The Secret to Perfect Homemade French Fries

When my husband got me a deep fryer this past Christmas, my first thought was, “Oh no…this is going to be trouble.”  But I’m actually really glad he got me one, because I’ve found that now that I’m able to make them at home, I can cook whatever amount I want, and I’m not spending $7 each time we go out to a fancy pants restaurant on “frites” just because I’m craving french fries.  Just like Mark Bittman, I feel that fried food should be eaten at home if desired, because you actually have to go through the work to making it and aren’t picking it up from a drivethru (I would never eat fast food fries anyway…who KNOWS what is in those “fries.”)  I’ve experimented quite a bit with french fries, and I’ve come up with a recipe that never fails to give me insanely crispy (and not greasy) french fries.  The key is to fry them twice, the first time at a lower temperature to cook the interior of the potato, and the second time at a higher temperature to crisp up the edges.  Here’s how to do it:

Serves 4

1.5 lbs russet potatoes
salt and pepper
old bay seasoning (optional)
vegetable oil for frying

Scrub the potatoes well, then julienne into matchsticks:

It doesn’t matter that they are all the perfect size, just close:
Heat up a deep fryer to 325 degrees F, and only cook a small batch at a time (I have a pretty big fryer, so I did half at a time).  Fry for 5 minutes, then drain on a paper towel.  Let them rest for 5-10 minutes.  You will notice that they will have taken little color, if any at all, and if you taste one, the potato should be very tender:
Bump the heat up to 375 degrees F and cook the french fries for 3 minutes, until golden brown:

Drain on a paper towel, and while still hot, put them in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and old bay.  Give it a nice toss to distribute the seasoning (we want the fries to be hot so the seasoning sticks).
Serve with ketchup or a nice aioli, or eat them plain.  Enjoy!

Click here for the printable recipe.

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18 Responses to The Secret to Perfect Homemade French Fries

  1. Oh, Joanne. You know how the photos in this post make my heart sing…and my stomach rumble. These look awesome! YUM.

    It would be best if I never, ever owned a deep fryer. I’d probably make these babies every night if I could.

  2. Your fries look gorgeous. But Bittman be darned. I am not buying a fryer. I am not buying a fryer. I am not… where are my keys?

  3. YUM!!!! I love homemade french fries! These look perfect!

  4. Caroline says:

    I’m a sucker for homemade french fries…deep fried or baked. Delicious either way! I agree re fast food fries. Not a big fan. Especially from McDonald’s. Lord knows how many preservatives are in those suckers. Makes me cringe just thinking about it.

  5. These look delicious. You can tell they’re really crispy just from the colour. The thing about a deep fat fryer is that they really aren’t as bad as they sound – if the oil is hot enough it immediately seals the food and doesn’t make everything that much more fatty, if any. I always use a pan, but a dedicated one would be really useful!

  6. Homemade french fries with less grease-who could say no to that?! Your fries here do look extra crispy. I will need to try this. Yum!

  7. Ann says:

    Delicious! There is nothing like yummy fries! They make my heart sing!

  8. mjskit says:

    I’ve never been crazy about french fries at any restaurant, much less those “fancy pants restaurants.” 🙂 However, my mother’s fries, I always loved. Your method is different, but the outcomes looks perfect! Beautiful fries!

  9. Alright, those looks like my kinda fries! With Old Bay? Genius. I have to admit, I am deathly afraid of frying things but you made it look so simple.

  10. Juanita says:

    Those look great. In fact, pretty close to perfect!

  11. alyssa says:

    Those look great. I’ve heard of the double fry method, but have yet to try it. My son LOVES fries, so I’ll have to give this a go soon.

  12. You can’t beat a good crispy fry and my hubby would honestly have them 7 nights a week if I let him. Your’s look superb!
    Isn’t it a pain to clean your fryer?
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

  13. Delish!!! Fries are probably my favorite food!!! I like to make a spicy ketchup with sriracha for dipping 🙂

  14. Andrea says:

    Must. Resist. The Urge. To Buy. A. Fryer. I MUST I MUST!! These look so good!

  15. Tizerz says:

    mmm…Look delicious!

  16. norma says:

    They do look wonderfu. I have been using my special FF pan for so many years. Its a deep frying pan and I am quite happy. My husband loves my fries and so do a lot of my friends…also, i have no room to keep a fryer in my NYC apartment.

  17. Pingback: Mid-week links | Jess Gambacurta

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