Introduction: Perfect Restaurant Quality French Fries

In this episode of In the Kitchen with Matt, I will show you how to make amazing restaurant quality french fries. They taste fantastic, and certainly rival those that you can find at a restaurant or fast food place. They closely resemble the fries that you will find at Five Guys. You can click on the picture to watch the video or follow along with the steps outlined below -

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes - I use Idaho Russet potatoes. They are plentiful here at my local supermarket, I don't claim they are the best for fries, but my fries do taste pretty darn good! :)
  • Peanut oil (you can use vegetable oil or canola oil if you like, but I have found Peanut oil works the best, because it has a "Higher" heat capability before smoking and it tastes a little better I think, I have used all three many times, but have settle with Peanut Oil as my choice. Smoking oil is bad for your health, so be careful if you use Canola or Vegetable oil, you might adjust your temps slightly)
  • Salt

Tools:

Step 1: Wash the Potatoes

Picture of Wash the Potatoes

First we want to wash our potatoes.

Step 2: Cut the Potatoes

Picture of Cut the Potatoes

Now we want to cut the potatoes. You can use a knife, but if you are doing a large batch of them, this gets very time consuming. To save time use some sort of Fry Cutter. They work wonders!

Step 3: Soak the Potatoes

Picture of Soak the Potatoes

Now we want to soak the potatoes in ice cold water for about 20 minutes. The reason we do this is to take out the starchiness of the potatoes.

Step 4: Heat Oil

Picture of Heat Oil

Now we want to heat up our oil. I like to use Peanut oil. It is a great "hi" heat oil. I have a deep fryer, but you can certainly use a big pot. You will want to use a candy thermometer to check your temps. This time we are going to heat our oil to a low heat of around 320 to 325 degrees.

Step 5: Dry the Potatoes

Picture of Dry the Potatoes

After our potatoes have soaked in ice cold water, we want to dry them really well, before we put them in the fryer.

Step 6: 1st Fry

Picture of 1st Fry

Now we want to fry our potatoes at a low heat (320 to 325 degrees) for about 6 minutes, until they look blonde in color.

Step 7: Dry Fries (not Full Cooked Yet)

Picture of Dry Fries (not Full Cooked Yet)

Now we want to dry our fries. I like to use paper towels.

Step 8: Make Sure Oil Gets Back to Temperature

Picture of Make Sure Oil Gets Back to Temperature

If you are cooking a lot of fries, periodically you will want to check the temperature of your oil, to make sure it stays around the desired temp. Use a candy thermometer, if you aren't using a deep fryer with an indicator temp light.

Step 9: Freeze the Fries

Picture of Freeze the Fries

Now we freeze the partially cooked fries. Cool thing about this, is you can store these for quite awhile in the freezer and then just follow the remaining steps whenever you want to have fries.

Step 10: Cook at "Hi" Heat

Picture of Cook at "Hi" Heat

Now, after our fries have frozen, we will take them out and cook them again, but this time at "hi" heat. between 390 and 425 degrees. And we will fry them for a minute or two until the fries look like the image. You can skip the freezing step if you like, but I found they turn out a little better if you do follow it.

Step 11: Salt to Taste

Picture of Salt to Taste

Now, last step salt your fries to taste. Something fun I like to do is take a brown paper sandwich sack, and roll down the edges to make a little container, then put some fries in there and salt and shake it up to serve.

Step 12: Cost Break Down

Picture of Cost Break Down

Here is the cost break down. Costs will vary depending on where you live, and what kind of sales you can find. And how much you re-use your oil. You can re-use it several times before it is bad. Depending on how much it is used each time. I generally put it back in the same container (but I won't mix it with fresh oil) and store it in a cool dark place, like my pantry. I strain it but not all the time, generally if I start seeing chunks of stuff. But you can certainly strain it after first use. The USDA, says for "best quality" store used oil in the refrigerator. But it isn't necessary. General rule of thumb if it is dark in color, and smells bad. Don't use it again. And if you do store it in the fridge, it might get a little milky looking, that is ok, that will go away, when it heats back up.

Step 13: Click to Watch the Video Tutorial

If you like, click on the link to watch the video tutorial.

Enjoy!

