How Does Mcdonald's Make Their Fries In The UK? 🍟🍟🍟

How Does Mcdonald's Make Their Fries In The UK? 🍟🍟🍟

I’m sitting here in a busy high street McDonald’s in Manchester wondering how does McDonald’s make their fries? As much as I hate to admit, McDonald’s french fries are a secret indulgence of mine, especially on a cheat day. So I thought I’d do some research to understand how the Golden Arches produce their world-renown fries.

In the UK, McDonald’s source British potatoes that go by the snazzy names “Pentland Deli, Shepody, Innovator, Russet Burbank, and Ivory Russet”. These special potatoes are picked for their ability to produce long fries. All potatoes are washed, peeled, and cut up before they’re prepared. Fun fact, the washed potatoes are shot through a tube at over 60 MPH through razor-sharp cutters for ultimate efficiency and precision. The preparation involves partial frying to get that incredible crispy finish. After prep, they are frozen and shipped to the franchise restaurants. Frozen in bags initially, they’re then placed into a machine that will automatically weigh and sort the right amount of fries into a frying basket. It then takes just 3 minutes in a blend of sunflower and rapeseed oil, plus a pre-configured amount of salt so they’re consistently golden and tasty (Source).

Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan?
Are McDonald’s Fries Halal?
What do McDonald's Cook Their Fries In?
How Are McDonald's Fries Made?
McDonald’s Fries ingredients the UK?
McDonald’s Fries Calories

Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan?

Short answer: Yes, McDonald’s french fries are vegan-friendly in 2019 (Source). If you’re a long-time vegan or have recently decided to give it a go, McDonald’s french fries are most definitely vegan-friendly. During preparation, the fries are not coated in any fats or substances that derive from animals. As mentioned already, the chips (for those that call them that!) are fried for 3 minutes in a mixture of rapeseed and sunflower oil which are both vegan-friendly.

If you love BBQ sauce with your french fries just note that ‘Smokey BBQ Dip’ contains honey and is therefore not vegan-friendly.

Are McDonald’s Fries Halal?

As of today, McDonald’s fries in the UK are not certified as Halal, and there are no current plans to do so.

What do McDonald's Cook Their Fries In?

Some might think that McDonald’s uses a magic concoction of unicorn tears and fairy dust to make such mouth-watering, golden crispy delights. This is not true. A mixture of rapeseed and sunflower oil is used when frying the french fries to give it their color and crunch.

Rapeseed oil contains Omega 3, 6, and 9 which are known to help maintain healthy joints as well as reduce cholesterol - please note, I’m not saying McDonalds’s french fries will lower your cholesterol! 😂. It’s also versatile in cooking methods, typically low in saturated fat, and has a higher smoke point which is likely why McDonald’s prefers it to olive oil.

Sunflower oil is quite nutrient-dense. Pressing sunflower seeds to produce the oil delivers high vitamin E content, as well as phytochemicals such as choline and phenolic acid which are known to promote a healthy heart (Source). We’ve discussed the benefits of choline on the body by eating eggs (Related article).

How Are McDonald's Fries Made

Ever since childhood I’ve always wondered exactly how are McDonald's french fries made. The process must be super slick and efficient, but also very scientific to get the same result time and time again. The biggest question is how do they make McDonald's french fries taste so good?

The key is picking the right potatoes to start with. Ivory Russet, Russet Burbank, Shepody, and Pentland Deli are the superstar potatoes that make the chips so long and tasty. Without any difficult preparation, the potatoes are washed and shot at 60 miles per hour through a high-pressure tube running with water (think water slide 🌊) and cut through razor-sharp metal grid-shaped cutters to give them the exact shape and length desired.

A quick partial fry for extra crunch, then frozen immediately and shipped to the franchise restaurants. From here the final step is to fry your delightful fries in a mixture of sunflower and rapeseed oil for 3 minutes at high temperatures with a dash of salt. Et Voila - golden, crispy, french fries. 🍟

McDonald’s Fries ingredients UK?

McDonald’s french fries don’t contain that many ingredients, unlike most of their other menu items.

Quite simply:

  • Potatoes

  • Dextrose (mostly added at the start of potato season)

  • Rapeseed Oil

  • Sunflower Oil

  • Salt

McDonald's french fry dipped in ketchup with sauces in background

McDonald’s Fries Calories

It can be tempting to always upgrade to ‘Large’ when ordering a McDonald’s meal, however, be aware of the increase in calories, fats, carbs, and salt by doing so.

On average, there’s an 88% increase in nutritional content going from ‘Small’ to' ‘Large’, and on average a 32% increase going from ‘Medium’ to ‘Large’. Thankfully in the UK, we don’t offer Super Size!

McDonald's French Fries Nutritional Information by Size
Nutritional Information Small Medium Large
Calories 237 337 444
Fat 12 17 22
of which Saturated 1.1 1.5 2
Carbs 29 42 55
of which Sugars 0.4 0.6 0.8
Fibre 2.6 3.6 4.8
Protein 2.3 3.3 4.4
Salt 0.44 0.62 0.82
SOURCE: Sources

Still can’t get McDonald’s off your mind? Why not read our breakdown of the best Sausage and Egg McMuffin! (Related article)

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