Make Crispy French Fries Every Time (10 Steps)

inflationism a basket of fries and traditional sides on the cou fbd dcb db cff
inflationism a basket of fries and traditional sides on the cou fbd dcb db cff

Traditionally, the art of making French fries involved a process of soaking the raw fries in water, followed by a double-fry technique.

This method, still taught in culinary schools and employed by numerous restaurants, can yield crispy fries straight from the fryer.

However, these fries tend to lose their crispiness quickly, and the outcome can vary based on the type and quality of the potato used.

In the pursuit of the ultimate crispy French fries, many modern methods have emerged. Some restaurants have even resorted to extreme measures like triple or quadruple frying, overnight resting, or frying in pure beef drippings.

But, we don’t need to go to such lengths. The method we’re sharing today, adapted from Kenji Lopez-Alt’s French fries recipe, is simple, reliable, and perfect for any home cook.

What You Need

To bring your crispy French fry dreams to life, you’ll need the following:

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  • Potato: The type of potato is crucial. You need starchy, floury potatoes for crispy fries. For example, Sebago in Australia, Russet (also known as Idaho potatoes) in the US, and Maris Piper or King Edward in the UK.
  • Vinegar: Used for simmering the potatoes, it’s a secret weapon for perfect fries. There’s no trace of vinegar flavor once cooked.
  • Salt: For seasoning the water, so the potatoes are seasoned all the way through.
  • Oil: For frying. Vegetable or canola oil, which are neutrally-flavored oils, are recommended.

How To Make Crispy French Fries

Follow these steps to make French fries that stay crispy:

  1. Slice the Fries: Use a serrated knife to cut the potatoes into 6 mm / 1/4″ batons. This size is ideal for optimum crispiness and fluffy insides.
  2. Prevent Oxidation: Keep the cut fries in water to prevent them from browning as you continue cutting. No soaking time is required.
  3. Rinse: Rinse the fries under tap water for 15 – 20 seconds to remove excess sugars from the surface of the potatoes. This aids in crispiness.
  4. Simmer in Vinegar Water: Place the rinsed potatoes in a pot with cold tap water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. This step is crucial for superior crispiness.
  5. Drain and Dry: Remove the potatoes from the water and spread them out on tea towel-lined trays to dry for 5 minutes.
  6. Prepare Cooking Vessel and Oil: Use a heavy-based, large pot that is at least 10 cm / 4″ deep. Preheat the oil to 205°C/400°F.
  7. First Fry: Cook the fries in 3 batches for 50 seconds each, moving the fries around once or twice.
  8. Cool Down: Remove the fries from the oil and spread onto a paper towel-lined tray in a single layer. They will be pale and not yet crispy. Cool all the fries for 30 minutes.
  9. Second Fry: After cooling the fries, heat the oil again and fry all the French fries for 4 minutes until they are golden and crispy.
  10. Seasoning: Sprinkle with salt or your favorite fries seasoning while hot so the salt sticks. Toss, then serve!
inflationism a basket of fries and traditional sides on the cou fbd dcb db cff

Crispy French Fries

This recipe for crispy French fries involves cutting starchy potatoes into batons, rinsing, and then simmering them in a vinegar-salt solution. The fries are then fried twice in vegetable or canola oil, with a cooling period in between. Finally, the golden, crispy fries are seasoned while still hot, resulting in fries that are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and full of flavor.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 222 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Paper Towel
  • Baking Tray

Instructions
 

  • Peel the potatoes, then cut them into 1cm / 2/5″ thick fries.
  • Rinse under cold water, then leave them to soak for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
  • Drain the fries, then pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat to 150°C/300°F.
  • Cook half the fries for 5 minutes – they should be soft but not browned.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel, then repeat with remaining fries.
  • Increase heat to high (180°C/350°F).
  • Cook half the fries again for 2 – 3 minutes until golden and crispy.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel, then repeat with remaining fries.
  • Salt fries, then serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Soaking the fries in cold water removes excess potato starch which prevents fries from sticking together and helps achieve maximum crispness.
  2. Cooking the fries twice – first at a lower temperature, then at a higher temperature – is the secret to crispy fries that are soft on the inside.
  3. The recipe doesn’t specify the type of salt to use, but sea salt or kosher salt would be good choices for seasoning fries.

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcal
Keyword Fried, Side Dishes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

FAQ

What type of potato is best for making crispy French fries?

Starchy, floury potatoes are the best for making crispy fries. In Australia, Sebago potatoes are recommended, while in the US, Russet (also known as Idaho potatoes) are ideal. In the UK, Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes are often used.

See also  How To Make Authentic Horchata (Easy Recipe)

Why do I need to use vinegar when simmering the potatoes?

The vinegar in the water serves two purposes. First, it helps to wash away the excess sugars that can cause the fries to brown too much before they have a chance to properly crisp up when frying. Second, the vinegar prevents the potatoes from disintegrating during the simmering process.

Why do I need to fry the potatoes twice?

The first fry cooks the potatoes and makes them tender. The second fry, done at a higher temperature, crisps up the outside of the fries. This two-step process is what gives you fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

How can I prevent my fries from getting soggy?

There are a few key steps to prevent your fries from getting soggy. First, make sure to dry your fries thoroughly after rinsing and simmering. Second, ensure your oil is hot enough before you start frying. Finally, don’t overcrowd the pan when frying, as this can lower the temperature of the oil and lead to soggy fries.

Can I make these fries ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the fries up to the end of the first fry, cool them, then freeze them until you’re ready to cook. Then do the second fry from frozen.

What kind of oil should I use for frying?

Neutral oils with a high smoke point, like vegetable or canola oil, are best for frying French fries. These oils can handle the high temperatures needed for frying without breaking down and imparting off flavors.

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How can I season my fries?

You can season your fries with table salt, sea salt flakes, rosemary salt, fries seasoning blend, or finely ground nori (dried seaweed). Remember to season while the fries are still hot so the seasoning sticks to them.

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