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Last week, we asked QYK listeners who has the best french fries. Not surpisingly, McDonald’s came in the Top 5.

But how do you eat Mickey D’s fries like a pro? TheTakeout.com took on the task of finding out exactly how to make sure you’re getting the best french fry possible. Not surprisingly, the key is one thing: freshness.

They say to eat them within the first 5 to 10 minutes. Their sampling of fries from 3 different McDonald’s locations showed that they become “notably less appealing” after 10 minutes with another big drop off at 18 minutes. It’s those first few minutes where you get the best texture and taste.

They actually ate one fry per minute to arrive at these results. And they came up with a pretty weird, but sort of brilliant pro tip. This in fact may be the most genius out-of-the-box fast food thinking ever. Don’t order a large fry. Instead order a small size batch of fries. And if you want more, go back and get a second. That way instead of eating the last bunch of fries at the bottom of a large box that are approaching that 18 minute mark, you can get two fresh batches. I’ve been doing it wrong the whole time. The shame is real.