Comments

vikasK30 (author)2016-09-20

french fries here

motherearthmark (author)2015-05-15

I made these tonight for my family and they were FANTASTIC! We used some potatoes that my 3-year old and I grew in the garden (russets) along with some store-bought organic russets as well.

I had a bit of trouble keeping the temperature of the oil up, and ended up pre-cooking them for a bit longer, maybe 2-3 minutes. The end result was perfect fries, just as stated in the Instructable title. Thanks, Matt!

You are very welcome! That is so awesome!!! I am glad they turned out well. So cool that you used fresh home grown potatoes!

Laral made it! (author)2015-02-22

I just got this super hot outdoor burner so I just had to try out your ideas on it. I soaked the hand-sliced potatoes in room temp. water for about 45 minutes. I used lower temperatures than you did. A quick search for 'English chips' came up with recipes that recommended: 275°F/375°F (American), 266°F/374°F, and 266°F/356°F (English, converted from Celsius). I chose 275°F/350°F. I used Mazola corn oil because it was the only cheap oil available at Sam's Club that had a 'neutral' taste. I don't like canola or Wesson oil. I will seek out peanut or soy oil in restaurant quantity to save money. The reason I chose 350°F for the crisping step is because it is near the smoke point of unrefined corn oil (352°F), and since Mazola didn't brag about their oil being refined, I can only assume it is not. There is a nice smoke point chart for various oils at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

Very useful in choosing a deep fry oil because you really don't want your oil smoking, for health and flavor reasons.

I suspect you used higher temperatures because a small electric fryer would not 'recover' its temperature fast enough otherwise, and the peanut oil can take it. My problem was the reverse. I had to turn the burner off several times because, even on low, the temperature rose above my set points before cooking was done.

These are the best fries I have ever made. Nice and browned and crispy outside but tender inside. My wife loved them. The picture of the fries on the plate are what was left after she grabbed her portion. :)

Next time I will try adding salt to the water to see the difference. A third thing I might try is the America's Test Kitchen method for making crunchy baked fries--boil or microwave the raw potato slices and toss them in the bowl or pan until the outsides get all roughed up. Then bake them. This makes the crunchiest 'fries' I have ever had. Kind of like natural 'tater tots'. Deep frying them would take them to the next level. Oh yes! Gotta try this.

Nice! Those look awesome. Those resemble "Home style" fries that we have here in the states. Pretty much bigger and don't have the perfect cut look to them. That is awesome your outdoor burner worked so well! Thank you for sharing!! Definitely good to know about the smoke points. Especially if using an oil you aren't familiar with.

This week I tried my hand at English style Fish and Chips. I go the inspiration for the chips from your Instructable and while I was researching the chips I found this video which inspired me to make the fish:

I made it for the first time yesterday and the batter was too thick and the oil too hot, and the fries were soggy by the time I served the fish, so I modified it and today the fish and the chips came out perfect. I used large russet potatoes and 'fresh' wild caught Pacific cod. I double fried the fish as well as the potatoes and that makes all the difference. I fried the potatoes a third time for a minute as soon as the fish was done so they were crisp this time. Here are the results plated up, salted and peppered, and ready to eat. The potatoes were crisp outside and soft inside and the fish was just cooked inside with a thin really crunchy outer shell.

I can provide the modified recipe if anyone is interested.

That is so awesome!!! I am going to have to try it.

Here is a PDF of the recipe:

https://app.box.com/s/8cylcvy6zsx0uexvxzklfr4yub9xcro3

awesome thank you!

Heh heh heh, that's because they ARE home style fries here in the states. LOL. An update on the smoke point of this oil, I read the label and it recommends frying at 375°F so I guess it IS refined. But I tried that and they cooked too fast so I backed it off to 350°F for the second fry.

very nice!

Erchan (author)2015-02-23

really very useful instructable, thank u.

You are welcome! and Thank you!

allan.degroot.96 (author)2015-02-19

Many of you need to try the "Fry sauce" used in parts of Europe (western Belgium, Netherlands and coastal Germany) to north Americans this is exemplified by BK's "Zesty sauce", a mixture of mayonnaise, ketchup with both Cayenne pepper and horseradish added to the mix. a Roumalade sauce is also a close match.

