Perfect French Fries

Hi everyone! We’re back with a brand new Cooking Lesson today – showing you how to make Perfect French Fries! (If you’ve missed any of our earlier Cooking Lessons, click here for the full collection.)

Perfect homemade French fries are actually very easy to make at home – and the flavor and crispy texture can’t be beat! We’ll show you lots of tips and tricks today – but the key thing is to make sure that your cut potato strips are dry before you fry.

And – you may be surprised to see that we actually fry them twice – the first time to cook the potatoes (you can do this step in advance) and the second time to crisp them up just before serving.

It's easy to make Perfect French Fries at home! Our Sunday Cooking lesson gives you step-by-step instructions!

Here’s a step-by-step lesson to show you how it’s done:

Start with skin-on russet potatoes. (You can peel them if you’d like, but we like leaving the skin on).

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

Cut the potatoes into long skinny strips. This can be done by hand with a sharp knife, or you can use the julienne attachment on a mandoline like we show here. (Mandoline blades are extremely sharp so be sure to use a protective glove to avoid cutting your hand or fingers.)

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

As you cut the potato strips – place them in a bowl or container filled with water. This helps prevent the potatoes from turning brown and also helps remove some of the starch.

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

Once you’re done cutting the potatoes strips – drain and dry them completely. After draining, we layer them in between paper towels so all sides are completely dried.

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family FeastSunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family FeastSunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

While the potatoes are drying, heat some vegetable or canola oil in a dutch oven or other wide, deep pan (about 4-5 quarts) to 325 degrees F. (Use a candy thermometer to make sure you’ve reached the correct temperature.)

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

Near your heated oil, you’ll also want to have a spider strainer or other long handled strainer and a sheet pan, as well as all of your dried potato strips.

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

Carefully add a handful of the potato strips to the hot oil being careful not to splash your hand with the hot oil. (We fry the strips in small batches so that the temperature of the oil stays consistent as you add the potatoes.) Fry the first batch of potato strips – initially for just 3 minutes – keeping the burner on high to maintain the 325 degree temperature.

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

As each batch cooks, use the spider strainer to remove the strips from the oil and place them on a sheet pan. (No need to drain the excess oil yet).

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family FeastSunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

Just before serving preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then heat the same oil in the same pan – this time to 375 degrees. Again in batches, fry the pre-cooked potatoes for three more minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

After three minutes, place the fries on the sheet pan – this time placing a paper towel on the pan to drain any excess oil. Lightly salt. Place the sheet pan in the oven to keep the fries hot while the second batch is cooked.

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family FeastSunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

Serve with ketchup or any other favorite condiment.

It's easy to make Perfect French Fries at home! Our Sunday Cooking lesson gives you step-by-step instructions!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Sunday Cooking Lesson: Perfect French Fries - A Family Feast

Perfect French Fries

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 21 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 23 large skin-on russet potatoes
  • 2 quarts of vegetable or canola oil in a 4 quart pot
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Using a mandoline or by hand, cut potatoes into long strips.
  3. Place cut potatoes into water to remove starch, then drain and dry completely using paper towels.
  4. Using a candy thermometer, heat oil to 325 degrees F.
  5. Cook in two batches for three minutes each keeping burner on high to maintain temperature.
  6. Remove using a spider or strainer to a sheet pan, but do not place on paper towels to drain yet.
  7. Heat the same oil to 375 degrees and add pre-cooked potatoes and cook for three more minutes cooking in two batches.
  8. Place each batch on paper towels to drain then place on sheet tray. Lightly salt. Place in the oven to keep hot until the second batch is cooked.
  9. Serve with your favorite condiment.

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    Comments

  • Dakota wrote:

    How long do I soak the fries

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Dakota, this is Jack. You don’t need to soak the fries at all. The water is just to rinse off the starch and also keeps the cut potatoes from oxidizing in the air while you work on the batch. They can stay in the water until you are ready to cook. Just drain and dry completely before frying. Good luck.

  • Dianne wrote:

    Fab recipe!!!To dry the potatoes, tie them up in a pillow case and put through spin cycle in clothes washer ! Brilliant !!!!!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Wow Dianne – I’ve never heard of that trick!

  • Dorothy wrote:

    My favorite way to cook them but I differ on the oil you choose. Best choice is duck fat and if my butcher is out of that peanut oil. Peanut oil is far superior for frying and 375 degrees exceeds smoke point for vegetable oil.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your input Dorothy – I have to agree – fries cooked in duck fat are incredible!

  • Theresa wrote:

    Could these be fried the 1st time and refrigerated to be fried the 2nd time the next day?

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Theresa – We wouldn’t recommend it. It’s doable but we don’t think you’ll get the same perfect crispiness after the second fry. Sorry!

  • betsie wrote:

    i tried making this today and the fries turned out pretty good!! although it heavily stained the pot i used.. what type of pot do you recommend?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Betsie – We use a deep cast iron pan to make the fries but any heavy-bottomed pan will work.

  • Lisa Bynum wrote:

    Hi, I just stumbled across your blog. I was looking for some photography inspiration on Pinterest for a French Fry recipe I am about to post on my own blog and found your beautiful pictures. Can’t wait to explore the rest of your recipes!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lisa! 🙂

  • Sharon wrote:

    I love making fries like this. My family eats them as fast as they come out of the oil on the second fry!!

  • Lora Cotton wrote:

    This is a great tutorial, but alas, due to my husband’s health we can’t have fried fries. Could you do something using BAKED fries???? Thanks!!!

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