Cockeyed travels to San Francisco to present:

French Fries

How much is inside an order of fries?
No one knows. They arrive in an odd-shaped paper scoop, devoid of graduations or other markings, strategically misnamed to confuse the conscientious consumer.

On Saturday I headed to Daniel's house and we found out.


We drove to Burger King on San Francisco's Market Street & picked up a medium, large, and extra-large order of fries. The "medium" fries is their small size, so you are welcome to call the medium "small" and the large "medium", just be sure you make plenty of air-quotes with your fingers when you order.

Contrary to popular belief, when you get 3 orders, they don't ask you if you want fries with that. In fact, I think the guy at the counter was worried about our health.

We had to get the fries to Daniel's house for measurements, but we simultaneously realized that trying to keep a hot order of french fries intact would be a very difficult task.

Indeed, in the late 1960s, the citizens of McDonaldland recognized a growing "fry guy" theft problem that was getting out of control, despite the best efforts of Big Mac Policeman. It was during those troubled times that 3rd District City Councilman McCheese started his rise through the ranks to become the international icon he is today.

After we got the fries, we headed to the supermarket and bought two jumbo potatoes...and some beer. We were whisked right through the "Irishman" checkout line.
By the time we got back into the car, the Burger King fries had changed.

A simple drop in temperature had transformed the delicious fries into disgusting logs of oil-saturated potato pulp. It was amazing!

Brooke called it a metamorphosis. She is always throwing that term around.

First we counted the fries. 

Here are the results:
Medium US$1.49 55 fries
Large US$1.79 58 fries
Ex-large US$2.09 101 fries

There were also six renegades in the bottom of the sack.

That is right, the large size only had 3 more fries than the medium size.  Weird. 

Here I am posing with the them, now known as the "Quirky 58".

While Brooke and I were busy counting, Daniel began cutting a batch of hand-crafted fries. 

We wanted to see how many fries we could get out of the 11.6oz (329g) potato.

Obviously fries vary greatly in size, so Brooke began painstakingly cataloguing individual fries. The longest fry was 5.2 inches (13.4 cm), the shortest was 1.25 inches (3.1 cm).


The average fry was 2.5" (6.2 cm).

She probably figured out the standard deviation too, but you will have to ask her about that yourself.

Here's a photo of Daniel carving up the spud.  He got that one right in the eye!

Daniel's Olde-Style Homemade, Hand-Crafted Buccaneer-style Pan-Fried Gourmet Salty Potatoes usually sell for US$20-$30 per dozen, but for our research he agreed to cut that price in half.

I hear that most fast-food joints use a quick-formed extruded potato mush for their fries, but you would never be able to tell just by looking at them. They even make the ends look like they were cut right off the root.

His jumbo potato cost 35 cents and yielded 102 BK-sized fries. (225" or 5.7meters of fry).

They were good too!

Brooke at work on her paper-pilot. 

After all that frying, Brooke and me were noticing how weird everything looked.
Next time you are in the drive-thru, and you are about to order the extra-large fries, keep in mind that it is the same amount of food as a whole giant potato...and a pinch of salt...and 4 barrels of oil.

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Last updated January 22nd, 2002.

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