I have had fry sauce before, although I don't think mine had cayenne and horseradish in it. It was two parts mayonnaise to one part ketchup. It was ok. haha I just love me some ketchup with my fries. :)

chrisfpileggi (author)2015-02-18

McD's potatoes are grown in the USA and are shipped to Canada via railcars where they are cut and fried in oil (and some say lard is added to the oil) and are immediately frozen and packaged. These prepared fries are shipped back to the states to local hubs where they are loaded into trucks and shipped to the various McD's distribution centers. These centers stock and distribute all the food and paper items for the stores. The fries are fried again in-store before serving. I'm not sure if they go through the soaking process in Canada or not.

In contrast, I hear that BK's fries are made from dehydrated potatoes and that they are merely formed into the iconic shape. That's why they have that crispy hard exterior and a mashed-potato-like interior. And that seems to be the case for a couple of the other major chains as well. This is why W's changed their fries to be "natural-cut and with sea salt".

mzimmerman7 (author)2015-02-15

I'm wondering if it makes sense to soak the fries in salted water instead of just plain water?

Try it but you would reverse the osmotic process. Water would be drawn out of the relatively low osmotic pressured potato into the saline solution. I suspect a disappointing result but "nothing risked, nothing gained."

That is a good idea. I can't say that I have tried that. I just soak them for about 20 minutes in cold water. Doesn't hurt to experiment!

funnily enough i was always taught cold, salted water. I'm interested to try just plain cold water and see if there's any discernible difference? :)

Time for a taste test!! lol

And I will do the same with the salted water!

diy_bloke (author)2015-02-12

'restaurant quality' is not really a recommendation :-)
I prefer home made. I know abt the 2x fry method, though I get pretty good fries even if I fry them once, but part of the secret is the potato. I grow my own potatoes and really there is no comparison with a potato dug up to plate within 15 minutes, even if fried once.
Will try the 2x fry method again though, just to see. Thanks for reminding me of it :-)

lol Yes, I am in the states, and I was raised on Ketchup with my fries. I LOVE Ketchup. haha I have tried other dipping sauces, but always come back to my Ketchup. :) There are a few Farmer's markets around here, I will have to go shopping for some potatoes! :)

:-) Watch Pulp Fiction again, where John Travolta says he just spent time in Amsterdam and describes the Fries with Mayo. Try it one time ;-)
Btw, the McDo mayo is not mayo.

ok I will give it a shot. haha, I am just not a mayo fan. don't like it on my sandwiches either. oh and also there is this stuff called fry sauce (1 part ketchup to 2 parts mayo) its ok. I have tried ranch dressing as well. but I always come back to the trusty ole ketchup bottle! But I will give Mayo another shot.

Hmmm, how about mayo with hot sauce or wasabe?

Yes we live is Australia, we love mayo on our chips esp' with fish or bbq sauce and sour cream is good, i don't eat chips when i go to a good restaurant what's the point, if your going out for really good meal you want more than dam chips on the side .LOL. ;) ps i don't eat at 'M' or Ken' Fried' or any of those chain fast food , your local good clean fish n chips shops here are great :)

Try "La Victoria" brand "Salsa Brava".

Laral (author)diy_bloke2015-02-15

This is, in general, true, but it does depend on the restaurant. There ARE restaurants that have great fries. BTW, anyone even mentioning McD's horrible greasy, undercooked, soggy, stringy 'fries' in a positive light should be banned from posting to this thread. LOL

diy_bloke (author)Laral2015-02-15

True, there are good fries in some restaurants, but on a whole........
McDo doesnt deserve the name 'fries'

mark.moises.9 (author)diy_bloke2015-02-16

We call them "chips" here in Britain. And as long as they are freshly cooked, the McD ones are delicious, I don't care what any food snobs say ;) !

diy_bloke (author)mark.moises.92015-02-16

not a food snob, just prefer home cooked fries over McDo. If you lik ethem, great for you. There is no argument over taste

Laral (author)mark.moises.92015-02-16

I'm pretty sure true 'chips' are cut just like Matt is showing here, and not stringy and thin. I can't imagine that anybody in GB would accept them in place of true chips. Delicious? Nah… Food snob? Oh yes and proud of it! ;-)

Laral (author)diy_bloke2015-02-15

I believe I said that and you'll note I DID put the word in single quotes.

