Introduction: Perfect French Fries

Picture of Perfect French Fries

In this instructable, I will show you how to make French Fries. This is and easy way to make amazing french fries. The result will resemble closely to the fries that you would get at a Five Guy's or other similar places. I love french fries! And I love making them at home, go out there and make your own! Let's get started!

If you have any questions or comments, put them down below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Follow the easy steps or watch the short video tutorial or do both!

Step 1: Ingredients/Tools

Picture of Ingredients/Tools


  • Potatoes (I use Russets, they work really well)
  • Oil (I like to use peanut oil, but any high smoke point oil should work, lard works great too)
  • Salt
  • Cold water


Step 2: Wash Them Potatoes

Picture of Wash Them Potatoes

Now let's wash our potatoes really well. After they are washed you can peel them if you like. I don't peel mine. It's just a personal preference.

Step 3: Cut Them Potatoes

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Now it is time to cut the potatoes into our fry shape. I have a handy fry cutter that I really like. It saves a bunch of time, but you can certainly just use a knife.

Step 4: Soak Them Potatoes

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Next we place our potatoes cuts into a large bowl with really cold water. Make sure to add a couple of tsp. of salt as well. Why do we do this? This process helps to remove that starch from those potatoes, resulting in a much tastier french fry. We want to soak them for about 20 minutes.

Step 5: Heat Your Oil

Picture of Heat Your Oil

While our potatoes are soaking let's go ahead and get our oil started. I am using a deep fryer, which I really like, however a pot and candy thermometer will work just fine. We want to heat our oil for the "first fry" to 320 degrees F. (160 C)

Step 6: Drain and Dry Them Potatoes

Picture of Drain and Dry Them Potatoes

Next we drain the water from the potatoes and place them on a paper towel. We use another paper towel to pat them dry. We want them fairly dry, because water and hot oil do not play nice together. :)

Step 7: First "Low Temp" Fry Then the Freeze

Picture of First "Low Temp" Fry Then the Freeze

Now we place a small batch of potatoes into our deep fryer or pot and fry them on a lower heat around 320 degrees F (160 C) for 4 to 6 minutes until they are blonde in color. You will probably need to wait a few minutes after a few batches and let the oil come back up to temperature. Once they are done place them on a paper towel to dry, then in freezer bags or tupperware, so we can freeze them. If you don't have time to freeze them, you can go to the next step. I like to freeze mine so I can make a ton up front, and then freeze the ones I am not going to eat to fry up later.

Step 8: High Heat Fry

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Now once we have frozen our fries, let's turn up our heat to 400 to 425 degrees F. (205 C to 218 C). Of if you deep fryer doesn't go that high, put it on its highest setting. Then comes our "Second" fry or "High Heat" fry. Take a batch of fries and place them in the hot oil, this time we will only be frying them for around a minute or so, until they turn a nice golden brown. Take them out and place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil off and salt them fries up! We are done, enjoy!!

***Note about the "Two-Fry Method" This is not a new method, nor my own method, it has been around for ages. (The first fry will cook them almost completely without over browning them, the second fry will cook them the rest of the way and crisp them up.)

Step 9: Video Tutorial

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Now watch those steps in action by checking out the short video tutorial!


Ashwawa (author)2017-06-17

Always wanted to make my own fries, will have to try these sometime!

Oops I responded with a different profile! haha

matt.taylor.5011 (author)Ashwawa2017-06-17

Yes give them a try and let me know how they turn out!! They are super yummy!

JohanD46 (author)2017-05-10


As a Belgian (not a Frenchman, let's be really clear about this), I endorse your method.

That's how it's done (except for the peeling).

Nice work :)

jimvandamme (author)JohanD462017-05-10

i'm told yellow potatoes make the best frites. But it is essential you serve them with mayonnaise.

Or vinegar, if you're Canadian.

jimvandamme (author)jimvandamme2017-05-11

Or gravy and cheese curds, if you're a Quebecois.

Well here in the States Ketchup is king for dipping fries haha although there is such a thing here called fry sauce which is a mix of mayonnaise and ketchup that people really like. Some people at Wendy's will even dip their fries in their Frostys. haha

hahaha thanks!!! The peel does have nice nutrients in it. haha but I agree if I am going for aesthetics I would most certainly peel the potatoes. And thank you for the endorsement!! :)

PattyP17 (author)2017-05-10

Sounds great! Gonna try it. Thanks!

