 400 degrees. Drop the fries back in for five to seven minutes. Finally, drain the oil and voilà! The result should be some perfectly crispy McDonalds-style French fries. Don’t forget to add salt for a truly authentic experience.
7. Fancy Fries
McDonalds fries are great as is, there’s no denying that. But sometimes plain fries just don’t cut it. However, you don’t have to miss out on the amazing taste of McDonalds fries if you’re craving something a little different. In the ultimate compromise, you can take it upon yourself to add a funky twist to this classic dish. An example of this would be garlic fries, which McDonalds (kind of) added to their menu in 2016. Think garlic bread, but in French fry form. Sounds amazing, right? Unfortunately, these fries were pretty inaccessible. Other than only being available in California, their supply was very limited. So, all in all, a bit of a flop. But this got us thinking. Why not amp up your fries yourself? Swing by McDs, grab some French fries to go and spice them up with whatever your heart desires. If you want to take the garlic route, go for it! You can whip up a batch of garlic sauce at home pretty easily. All you need is some olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Whatever you plan to do with your fries, be sure to prepare the sauce or toppings beforehand, and don’t dawdle on your trip to pick them up at the Drive-Thru. You want the fries to still be relatively fresh when you finally get around to eating them. This hack is great because it allows you to embrace your creative side, while also letting you enjoy your favorite McDonalds fries. There’s no losing here. In fact, you might end up creating your new favorite meal!
6. Ketchup Packet Easy Dip Strategy
Ketchup cups might be annoying, but ketchup packets are on a whole other level. It’s almost impossible to avoid making a mess with them. Well it was until this hack came along. It’s simple – honestly, this hack probably requires less effort than eating fries the usual way does. The corner of every ketchup packet has an easy-tear tab where it opens. When you rip it open, just make the tear slightly larger than usual. Then, instead of squirting all the ketchup out onto your plate (or directly onto your fries like a heathen), you simply dip your fries directly into the packet through the hole. It’s easy and mess-free. What makes this strategy particularly interesting is that it allows you to cover the maximum possible surface area of the fry with ketchup. Instead of the dollop at the end resulting from dipping, with the packet hack you end up with almost the entire fry coated in a thin layer of the condiment. This technique can be used any time you pick up some fries, but it’s especially useful when you’re eating in the car. It does require a bit of focus, so maybe don’t attempt this at the wheel, but as a passenger it significantly lowers the risk of you getting ketchup all over the car’s interior – or yourself. Both the owner of the vehicle and your nice white pants will thank you for using this strategy from now on. It’s not hard to do, so give it a try and see if it works for you!
5. Leftover Fries to Waffle Fries
Some foods are almost better the next day than they were fresh out of the oven (we’re looking at you, take-out pizza), but fries are not one of them. As soon as your French fries start to cool off, it’s over. Or is it? With this hack, you’ll actually be able to enjoy your leftover fries. If you have a waffle iron handy, you’re ready to go. You heard that right. Reheating fries in a waffle iron might sound ridiculous, but it’ll change your life. It’s super easy; you just dump your fries inside, let them heat up, and then they’re ready to eat. It’s the ultimate transformation: regular, boring fries to waffle fries in no time at all! Not only will they come out in cool new shapes, but they’ll also taste so much better than if you’d tried to heat them up in a microwave (which is one of the cardinal sins of French fry eating). McDonalds fries are perfect for this technique, since it works best with thin fries. This hack will prevent you from getting sick of eating the same old fries day in and day out, plus it stops perfectly good leftovers from going to waste. Just be sure to give the waffle iron a thorough cleaning afterwards. Otherwise, any future waffles might come out tasting a bit like potatoes. Which, honestly, if you think about it, doesn’t sound all that terrible, but if it’s a communal waffle iron, your roommate might not be thrilled at the prospect.
