French Fries

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About: I'm a single full time working mom, food enthusiast, and recipe day-dreamer! Try out my instructables! They are super easy to follow, have tons of photos, and are always delicious!!

French Fries are one of my favorite ways to serve potatoes. They're salty, crunchy and soft all in one bite! Serve them as a appetizer, or a side to any meal because their possibilities are endless. Unlike many fatty, deep fried foods, they do need a little extra care other then simply frying to come out perfectly cooked. This instructable will show you the hidden techniques to a perfect fry: soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, every time!

Step 1: Prepping the Potatoes

  1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Place the washed potatoes on paper towels to dry. If you want to peel the skin, do that once they're dry. I'm making a rustic potato so I'm leaving the skin on.
  2. Using a mandolin set at 7mm, carefully slice the potatoes. Make sure to use your mandolin carefully and properly. They are EXTREMELY sharp and can cause a lot of damage to your hand if not.
  3. Soak the potato wedges in cold water for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This step removes extra starch and helps the fries cook with a nice crisp finish. Skipping this step will leave you with wilted and squishy fries.
  4. Drain and rinse the fries to remove any extra starch and lay them on paper towels to dry.

Step 2: Deep Fry Step 1

  1. In a high edged pan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 300 degrees F. I recommend using a candy thermometer to monitor the heat. If you have an actual deep firer, that's even better!
  2. Drop the fries into the heated oil slowly and carefully. You want to cook in batches to keep the oil temperature accurate.
  3. Mix the fries occasionally so they do not stick together and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove the fries using a slotted spoon and allow to dry and cool on paper towels.
  5. Repeat cooking and drying until all of the fries have cooked.
  6. Allow the fries to come to room temperature before proceeding to Deep Fry Step 2.

Step 3: Deep Fry Part 2

**It's extremely important to fry the potatoes in two different steps. The first step cooks the potatoes while the second step makes them nice and crunchy. If you skip the first step, you will have burnt fries or plain old under cooked potato stick things. If you skip the second step, you will have soft, squishy and EXTREMELY oily "fries"**

  1. Once the fries have returned to room temperature, up the heat of the oil to 400 degrees F. This is where they will get their crunchy outside. CAREFULLY add the cooled fries to the oil in batches and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. It's important you are gentle as the fries will be soft and limp before they get their second fry.
  2. Gently remove the fries, draining well before placing in a large bowl.
  3. Quickly add a pinch of salt to each batch of fully cooked fries while piping hot and gently toss the fries. If you are using another seasoning, now is the time to use it vs the salt. The extra oil on the fries will help the seasoning stick. Make sure to season the fries right out of the oil or your seasoning will not properly stick to the french fries.

Step 4: Serve and Devour!

Lets be honest, these little guys take a bit of work to make but they are totally worth the effort! Serve your fries as soon as possible to retain their warm, crunchy exterior. Here I have served basic salted fries with plain ketchup but feel free to use whatever sauce that you like! Enjoy your tasty hard work!!!

**Make sure to refrigerate leftover fries for another day. I'll show you how to heat and crisp up old fries the next day in a jiffy that taste almost as good as a batch right out of the oil!**

Step 5: How to Re-Heat Fries

So, everyone knows heating up even the best fries in the microwave leaves just an oily mushy potato thingy. I don't even have words for how they come out- but that's no shock. BUT! You can re-heat them in two ways and salvage that crispy layer!

Option 1: This is my favorite option if you own an Air-Fryer. Pop a small portion in your Air-Frier and cook it for 3 minutes at 400 Degrees F, shaking half way through. They won't be as great as the fresh ones, but they WILL be crunchy and sure won't disappoint your taste-buds!

Option 2: This option is less effective for even heating of old fries but works pretty good. Spread the fries on a baking sheet in a line that fits under the broiler flames. Put them in the oven on a high broiler setting and broil for about 3-4 minutes, flipping half way through to ensure even heating.

I hope you can enjoy home-made fries as much as I do! Happy eating, friends!!

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    19 Discussions

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    osoriocj

    8 weeks ago

    I use a simple way to do it: Peel the potatoes off, cut in Frenchies, dry them with paper towel, put in the pan, cover them with your preferred oil or fat "at room temperature", cover the pan with its lid and "put on fire". As I imagined, for my first time, you may think they will turn into a mass of potatoes. No way. It will take a time, enough to make the rest of your meal. I know this is difficult to believe at the first time but you can try with two or three potatoes. The main advantage is: you can fry all the potatoes on a single step. Fill the pan with potatoes to the top and take a look during the process.

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    wjcarpenterosoriocj

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    I'd be interested in hearing more about this method.

