The Secret To Getting Restaurant-Style French Fries At Home

Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Some things are best learned the hard way. Actually, the hard way seems to be the only way I learn. I’ve been learning things the hard way for decades.

I’ve learned the hard way what it’s like to make my own French fries. Well, maybe that's a stretch. These are actually more time-consuming than challenging — especially if you do it the right way and deep-fry 'em not once but twice! The sweet consolation? Hot fries, of course. Because not everything needs to be as fast and easy as spinach and potato breakfast hash.

Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Now, it’s possible that you’re asking yourself, "Is it really worth it to make my own fries, or should I just go to my local burger joint?" Only you have the answer to that question. But, I will tell you this: Most good things take time. These fries are no exception. They’re bonkers-delicious and so satisfyingly tasty. Frying my own fries helped me appreciate (and totally not just binge-eat) really good fries out in the world. They take time, a bit of sweat, and a generous amount of salt and homemade curry ketchup.

Oh! You’ll need a fry thermometer for this recipe. They’re easy to come by and a totally awesome investment.

Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Homemade French Fries
Serves 2 to 3

3 large Russet or Idaho potatoes, peeled
1 quart vegetable or canola oil
Salt, pepper, and ketchup

1. Wash potatoes and peel as much or as little as you’d like.

2. With the potato facing you lengthwise, slice off about 1/4 inch of the bottom of the potato, creating a stable surface to continue to slice the potato.

3. Slice the potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks. Stack two or three planks on top of one another and slice planks into 1/4-inch batons, or strips of potato. These are our fries! Continue until all of the potatoes are sliced into fries.

4. Place fries in a large bowl of cool water. This will help wash some of the starches off the surface of the potatoes so they don’t stick together during frying.

5. Pour 1 quart of oil into a large, heavy-bottom saucepan. In the right pan, the oil should be about 1 1/2-inches deep. Attach the fry thermometer to saucepan so the thermometer touches the oil. Heat over medium heat until oil reaches 250°F. In the meantime, line two large baking sheets with several layers of paper towel.

6. When oil reaches 250°F, carefully drop small batches of potatoes into the hot oil. I cooked about 10 fries at a time. Gently stir the fries to ensure that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or stick to each other. Fry until cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oil using a pair of tongs, or metal slotted spoon, and allow to cool on the prepared paper towels. Continue until all of the fries are cooked.

7. Once fries have cooled to room temperature, heat the same oil to 350°F.  Add once-cooked fries, again in small batches. Gently stir until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove fries from the oil and place on the remaining lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.

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