Can You Cut Corners on TikTok’s Viral 15-Hour Potatoes?

Food Network recipe developer Amanda Neal says patience is key.

December 17, 2021
@poppycooks

Reply to @lfor05 The new and improved 15 HOUR POTATO recipe… ENJOY! 🤤🤤 #potatotiktok #heaven #potato #15hourpotato

♬ THE NEW 15 HOUR POTATO - Poppy O’Toole

Fifteen hours may seem like a long time to wait for a crunchy bite of fried potato deliciousness, but that hasn’t stopped a TikTok video and recipe from Michelin-trained chef, social media food influencer and cookbook author Poppy O’Toole from going viral.

“Can we all just take a moment of silence for this?” O’Toole plummily intones, before cutting and sinking her teeth into a crisp, fried bar of layered potatoes on a TikTok video posted to her @poppycooks account that has racked up more than 18.4 million views since it was posted in August. “Ah, the crunch.”

That mega-popular post was an “improved” version (using beef drippings) of O’Toole’s original 15-Hour Potato recipe (which used duck fat), posted in November 2020.

Subsequent iterations posted by O’Toole have proven nearly as popular: A version with roasted garlic has been viewed 13.1 million times. And O’Toole’s reposts of her original video regularly collect upwards of hundreds of thousands of additional views and spawned an untold number of TikTok reaction videos.

This week, O’Toole reposted her 15-Hour Potato recipe on her Instagram — “in case you forgot,” she wrote — and teased a possibly forthcoming new version for Christmas.

Yes, O’Toole has acknowledged the ASMR appeal of her potato crunches. But those patient enough to try the 15-Hour Potato recipe, which requires three hours of oven baking and 12 hours of compressing the potatoes in the fridge, have extolled its culinary virtues.

Food Network recipe developer Amanda Neal says her first thought of the 15-Hour Potato recipe was “Wow! That looks delicious!”

“A super crispy fried potato is hard to beat, especially with those super thin layers and a generous sprinkle of flaky salt on top,” she says. “I'm also a sucker for precise knife work, so the perfectly shaped rectangles of potato are beautiful to see.”

Neal believes the viral interest in O’Toole’s recipe lies in the nearly universal appeal of crispy, fried potatoes. “Then there's the added appeal of the thin, crispy layers,” she muses. “I think viewers are intrigued on how to make this, then pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to achieve.”

Neal expresses admiration for the recipe’s inclusion of “beef drippings,” or beef fat, which, she says, “adds a deeper, meatier flavor to the potatoes,” noting that those attempting the recipe could also change things up with rendered chicken fat (a.k.a. schmaltz) or rendered bacon fat for “a slightly different flavor profile.”

She strongly suggests using the russet or Maris Piper potatoes O’Toole recommends. “These are starchy potatoes, and the natural starchiness will help to hold the potatoes together once chilled,” Neal advises. “Avoid waxy potatoes like red skinned and purple potatoes.”

And for those among us who might wonder about a way to cut corners and the time it takes to make O’Toole’s viral dish — couldn’t it be, say, 12-hour potatoes? — Neal advocates sticking with O’Toole’s recommended timing, more or less.

“The developer suggests letting the cooked potatoes chill in the refrigerator firmly pressed for 12 hours,” she says. “I would agree that you need to let the potatoes sit at least overnight (eight hours), so it has plenty of time to chill through. If not, it will be a challenge to cut and you run the chance of it falling apart in the deep fryer.”

Patience, potato lovers. Patience.

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