You are welcome! Let me know how they turn out!

User1 (author)2017-05-08

Hello Matt,

I'm kinda the person that doesn't like to waste energy. I'll look into the "1-fry method" and see what I can find.

mii358 (author)2017-05-07

Thank You, but am curious ?? . . . Do you just leave the oil in the deep fryer while the fries are freezin' or ?

You could just leave the oil in the fryer for a few hours if you wanted, or pour it back into a container once it cools down.

Tolson (author)2017-05-07

Thanks Matt, nice write up. My question is about the preferred variety of potato.

What is your preference.

Thank you!! My preference is Russet potatoes, they grow big and make a long fry. A very common potato for fries. Maris Piper I heard is good but have never used it.

jbirnbaum (author)2017-05-07

Matt, this is a common method, but way more work than necessary for amazing fried potatoes. America's Test Kitchen will try hundreds of methods for a single recipe until they find the best and easiest method. They used to endorse a double fry method, but without the freezing, until recently. They discovered that if you put the potatoes into the oil while it's still cold, and then bring it up to temperature, it achieves the same double fry effect. Once they're golden brown, they're soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. My great aunt Cecilia knew this 50 years ago. Way easier and faster.

Interesting, I have never tried that. I will try it out, seems like they would get soggy putting them in cold oil. Thanks for sharing!

Oil never makes things soggy, water does. The idea of frying perfection is to get the water boiled out while not allowing the oil to saturate. Check Alton Brown on this.

mmm interesting!

You might think so, but they don't. It's pretty amazing. Let me know what you think of the results.

johnny108 (author)2017-05-07

You can clean used cooking oil with unflavored gelatin.

The website called "Serious Eats" has a complete write up on it.

Very nice!

nanaverm (author)2017-05-07

They look so good! Soaking them for 20 minutes also helps prevent cancer-causing acrylamides from being formed when the potatoes are cooked, so I'd rinse them once the water's drained.

To preserve your frying oil, add the contents of a Vitamin E pill or two. Helps keep it from getting rancid.

Awesome thanks!

nanaverm (author)2017-05-07

Have you tried making sweet potato fries this way? They are yummy!

Not this exact way but I have made them before and like them!! :)

HansB3 (author)2017-05-05

do be careful with the heath.... frying oil has a spontaneous flame temperature around 250°C so at this temperature it goes whoosh... apart from that, enjoy nice crispy fries

Thanks!! Yeah I don't think I have ever gotten my oil up that high. usually the highest I get mine is around 400 to 425 F. or 205 C. That is a great point to bring up though! We don't want anyone getting hurt. :)

Actually Hans is referring to the fact that your temperature numbers are not consistent between scales. You start with your "cold fry" in Fahrenheit and then later use Centigrade in parenthesis for the "hot fry" section. Maybe an edit would clear this up.

oops let me fix that! Thanks for catching that!

MikeH431 (author)2017-05-07

my Dad was a chef and he always did the 2 fry meathod and they were the best fries around ! He would use lard though. Question , can you keep the used oil ? (Reuse)How long and where do you keep it ? It would be a waste to through it away after each use .

Yep you can definitely keep the oil. It would get very expensive for restaurants to change out their vats of oil after every use. I keep reusing mine, straining when necessary, until it loses its nice yellow color, and of course if it starts to smell it is bad. But don't cross use the oil, like don't do fries and chicken in the same oil, and I wouldn't reuse the chicken oil, but some people might.

stevemaskery (author)2017-05-07

Here in the UK we have Maris Piper. King Edward are good, too, when they are new season, not so good when they are old.

I use corn oil, but peanut oil is also excellent. We used to get it in litre bottles, but these days I only ever see it in small bottles for dressings. In posh chip shops (they are "chips" here, rather than "fries") there is a move back to using lard or beef dripping, which is what we had when we were kids. Stinks a bit though.

I parboil mine for about 3 minutes, dry them, then do the first fry at about 130C, so that is a bit cooler than you do. Second one at 180-200C. Great results.

I have heard of the fry-from-cold-oil approach, but the problem with that is if you have a lot to do. You can really do only one batch that way.

Thanks for the 'Ible, the world does not need more chips, but it definitely needs better chips!

BTW Salt and vinegar is the traditional seasoning over here.