MarkM26 (author)Laral2015-02-16

"McD's horrible greasy, undercooked, soggy, stringy 'fries'"

Very unfair. I've had the odd bad portion, but most McD fries/chips I've had have been pretty good. And if you are on a budget and you live where I live, you can't really get them cheaper anywhere else.

Laral (author)MarkM262015-02-16

What's unfair about it? They've been that way every time I've ordered them. The only time I ever buy them is on the road in the middle of nowhere getting gas. Even if they are properly FRIED, they are inferior in every way, from the frozen potatoes to the too thin cut. The only thing I'll give them is that they refused to use GMO potatoes. But that was due to all the bad press they got for using them in the first place.

I agree, some amazing fries can be had depending on the restaurant, but time and time again, I would put some proper home made fries up against the lot of them. :) Also, I guess it really depends on the person and their tastes. Some people prefer the "M" word fries to all others, and some prefer the homestyle kind of wedge fry.

Oh, I didn't think anyone who actually likes McD 'fries' had any taste… ;-)

"M" word. LOL! "They whose name must not be mentioned…"

LOL!

i agree with you diy_bloke nothing like home grown and home made, i get great tasting chips just by drying them well and frying once, sometimes i roll them in a lil seasoning too before i fry them ,very tasty :) .

I prefer the home made ones too, but for those who don't know how to make them, or have tried and failed, they probably prefer the ones at McDonalds, Five Guys, Red Robin, etc. I know I used too! haha Home grown potatoes are awesome! I had a small crop last year in my container garden. Wish I actually had a backyard.

McDonalds :-)
Really, a fresh spud, cut, fried and you never be at McDonalds etc again. Cheaper, better.
Hope you get a backyard once, but even from a container one can geta bit of a harvest as you know. The sad thing is that when thatś gone... McDo is just no substitute. Farmer's Market spuds may be the next best thing. Together with yr method that shld be a feast every time.
Btw... I am guessing you are in the USA, so i presume you eat yr fries with ketchup?
That is a sacrilege, try it with a creamy mayonaise :-)

steve.fenster.5 (author)2015-02-18

I think the soaking step will "inflate" the potatoes, via osmosis. The final product will be plumper.

kenobi (author)2015-02-15

We generally use sunflower oil.Also has high heat ability.

Note that ALL canola oil is GMO, it has to be because the plant they make it from is POISONOUS if not GMO.

starphire (author)kenobi2015-02-15

I'm sure that any of us old enough to remember canola as a common vegetable oil long before there was such a thing as GMO crops would have immediately recognized that comment as untrue. You might be confusing the plant with the seed, as only the seed is used to make oil. The reason they make it GMO these days is just so it can be sprayed to kill the weeds without killing the crop; it has nothing to do with making it safe for human consumption.

kenobi (author)starphire2015-02-15

GMO is a new term. There are various ways to do it. The older ways were selective breeding interbreeding plants etc.

Michael013 (author)kenobi2015-02-17

Selective breeding is not genetic modification.

By your logic, close to 100% of the fruits and vegetables sold would be considered 'GMOs'

PresidentAnybody (author)kenobi2015-02-15

That is actually incorrect. Canola was conventionally bred from Rapeseed and or mustard/turnip rape, and selected to be low in glucosinalates and erucic acid (also found in other common brassica species) and studies now are showing are not as bad as once thought and are widely consumed in mustard oil in the Indian subcontinent by many people. Some varieties have had a specific gene which codes for glyphosate resistance inserted. (Glyphosate is also known as Roundup, a broad spectrum herbicide and one of the most widely studied and used agrochemicals out there)

kenobi (author)PresidentAnybody2015-02-15

Mustard/turnip rape is edible, rapeseed is not.

About This Instructable

85,427views

783favorites

License:

Bio: Hello and Welcome to In the Kitchen With Matt. I am your host Matt Taylor. My goal for the show is to teach you how ... More »
More by In The Kitchen With Matt:Easy Roasted Pumpkin SeedsCooking Eggs With Mason Jar Lid Rings - Kitchen HackHomemade English Muffins - Breakfast Sandwich
Add instructable to: