How to Make Amazing Homemade Deep-Fried French Fries (Perfectly Crispy)

Here’s the deal: there is ONE correct way to make fries. You have to deep fry them—twice. And before that, you have to soak them in ice water for hours. I know! It’s ridiculous.

Yes, it’s worth the trouble. And for a mere couple dollars worth of potatoes, you’ll have a pile of golden brown, crispy fries. Waistline, beware.

close up view of homemade fries.

The Best Deep Fried French Fries

The real way to make restaurant style French fries in your deep fryer.  A little work is all you need to turn a simple potato into something amazing.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
soaking 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Serving Size 4 servings

Equipment

  • French fry cutter optional
  • Vegetable scrub brush
  • A deep fryer!

Ingredients 

  • 3 russet potatoes scrubbed clean
  • 1 quart peanut oil for frying
  • salt

Instructions 

  • Ice bath. Using a sharp knife or French fry cutter, cut the potatoes into 1/4 square strips.  Place them in a bowl of ice water.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 2 hours, up to 12 hours.
    ice bath with cut potatoes inside.
  • Prep oil. Set up deep fryer according to manufacture's instructions and fill with peanut oil.  Preheat the deep fryer to 325.    
  • First fry. Drain the water from the potatoes and pat them as dry as possible.  They will be very cold, maybe even frozen.   Place the potatoes in the basket.  It's okay if they are crowded for the first fry.   Submerge into the oil and deep fry for about 5-7 minutes until they are softened and slightly darker, but still pale.  Place on paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
    pale undercooked fries.
  • Second fry. Increase heat in deep fryer to 375.  Fry the French fries a second time, this time in smaller batches so that they float freely in the oil.  Fry for only 2-4 minutes, or until they have reached the desired level of brownness and crispness.  Drain on paper-towel-lined baking sheets, and salt immediately.  Serve as soon as possible
    deep fryer basket with partially cooked fries.

Notes

Add Old Bay, white pepper, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, or anything else you’d like to try as soon as you remove the fries from the deep fryer.
French fries do not keep well, but leftovers are okay heated up in an air fryer..  
Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 666mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

The one true method. Of all the things that should be easy but are actually hard, fries are number one. And hard isn’t exactly the right word, either. The issue is this: there is ONE correct way to make fries. You have deep fry them. Twice. And before that, you have to soak them in ice water. For hours. I know! It’s totally ridiculous. But if you can just accept that, life will be easier.

Super frugal. A bag of frozen fries will cost over three dollars at the store. A few russet potatoes? Under a dollar.

The perfect side for any other deep-fried food. If you have your deep fryer filled and hot, throwing fries in there is no big deal.

ingredients on blue and white tea towel.

How to Cut Fries With a Knife

process of cutting russet potato into fries by hand

Make sure your potatoes are scrubbed very clean. We will be eating the outside of them.

Then we cut just cut them into French fry shapes. First, cut the ends off so the two short sides are flat. Cut them into 1/4 inch slices, then strips. This takes a few minutes of work, but it’s not hard.

But there’s another way to do this too!

How to Use a Fry Cutter

process of cutting russet potato with French fry cutter

If you have a French fry cutter, slicing the potatoes just takes a few seconds. Cut off the ends, place the potato inside, and push. It will magically slice your potato into perfect fries.

Storage Instructions

Fries, homemade or otherwise, do not keep all that well. However, if you have an air-fryer, you can store leftovers in an airtight container and reheat in there.

FAQs

What’s the best kind of potatoes for fries?

Russet or Kennebec. Russet are the most widely available and affordable, so unless you grow your own potatoes, those will probably be the best choice.

Do you HAVE to soak the potatoes in water before frying?

Yes and no. If you don’t, you’ll still have fries in the end. But for the best results, it’s a step you can’t skip.

What’s the best oil for deep frying?

Peanut oil! Vegetable will work too.

Can I use olive oil for frying french fries?

While olive oil adds a unique flavor, its lower smoke point makes it less ideal for high-heat frying. So, um….no.

How can I prevent my fries from becoming soggy?

Soak potatoes in a large bowl of cold water to remove excess starch, which helps in preventing soggy fries. Ensure the fries are dried thoroughly on a paper towel-lined tray before frying.

Expert Tips

You can soak these in cold water for up to 24 hours, so feel free to get the prep work done ahead of time.

Keep in mind that the second frying will be very short, only 1-2 minutes, so have you paper towels and salt ready!

Be careful with hot oil, especially with little people around.

Serve It With

  • Any time you are deep frying anything, you might as well make some fries! We serve these with deep-fried chicken tenders, one of our favorite dinners.
  • Burgers are popular with fries, but I never, ever make these unless I am already deep frying something else.

Additional Tips for Perfect French Fries

  • Optimal Oil Temperature: For crispy French fries, maintaining the right oil temperature is crucial. Start at a lower temperature for the first fry to cook them through without browning, then increase to a higher temperature for that golden, crispy exterior.
  • The Double Fry Method: The best way to achieve crispy french fries is to double fry them. Fry the first batch at a lower temperature to cook them through, then increase the heat for the final fry to get them golden and crispy.
  • Choice of Oil: Use oils with a high smoke point like peanut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil for frying. These oils ensure the fries can be cooked at high heat without burning.

More Ideas

  • Sweet Potato Fries: For a different take, try sweet potatoes cut into thick slices. They make a delicious side dish when sprinkled with sea salt and garlic powder after frying.
  • Seasoning Variations: Beyond traditional salt, season your fries with onion powder, garlic powder, or a sprinkle of black pepper for added flavor.
  • Alternative Frying Methods: If you don’t have a deep-fat fryer, a deep pan can also work, though it may require adjusting the cooking process and temperatures.

Additional Serving Suggestions

  • Accompaniments: Enhance your homemade fries with sides like nacho cheese sauce or serve them alongside classic dishes such as burgers or chicken tenders.
  • For Healthier Options: Consider a medically restrictive diet by trying beef tallow for frying, which can be a healthier fat option, depending on personal consumption and calorie diet goals.
fries with ramekin of ketchup.
How to Make Amazing Homemade Deep-Fried French Fries (Perfectly Crispy)How to Make Amazing Homemade Deep-Fried French Fries (Perfectly Crispy)

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