Just because we can’t fry food in the vacuum of space doesn’t mean that the entire universe has to be devoid of its greasy wonder. In fact, turns out us Earthlings live in an environment damned to produce subpar french fries without even realising it. According to a new study, if you’re really jonesing for the good stuff, you’re going to need to haul your arse all the way down to Jupiter.
Specifically, anywhere with three Gs would offer optimal french-fry-frying conditions, according to actual , peer-reviewed research recently published in the journal Food Research International. Conducted by the European Space Agency (ESA), the study used a custom-built deep frier meant to function under intense gravitational conditions on an ESA centrifuge. And those little potatoes had their work cut out for them, taking their blistering oil bath in everything from 1.8 to nine times the gravity of Earth.
All throughout the frying process, ESA scientists were measuring the heat flow as the fries cooked, and found that amping up the gravity severely affected how heat got transferred throughout the soon-to-be-delicious potato. What’s more, gravity was just part of it; when dealing with that much pressure, even the angle of the frier could change the final product. So after a lot of trial and error, the team ultimately found that french fries cooked at a zero degree inclination (or flat) and under 3 Gs (or three times the gravitational force of the Earth, like what you’d find on Jupiter) made for optimal french fry crust crispiness.
The highly scientific snack time, while also incredibly fun and presumably delicious, was actually organised for more practical purposes. If we really do plan on making mass space travel a reality, a knowledge of how different environments will affect our ability to cook is going to be imperative. For now, though, at least french fry enthusiasts have something to aspire to.