Some day I will visit the UK and get a proper Fish and Chips meal! :) I was just eyeing the corn oil the other day at the supermarket, it was on sale, I thought about buying some but didn't wind up doing it. We can get it in pretty big containers. And I need to try the lard/beef dripping fries, I can't remember ever tasting fries made from that.

That is why I really like the 2 fry with the freeze, because you can make a ton, and after the first fry, you freeze the ones you don't want to eat that day. Then the next time you want fries, you don't have to do cut and do the first fry, they are all ready for the second fry! haha :) I will still try the "from cold" method and see if I like it.

You are very welcome! Salt and Vinegar Chips (crisps) are pretty popular here, but not really on our fries. There is one place called Smashburger, that does these garlic fries which are tossed in Italian olive oil, then topped off with rosemary and garlic...mmm yummy.

AlfieE2 (author)2017-05-07

If you don't use a temperature controlled deep fryer DO NOT leave the kitchen, stay sober and have an oil extinguishing means handy.

More house fires start this way then by any other "accident". Make sure that your fire insurance is paid up and that your policy doesn't have a nasty Negligence clause that some insurers sneak in these days to give themselves a "Sorry your fault" escape route.

MillerI (author)AlfieE22017-05-07

Because getting drunk during 6 minutes of frying is a problem? LMAO. 1) heat oil, 2) put food in, 3) drink as many shots of Cuervo in 6 minutes....

Good idea!

BG_INS (author)2017-05-05


from a guy from Belgium,

spot on , that is how you make french fries.

Removing the starch also works under a running water tap, no need to soak them .

The size of the fries also matters; 8 x 8 mm square is the Belgian standard.

6 x 6 mm is called "allumetes" = matches

2 x 2 mm is called "steppe grass"

Enjoy yours, oh, please dippethem in Mayonaise, not ketchup!!

evandene (author)BG_INS2017-05-07

Yes ... and please peal them. Don't take shortcuts

The choice to "not" peel them is not a short cut. So many restaurants don't peel their potatoes, I like the skin, so that is why I don't peel them. :)

Good on you Matt. Keeping the skins also raises the nutrition value, and I do appreciate a thicker cut fry of the sort you make. AlfieE2 brings me back: I grew up in Eastern Ontario where chip trucks were a fixture. How they managed to tear around town without having deep fryer disasters is a mystery. And I recall that they preferred to use 'older' potatoes, not the hardest and newest, to get a better result. I came to like them best with malt vinegar, and occasionally, balsamic. The mayonnaise thing I picked up from a Dutch guy, but that's different mayonnaise than the very white standard stuff. It was was distinctly off-white/creamy yellow, probably due to including more egg yolk, and the taste was much richer than the standard product. Now I'm dying for some!

MillerI (author)eisnic2017-05-07

The mayo you want is the Japanese Kewpie brand. Actually has a tangier blend with a very laid back spice profile vs. American mayo which is just eggs, oil and emulsifiers.

Yes it does! I always leave my skins on in my potato soup, sometimes with my mashed potatoes depending on how creamy I want them, if I want extra creamy I will peel them, and of course I always eat the skin of my baked potato, my favorite part! Malt vinegar and balsamic? Sounds interesting! Yeah I could never get into mayonnaise on my fries. haha could be the kind we have here in the States. hahaha yeah I am craving some too!

thank you so much!! :) Yeah the fry cutter I use has a slightly larger size then the fries that we normally get here at McDonalds or Wendys, but match some of the more Diner style restaurants. I can't do Mayonaise I am definitely a Ketchup guy all the way! lol, although Fry sauce is fairly popular with some people here in the states, which is Mayonaise mixed with Ketchup. I grew up putting ketchup on lots of stuff. haha That is very interesting that you have different names for the sizes of fries. very cool! Again thanks so much for the comment! Much appreciated! :)

We have different names, too. Steak fries and shoestring.

Yes we do. :)

AlfieE2 (author)BG_INS2017-05-07

They call them "French" fries because most anglophones couldn't tell the difference between France's french and Belgique. Yes, Mayonnaise by all means but Bearnaise and Hollandaise work really well too as a interesting alternative. Of course when mobile, salt and vinegar (a Quebec thing) are a great no-napkins-required, messless additive.

Hamids (author)2017-05-07

thanks for sharing your experience however I was wonder if you know healthy way without frying oil, because I'm not fan of using oil for cooking , BR

Sure you can make baked fries. This is a really simple way to do them -

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