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    osoriocjwjcarpenter

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Dear wjcarpenter, I'm sorry but I'm not frying almost anything at home anymore. Otherwise, I would make some photos in order to encourage you to try it. It's really unbelievable that it works. Tip: put the lid to keep it hot but let a gap in order to permit the steam to flow.
    Another advantage: This method solves completely the problem when frying potatoes in batches with kids around the kitchen. As soon as the batches are ready, they disappear.

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    Bert_VD

    7 weeks ago

    let's be honest. French fries are Belgian.
    that being said as a Belgian i've got a few tiny remarks.
    -good job on explaining, hopefully we can end the existance of limpy greasy fries.
    -a pan with oil is possible but PLEASE just use a deep fryer for safety reasons.
    -10mm thickness is quite standard.
    -no need to leave the fries in water that long. just rinse and dry them. (the type of potatoes you choose has much more impact on how starchy they will be)
    -when they are ready in the first bake they will float and "sing" at the surface.
    -400°F is too hot and the oil will become very unhealthy. (restaurants are not even allowed to do that here) 300°F for the first bake is not bad. the temperatures everyone in Belgium uses are 140-160°C for the first bake and 170-175°C for the second (180°C is really the absolute maximum). Also make sure you use oil that is suitable for these temperatures. sunflower, corn and peanut can be used. The classic way is to use beef tallow.
    -reheated fries will make this whole country cringe. but you do whatever you want ;-)

    1 reply
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    RudyD1Bert_VD

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Also Belgian and I can't agree more.
    Please peel them.
    Never reheat, ever :-)
    This Instructable is actually about restoring truth about so-called "French" fries.

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    rkbrook

    7 weeks ago

    Great instructions. I followed everything as written. These taste incredible. Try it.

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    jeffwb2u1

    7 weeks ago

    While I agree that double frying is the way to go, I also have a problem with your temperatures. 400 degrees is too hot. Very few oils can withstand this heat and will begin smoking and breaking down into smaller chain molecules that will affect the taste. 375 is about the highest you should go.

    Also, you could fry them in duck or goose fat for extra richness.

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    foxuk

    7 weeks ago

    Being British, I think we call these chips......
    The final result will depend more on the variety of potato used than anything else.
    Maris Piper is my favourite for a basic half inch thick chip.
    If using an air fryer, why not use a good old King Edward in chunks lightly sprinkled with oil and shaken (or if the diet will allow Beef Dripping) The best fluffiest roastie ever.
    Things can be a LOT easier if you chose your potatoes with care.
    N.B. Using a pan full of oil on top of a hob is DANGEROUS! My old mum a chip maker of many years experience gutted two kitchens before having her chip pan confiscated and replaced by a temperature controlled deep fat fryer.
    If you must use a pan and oil use a high sided saucepan and never fill more than a third full of oil. The oil will froth up as soon as the chips are added and this can overflow and will catch fire even on an electric hob - gas only needs a slight spill to cause a firestorm.
    If a chip pan does catch fire cover with a fire blanket - NEVER try to put out a chip pan fire with water as the fire will spread and there is a likelihood of explosion.
    Sorry to be a wet blanket, but having had to fix up two kitchens after chip pan fires I really believe safety comes first.

    1 reply
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    Valvelifterfoxuk

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Agreed. A deep fat fryer is the way forward for safety.

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    Valvelifter

    7 weeks ago

    In Lancashire where I live, fish and chips is a very old local delicacy. We use a similar method (of cooking twice) but tend to hand cut the chips larger and cook them for only 3 minutes the first time. You can blanch them for 1.5 to 2 .5 minutes, let them cool and freeze them. But I don't think you can beat freshly cooked chips straight out of the pan. Also, for the very best flavour, don't use vegetable oil, use fresh beef dripping or goose fat. Delicious!

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    yrralguthrie

    8 weeks ago on Step 5

    Cut the potatoes up, soak in cool water for a while and cook in hot oil. Salt and eat.

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    David R

    8 weeks ago

    I find that putting the cut pieces of potato in a colander under running water from a sprayer, agitating and flipping for a short tine like 30 seconds in small batches greatly reduces the number of brown fries. The higher the solid content in the potato, the better the fries, so the lower the whole potato floats in a bowl of water the better the fries.

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    JJmadigan

    2 months ago

    Looks like Five Guys fries. My dad would love these!

    1 reply
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    MaddieJ3JJmadigan

    Reply 2 months ago

    Basically!! 5 Guys uses this dual cooking method. It’s why they turn out so yummy!!

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    AnandM54

    2 months ago

    Looks crunchy !!

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    jessyratfink

    2 months ago

    I almost want an air fryer just for reheating fries now. What a good idea :D

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    MaddieJ3jessyratfink

    Reply 2 months ago

    I highly recommend it if you don't have one. It has sooo many uses. And it's safe enough my daughter (12) can cook a chicken breast if i'm not home to cook dinner! Much safer than the oven...