4. Reheating Leftovers
If you don’t want to turn them into waffle fries, but don’t want your leftover McDonalds fries to go to waste, never fear. This hack for reheating French fries will make them (almost) as good as new. The first rule of reheating French fries is to never, under any circumstances, use the microwave. At that point you might as well just throw the fries out. The optimal approach is to reheat them on your stovetop. Choose your best skillet and let it heat up on the stove before adding in your fries. Technically, the fries will probably still be greasy enough that you don’t have to add any oil to the pan, but if you’re really committed to get the best possible flavor, adding some oil to the pan while it’s heating up is the way to go. This will also serve to make the fries extra crispy, which is a definite plus. Once the pan’s up to temperature, you can’t just dump your fries in in a giant heap, dust off your hands and wait for them to cook themselves. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. You’ve got to commit to the process. Make sure the fries are relatively evenly spaced, and not piled on top of each other. The more crowded they are, the less crispy they’ll get. As they cook, stir them around and flip them over with a spatula. When they’re finished, remove them from the skillet and place them on a plate covered with a piece of paper towel, which is there to soak up the excess oil. If you want, you can top off you fries with some salt, pepper, or even Parmesan cheese. Once they’ve been flavored to your liking, you can finally dig in.
3. Fresh French Fries
McDonalds is famous for its fries. They’re actually its most ordered food item. As a result, the restaurant has them cooked and ready to go at all times. This cuts wait times significantly, but it also means that, sometimes, you’re going to end up with slightly cold, slightly soggy fries that have been sitting around waiting to be ordered for who knows how long. This makes ordering fries a bit of a gamble, but, with this hack, you can guarantee you’ll get fresh fries every time. See, the thing about McDonalds fries is that they salt them immediately after they pull them out of the deep fryer. The way to beat the system is to order unsalted fries. This means they’ll have to make a fresh batch, just for you. And if you really can’t deal with eating unsalted fries, just add the salt yourself afterwards. Just be warned that McDonalds employees might be a little bit annoyed with you and your specific order. Not only do they have to make new fries when there are already several servings ready and waiting, but they also have to go to great lengths to ensure that there’s no cross-contamination from kitchen tools that have been in contact with salt. This means they have to clean the station and tools involved in preparing fries, which is a bit of a waste of time. So, while ordering your fries with no salt will ensure that you get a fresh serving, maybe don’t pull out this hack when the restaurant’s really busy.
2. The Paper Bag Hack
Picture this scenario: you’re in the car (as a passenger – for safety reasons, you probably shouldn’t attempt this as the driver) with your McDonalds takeout, only to realize that you have ketchup packets and nowhere to put your ketchup for effective dipping. This is presuming you don’t know about the ketchup packet hack already. The necessary tool for the paper bag hack is, no surprises here, a paper bag. Since McDonalds takeout comes in a paper bag, you should have one on hand whenever you need implement this hack. The steps are simple: fold the bag outwards (like you’re turning it inside out) halfway. Then, fold the folded part of the bag in half again, in the same direction. Finally, take the outer layer and fold it upward onto itself. Pull apart the sides to achieve a rim perfect for holding ketchup, or whatever your condiment of choice is. Since you can create condiment-holding slots on either side of the bag, you can use two different condiments, or you and a friend can each have your own side. The latter will eliminate the opportunity for one of you to double-dip in a shared condiment, which is always a risk when sharing fries. To make things even easier, pour out the fries into the bottom of the bag. The one issue with this strategy is that, over time, the condiments will cause the bag to get a bit soggy, which may threaten the structural integrity of your creation. To avoid this problem, don’t waste any time in digging into your French fries.
1. The McDonalds Box Hack
This is yet another hack that makes eating ketchup and fries a far more efficient endeavor. It makes use of the classic red and yellow McDonalds French fry carton. The flap at the back of the box can be folded out, away from the fries, to create a kind of horizontal platform, perfect for holding your condiment of choice. Upon this hack’s discovery, it went viral on social media. Many people praised its genius, while other weren’t so impressed. Some people critiqued it as not being the actual purpose of the flap, claiming the reason the box is taller in the back is so that employees don’t burn their fingers on fresh fries. That’s a plausible explanation, and it may very well be the case that McDonalds French fry cartons weren’t designed with this particular purpose in mind, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for it. People have been trying out the box hack since it was first tweeted about, and it seems have worked out for a lot of them. So regardless of whether or not it was the intended purpose, it’s clearly turned out to be both efficient and effective. We’re all for coming up with new was to avoid making a mess when eating ketchup and fries, and this seems like another great strategy that’ll prevent anyone eating on the go from covering their car with ketchup. All in all, it’s a win in our book.