Who knew so much work went into making fast-food fries?
A viral TikTok videos give an inside look at how Five Guys fry cooks prepare those salty, crispy fries the burger chain's customers love so much, and, like many of the over 14 million viewers, we're pretty impressed.
TikTok user @maezthegreat posted the video earlier this week and walked viewers through the multi-step prepping process.
"First, we wash the potatoes off. Real potatoes," the Five Guys employee says.
Up next, the potatoes get loaded into the slicer, where they're chopped up into fries, then they're placed in a bucket that's filled with water. The fries get washed off to help remove the starch then eventually go into the fryer.
"Only restaurant I trust and this is the reason why, " commented one person.
"I used to work there. Five guys food is fresh and THEY DO NOT PLAY ABOUT THEIR SYSTEM WHEN IT COMES TO CLEANING … ," wrote another. "I'm having flashbacks."
A follow-up video that shows the fries being mesmerizingly cleaned has garnered over 742,000 views.
It was a tough act to follow, but @maezthegreat released another video the next day that broke down the cooking process for Five Guys' regular fries, revealing that the salty snack is actually cooked twice.
"Yes, we love pre-cooking our fries," said the cook.
After pre-cooking in a bit of peanut oil for two minutes, he brings the fry basket over to another batch of oil. Once they're ready, it's time for the finishing touches.
"You want to shake them 15 times to get all the grease out so they won't be soggy," he explains, then sprinkles a bit of salt on them and tosses them.
Since being released earlier this week, the video has amassed over 378,000 views.
In yet another follow-up video, the cook shows how the chain's Cajun fries are prepared in pretty much the same way, except for the last step, which involves dousing them with a healthy heaping of Cajun seasoning.
"My manager always told me, 'If you only sneezin' you ain't pleasin'.' That's how you do it," he says as he coats the fries in flavor.
In two other videos, @maezthegreat shows viewers how to clean a grill so they get the perfect burgers and also revealed what happens to all that grease in the Five Guys kitchens. The TikTok user did not respond to TODAY Food's request for comment.
"We are aware of the videos and appreciate that this employee is proud of the work he does at Five Guys," a Five Guys spokesperson told TODAY. "Sometimes customers are surprised that the bags of potatoes that sit in our dining rooms are real! Our fries are made from fresh potatoes that are cut, washed and cooked twice for a boardwalk style fry that has a mashed potato like inside and firm outside.
"Also, learning to cook Five Guys fries is hard! It is a great source of pride for our employees to cook our fries correctly."
According to Food Republic, the majority of the potatoes they use for their fries come from Idaho — over 100 Idaho farms, to be exact — and the chain's annual purchase of 140 million pounds represents more than 5% of the state's entire potato output.
In 2019, the Los Angeles Times even went so far as to claim the chain has the best-fast food fries. The publication released a controversial ranking of fries from chains like McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack and more, and Five Guys topped the list, followed closely behind by McDonald's.
"Not only is Five Guys No. 1, but it’s also so far ahead of everyone else it’s almost unfair," wrote columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson. "You get a generous heap of hot, properly salted, natural-cut spuds, with a good balance between crispy fries and the odd one that’s pleasingly soft. Five Guys fries in peanut oil, which imparts a milder taste than more industrial oils that mask potato flavor."
Whether or not you agree that Five Guys has the best fries, you have to admit that these videos are supremely satisfying.