The Ultimate Guide to Making Perfect French Fries

Bowl of freshly made French fries with rosemary salt

Crispy French Fries that Stay Crispy!

Nothing’s worse than making your own fries from scratch and watching them lose their crispiness before they even hit the table. But fear not! We’ve cracked the code to the perfect homemade french fries that stay crispy even after they’ve gone cold. These fries are so good, you won’t even find them in the fanciest bistros!

Tongs picking up homemade French fries
Close up of homemade French fries recipe

Background: Revamping the French Fry Method

The traditional way of making french fries involves soaking the raw fries in water and then double frying them. However, this method falls short when it comes to maintaining crispiness. It’s also highly dependent on the potato quality, which can vary throughout the year. It’s time to ditch the old-school method and explore more reliable and modern techniques.

Frying French fries
These fries only need to be shallow fried, not deep fried, to achieve crispy perfection!

What You’ll Need

To turn your crispy french fry dreams into a reality, here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need:

  • Potatoes: Opt for starchy, floury potatoes like Sebago (Australia), Russet (US), Maris Piper, or King Edward (UK).
  • Vinegar: A secret weapon for achieving perfect fries. Don’t worry, the vinegar flavor disappears during cooking.
  • Salt: For seasoning the water and ensuring the potatoes are seasoned throughout.
  • Oil: Use neutrally-flavored oils like vegetable or canola oil for frying. You can reuse the oil multiple times.
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The Step-by-Step Process for Crispy French Fries

1. Cut the Fries

How to make crispy French fries

To ensure ultimate crispiness, use a serrated knife to cut the potatoes. This technique creates a rougher surface, maximizing crispiness. Aim for batons that are about 6 mm (1/4″) thick for the perfect balance of crispiness and fluffiness.

2. Prevent Browning

To prevent the cut fries from browning, keep them in water as you continue cutting. There’s no need for prolonged soaking; a simple rinse followed by simmering the potatoes in vinegar water will do the trick.

3. Rinse

Once you’ve cut all the fries, rinse them under tap water for about 15 to 20 seconds. This step removes excess sugars from the surface of the potatoes, enhancing crispiness while keeping the insides fluffy.

4. Cook in Vinegar Water

Now it’s time for the clever part! Simmer the rinsed potatoes in a pot filled with cold tap water, vinegar, and salt. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. This step washes away excess sugars and activates the starches in the potatoes, resulting in a crispy exterior.

How to make crispy French fries

5. Drain and Dry

Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the cooked potatoes to a colander and let them drain. Then spread the potatoes out on tea towel-lined trays and let them steam dry for 5 minutes. No need to pat them dry; the residual heat will take care of that.

6. Cooking Vessel and Oil

Choose a large, heavy-based pot that is at least 10 cm (4″) deep. Fill it with about 3 cm (1.2″) of oil, leaving at least 7 cm (2.8″) of headroom to prevent oil overflow. Preheat the oil to 205°C/400°F using a thermometer to monitor the temperature.

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How to make crispy French fries

7. Fry #1

Important: Pause for 10 seconds between adding batches of potatoes to ensure safety.

Separate the cooked potatoes into 3 equal batches. Add each batch to the hot oil in a staggered manner, waiting 10 seconds between each addition. Fry the potatoes for 50 seconds, moving them around occasionally.

8. Cool for 30 Minutes

Remove the fries from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer them to paper towel-lined trays in a single layer. Let them cool for 30 minutes.

9. Fry #2 – Crisp Them Up!

How to make crispy French fries

Reheat the oil to 205°C/400°F. Fry half of the fries for 4 minutes or until they turn golden and crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a large paper towel-lined bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining fries.

10. Seasoning!

While hot, sprinkle the fries with salt or your favorite seasoning to your liking. Toss them to distribute the seasoning evenly. These fries will stay crispy for more than 15 minutes, but they taste best when served piping hot.

Sprinkling French fries seasoning on French fries

Phew! That was a lot of information, but making truly amazing french fries is worth the effort. You’ll be blown away by the results, and they’re even better than those you’d find in high-end restaurants. Give this recipe a go, and let us know what you think in the comments!

Served with a delicious Cheeseburger, homemade fries reach a whole new level of perfection!

Serve with…

Check out some of our favorite dishes to pair with these crispy fries!

Life of Dozer

Behind every door, there’s Dozer, the curious furry friend ready to steal some fries!

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Dozer peeking around the door
Dozer peeking around the door

Article written with expertise by Family Cuisine.

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