Homemade French Fries

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The effort is worth it for these perfect homemade fast-food-style French fries. They are crispy, salty perfection!!

French fries are an American classic and go well with oh so many dishes. Burgers, steak, and milkshakes just to name a few. I mean milkshakes, right?! Try these crispies with Crispy Chicken Tenders, Ranch Burgers, and Funfetti Cake Batter Milkshakes.

Homemade french fries with ketchup in dish

Homemade is best!

There is something so deliciously addictive about french fries! They are simply hard to resist, right?! What if I said you could have that crispy goodness in your own home? And it will taste even more scrumptious than any of those drive thru options.

French fries are the perfect snack or fab side dish. They are especially fun at BBQs (we love to make them with pulled pork, corn dogs, and chicken tenders most)! French fries have been a classic favorite for people of all ages for centuries, so we know you’ll love this recipe.

It may seem a little daunting, but with the right tools it is easy to achieve this golden wonder. Trust me, it is worth the extra bit of time so don’t skip on the steps. They will help you achieve perfection!

How to make french fries process pic

How to Make French Fries

Start with the right potatoes! Russet potatoes are the potato of choice for fries. Waxy potatoes like red and fingerling potatoes have a much higher moisture content that evaporates leaving a hollow fry. 

  • Choose similarly sized russet potatoes so that the cut fries will be the same size and cook at the same rate. 
  • For a classic french fry, peel the potatoes first, but if you like to have the crispy skin, you can choose to partially peel them leaving spots of rustic tasty skins. 
  • When deciding how much to make, plan to use 1 ½ -2 potatoes per person (about ½-¾ lb).

PREP. Prepare the potatoes by peeling them and cutting them into slices lengthwise, then cutting each slice into french fry-sized sticks.

SOAK. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak 2-3 hours.

DRY. When ready to cook, drain the water and lay the potatoes out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, then blot with additional paper towels to dry.

COOK. Heat a few inches of oil in a heavy pot to 300 degrees, then add the potato pieces in 3-4 batches so as not to crowd the pot. Cook 4-5 minutes. (The potatoes will still be pale and not fully cooked.)

DRAIN. Remove the potatoes from the pot and drain on fresh paper towels, then cook the remaining batches. When all of the potatoes have been cooked at 300 degrees, turn the heat up to 400 degrees. Add the potatoes again in batches, cooking until golden brown and crisp. Drain the fries on paper towels.

SEASON & SERVE. Sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.

Seasoning: If you want to add seasoning you’ll want to add right after you fry the fries a second time. Simply salting them is classically delicious, but you can also add pepper, garlic salt, seasoning salt, paprika and so forth.

Homemade french fries in oil

Cooking Tips

Oil Temperature: Using a cooking thermometer is really helpful in making sure that your oil is hot enough. If your oil is too hot the fries will burn before cooking through. If it is not hot enough, the fries will become saturated and limp without ever cooking correctly. If you do not have an oil thermometer, you’ll have to eyeball it.

Oil is ready to fry when it reaches between 350°-370°F. My best suggestion on how to fry without a thermometer is to figure out what setting your stovetop is to get to that range and then adjust from there. For example: 

  • Start with your dial just about the medium setting. Allow the oil to heat up. Use a wooden chopstick or handle of a wooden spoon to dip it in the oil. If it immediately sizzles, you’re in the 350-370 range. Adjust the dial and retest if needed.  
  • Once you’re at the right stage take note of exactly where your burner dial is at.
  • To get the 300° range, reduce the dial a little. When the fries are added there will be a little sizzling, but not too much. After frying for 5 minutes the fries will still be a pale color. If they brown the oil is too hot.     
  • To get the 400° range increase the dial a little. The fries will immediately sizzle, but will not sputter aggressively. You should be able to fry a second time for 4-5 minutes and get them a nice golden brown.

Alternate cooking methods:

  • Airfryer: Heat fryer to 350°F. Soak and dry the fries then toss with oil. Season if desired. Fry for 7-8 minutes. Flip and fry for another 7-8 minutes. Repeat with the other batches. 
  • Bake: Soak the fries and pat dry. Spread the fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with oil and bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10 minutes.

More Cooking tips:

  • The thinner you cut your fries the faster they cook. The opposite is also true, the thicker the fries are the longer they’ll need to cook. 
  • Oil temperature drops a bit when a new batch of fries are added. Adding too many fries will lower the temp too much. 

French fries recipe - dipped in ketchup

Serving and Storing

Pair homemade fries with:

Serve your fries with one of your favorite dipping sauces. We love: 

Make ahead and freeze: Follow the recipe through step 3. Once you have fried the potatoes the first time, you’ll want to drain them and allow them to cool a bit. Then, spread them on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer. Once the fries are solid (about 40-60 minutes) transfer them to a Ziploc. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, simply remove them from the freezer and complete the recipe by frying them a second time. Season and enjoy.

Leftovers: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge or freezer. If storing them in the freezer, flash freeze them first before transferring them to a Ziploc. Fridge fries can last for 4-5 days. Freezer fries can last for 2-3 months. 

To reheat: Bake them at 350°F until warm and crisp. (about 10-15 minutes)

Homemade french fries recipe in dish with ketchup

For more similar sides, try:

French Fries Recipe

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds russet potatoes
  • vegetable or peanut oil for frying
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. Prepare the potatoes by peeling them and cutting them into slices lengthwise, then cutting each slice into french fry-sized sticks. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak 2-3 hours.

  2. When ready to cook, drain the water and lay the potatoes out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, then blot with additional paper towels to dry.

  3. Heat a few inches of oil in a heavy pot to 300 degrees, then add the potato pieces in 3-4 batches so as not to crowd the pot. Cook 4-5 minutes. (The potatoes will still be pale and not fully cooked.) Remove the potatoes from the pot and drain on fresh paper towels, then cook the remaining batches.

  4. When all of the potatoes have been cooked at 300 degrees, turn the heat up to 400 degrees. Add the potatoes again in batches, cooking until golden brown and crisp. Drain the fries on paper towels, and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.

Author

Alicia Skousen

Hi! I’m Alicia and I blog at The Baker Upstairs. I am in love with all things food! I love to bake bread, cupcakes, cookies… you name it! When I’m not baking, I am running after my two adorable little girls, working as an RN, knitting, reading, and trying to squeeze in time with my husband every day.

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