Maybe you have a big get-together coming up and you’re looking for a fantastic snack to serve, or maybe you’ve got midnight cravings, or maybe you just want something simple to cook isn’t your typical potato chip.
But the bottom line is, everybody loves a good French fry, and they’re easy enough to make at home.
But one of the biggest hurdles with making fresh, homemade French fries is that more often than not, they end up cooked through but soggy, or overcooked on the outside and raw in the middle.
I’m here to give you a couple of tips and tricks I have if you’re looking at making the crispiest fries from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Step 1: You just need to double fry them!
Double frying might sound a bit excessive, but trust me, they’ll cook all the way through, and go golden and crispy. The problem with frying them once is that you risk them being raw on the inside while burnt on the outside, or just plain soggy and limp.
Step 2: Picking the right kind of potatoes is the next step.
You want a potato that’s high in starch and doesn’t have a lot of water in them. Russet potatoes (or Idaho potatoes) are perfect because they’re dense and don’t have a lot of moisture in them.
Avoid waxy potatoes, red skin potatoes, or fingerling potatoes. Those have lots of water in them, so frying them will hollow them out.
Step 3: Finally, you need to use the right kind of oil.
I’d say that refined peanut oil is the best for making crispy French fries, but if you don’t have that handy, canola oil works just fine. You need to use cooking oil with a high smoke point (it needs a lot of heat before it starts to smoke lightly) so the potatoes break down slowly and make for crispier fries.
You don’t actually need a lot of ingredients or equipment to make French fries. All you need are the following:
- Large bowl
- Baking sheets/trays
- Paper towels
- Deep fryer, Dutch oven, or heavy saucepan
- Cooking thermometer
- Spider strainer (or any other kind of strainer)
- Russet potatoes
- Lemon juice
- Peanut or canola oil
It’s time to get ready to make your crispy French fries.
There are a couple of things you need to have ready before you start prepping your potatoes: you need a large bowl filled with cold water. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice into the water because the acidity in the lemon juice will help the potatoes keep their color. Once you start cutting the potatoes, you need to transfer them into this bowl.
I also find that washing your potatoes before peeling makes them much easier to hold and peel, but that’s completely up to you if this works for you or not.
Now we’re down to the exciting part: preparing and cooking the fries. Here’s my recipe for my crispy homemade French fries!
- First, peel your potatoes and remove any eyes.
- Square off your potatoes and slice them into 1/4-inch slabs.
- Cut each potato slab into 1/4-inch strips and transfer them into the bowl of cold water.
- Once all your fries are cut and soaked in the bowl of water, start rinsing them through with cold water until the water starts to run clear.
- Add another tablespoon of lemon juice into the bowl of water and a few cups of ice, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- After they’ve been chilled, drain the water from the fries and dry on a paper towel.
- Place about two or three inches of oil into your deep fryer, Dutch Oven, or heavy saucepan.
- Heat the oil up until it’s at 325-degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer to check, try throwing in one fry as a test.
- Once the oil is heated up, cook the fries for about 6-8 minutes, or until soft and slightly golden.
At this point, if you don’t want to cook all of the French fries right off the bat, you can keep these stored in your fridge for a couple of days.
- Remove the fries from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking tray and cool for 15 minutes.
- After the 15 minutes have passed, heat the oil up to 375-degrees Fahrenheit (don’t worry, you can use the same oil you fried it in earlier).
- Toss the fries into your fryer or Dutch Oven and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from heat and drain out on paper towels to remove excess oil, salt generously, and serve right away with your favorite dip.
And there you have it, my quick and easy recipe for crispy homemade fries to satisfy your French fry cravings!
The best thing about this recipe is that you can always spice things up flavored salt to give it extra flavor, or even spice up your dips by serving with sriracha ketchup, mayonnaise, ranch, poutine, and so on.
The best thing about crispy French fries is that making them is just as easy as customizing them to suit your tastes!
A couple of extra tips from a friend of mine who’s a chef:
- Squaring off your potatoes make them much easier to chop and keep them in uniform sizes, but nothing’s stopping you from frying these up as well. You can use the excess bits of potato to test your oil if it’s hot enough.
- You can also also use a top french fry cutter to get shapes and sizes similar to that found at eating joints. Plus, they will be more consistent with minimal wastage and ensure an even cook.
- You want to wash out as much starch as possible to prevent your fries from caramelizing on the outside before cooking through on the inside.
- Don’t try to fry your French fries while they’re warm. Potatoes need to be cold so you can make them crispy.
- When filling your saucepan or Dutch Oven with oil, make sure you don’t fill it up more than 1/3rd of the way through. If any oil rises up and leaks over the side into the flame, your risk your whole pan catching on fire.
- Make sure that before you throw your fries into the piping hot oil, your fries are dried out well. You don’t want any oil splattering back at you while you cook.
- If you’re fond of salty French fries, you can salt them while they’re soaking in water.
- Take your time cutting up your potatoes. The more even their sizes are, the more evenly they’ll cook.
- Keep your fries in a paper bag or on a paper towel-lined tray or bowl to keep them crispy for a little longer when you serve them.
- If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can use a heavy saucepan or Dutch Oven, because they’ll keep a much more even temperature.
Keep track of your oil’s temperature with a cooking thermometer; dropping your fries into hot oil will drop the temperature, so try to keep it as consistent as possible.
Hi! I’m Crystal Martin, a stay at home mom of 4, living in KY with my high school sweetheart husband of 20+ years. My husband and I are co-bloggers at Cinnamon Hollow where we write about homesteading, travel, beauty, our lives with our kids and pets, fun and free printables as well as the products and services that make our lives just a little bit easier – and a lot more fun!
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