- I compared and ranked fries from Five Guys, Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Shake Shack, Popeyes, KFC, and Checkers.
- Each chain’s fries had a distinct flavor, texture, and shape.
- I think Checkers’ potatoes had the best flavor, texture, and shelf life.
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To me, the fries mostly tasted like unsalted butter rather than a flavorful oil.
But the crunchiness on the outside paired with the ample amount of potato inside made these slightly more enjoyable than the fries from Burger King. The longer fries had more of that soft, potatoey center and stiff ends, while the shorter ones were completely stiff and didn’t flop over.
Unfortunately, though, these fries didn’t have enough flavor for me. Depending on what you prioritize when picking a “good” fry, Shake Shack’s and Burger King’s can be interchangeable in terms of being at the bottom of this list.
The fries, which were close to an inch thick, had a somewhat flaky exterior texture that left crumbs behind. If you like a smooth exterior, these may not be for you. But if you like a more textured fry, this is a positive feature.
They were salty and tasted like oil, which was the familiar fast-food flavor I was looking forward to, but they also had an unexpected pepper heat. It tasted more like white pepper than black pepper, but the spice took over with each bite rather than providing an additional flavor.
The fries were super soft inside and weren’t crispy on the outside.
After 10 minutes, though, the fries got hard and cardboard-like, lost their oil flavor, and just tasted like peppery heat. For this reason, I ranked these in sixth place.
Wendy’s also keeps the potato skin on its fries, which gives them a homemade look.
Although they were enjoyable when fresh, the change in texture and flavor change that happened when the fries turned from hot to cold was what landed these in sixth place for me.
The flaky fry on the outside was reminiscent of the flakiness that comes on the coating of KFC’s fried chicken, but it wasn’t as enjoyable.
I would have appreciated some sort of pepper or saltiness to brighten the flavors of the potato and oil.
The flavor was hollow, but the crispy outside made these skinny fries rank higher than Burger King, Shake Shack, and Wendy’s. Unfortunately for KFC, there were still four chains that did a better job with their potatoes.
A flaky fry made for a crunchy first bite, but they soon got limp and soggy.
Even when soggy, though, the fries held onto their flavor and the potato interior stayed soft and creamy in texture.
If they hadn’t gotten so soggy-feeling on the outside once they cooled down, these would have been an even more impressive take on fast-food fries.
If not for the quick turn from crispy to cold, these fries may have ranked above McDonald’s. But the flavor and peak texture earned it fourth place.
They were slightly crispy on the outside, had a lot of give when I took a bite, and tasted both salty and oily.
In my opinion, the longevity of these potatoes is what pushed them over the edge and into the top three.
These fries didn’t get stale as quickly as the other contenders, though.
Similar to Wendy’s and Shake Shack, the longer fries were more likely to flop than the shorter ones, but this was inconsistent as some long fries were able to hold their own.
What catapulted these fries to the top three was the fact that the only thing I noticed change as they sat out was the temperature. Even still, there were two orders of potatoes that were even tastier and more impressive than the ever-classic McDonald’s French fry.
The slightly thicker fry is around 1/2 inch and offers a substantial bite of soft potato enveloped in a crispy shell that gives off almost an oven-baked feel.
As they got cold, the outside stopped being crispy and they became more greasy to the touch, which, in my opinion, were these fries’ only downfall. That’s why they’re in second place instead of first.
The insides oozed like mashed potatoes, while the crispy, crunchy exterior held its integrity long after they were fresh.
Though they varied in size, most were around the same thickness as McDonald’s — around 1/4 inch.
In my opinion, the consistency in quality of these fries, as well as the simple flavor profile, earned it the top spot.