The Secret to Making Great French Fries at Home

There is something so simple and satisfying about French Fries. They are the perfect snack and the perfect side dish to all sorts of meals. You can dip them into a whole bunch of different sauces and get a whole different kind of fry each time. But french fries are tricky to make at home.

The biggest problem people have is figuring out how to make them crispy. There are a couple of tricks you need to know in order to get that perfect crunch. The aim is to ensure that the fries center is fully cooked before the outsides become too brown. And the key to doing this is the double-fry method.

You’re going to need a tough potato that can stand up to that kind of cooking. Frying them twice may sound like a lot of work but if you want them to be light and crispy, that’s what you need to do. Otherwise, they will either be crispy but undercooked in the middle or merely greasy and limp.

The Potatoes You Should Have 

High starch potatoes such as Idaho potatoes (also known as Russet potatoes) are ideal for French fries. This variety is more compact, so they have the least amount of moisture. Avoid waxy potatoes, which include those with red skin, new potatoes, and fingerling potatoes. 

These contain so much water that when you fry them, they will eventually hollow, so the water will evaporate.

Preparing the Potatoes

Fill a big bowl with cold water and add a tablespoon of lemon juice before cooking the potatoes. After you’ve cut the fries, you’ll put them in your bowl. If they are exposed to oxygen for too long, cut potatoes will start to discolor. 

  1. Peel the potatoes, and cut away any eyes.
  2. Square your knife off the potato and slice it into 1/4 “slabs. Cut each piece into strips of 1/4 The fries are to be about three inches long. Transfer them as you go, to the cold water.
  3. Rinse them in the bowl under cold water when the fries are cut, until the water becomes clear. The idea is to have any excess starch rinsed off.
  4. Add another tablespoon of lemon juice and then a couple of cups of ice-enough to chill the beer altogether. Transfer to the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill. This move prevents the french fries from being too brown outside until the interior cooks all the way through.

Choosing the Best Oil

Refined peanut oil is the best oil that can be used to make french fries. Canola or safflower oil may also be used. Additionally, fries in the restaurant are so crispy because they continuously use old oil, among other things.

The general rule of thumb is that you can reuse frying oil three to four times, or for a total cooking time of six hours. It needs to be adequately filtered and stored in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge or in a cool, dark, dry place. It can degrade more quickly than that, though.

Look for any separation in the oil before moving the storage container, and then give it a sniff test; do not use it if it smells off or acrid.

The Double-Fry Method

You want to fry the french fries twice when it comes to cooking. The first round is for cooking the inside of the potato at a lower temperature, and the second time you use a higher temperature to make the fries golden brown and crispy.

You can use a deep-fryer, or simply heat the oil in a Dutch oven. To track the temperature of the oil, use a thermometer; thermometers that clip onto the edge of the pot ensure that it does not slip around.

  1. Drain the fries with a clean kitchen towel from the ice water bath and pat them dry. The addition of wet potatoes to the hot oil can cause it to spatter. You will also want to install a few sheet pans lined with thick paper (e.g., brown paper grocery bags) nearby.
  2. Heat up the oil to 325-degree F over medium-low heat. Cook the potatoes in the oil for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden and tender.
  3. Use a wire mesh skimmer (sometimes called a spider spoon) to remove the fries from the oil and then transfer them to the paper-lined pans to drain. They can be refrigerated again before you are ready to use them or at least let them stand for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat up the oil now to 375 F. Return the fries to the oil and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on clean paper and serve immediately.


After cooking your perfect french fries, you can now choose your favorite sauce, some favorites include ketchup, gravy and mayonnaise. Follow these tips to make yummy french fries at home that taste like takeout.