Would you like some french fries with that? As a kid I had a slight obsession with french fries, in fact, I still do. The salty slightly crisp on the outside, perfect on the inside bit of potato dipped in ketchup is the perfect side to any burger or sandwich. Homemade french fries can be a bit tricky to get that perfect restaurant quality taste but with this step-by-step recipe guide, you will be making amazing homemade french fries in no time. These fries closely resemble the kind of fries that they serve at Five Guys.
Step 1: Gather the ingredients and tools
First, you need a few ingredients and tools to make these french fries. You will need the following:
- Potatoes (I use Russets, they work really well)
- Oil (I like to use peanut oil, but any high smoke point oil should work, lard works great too)
- Cold water – The cold water is going to help remove the starch from the potatoes.
Step 3: Wash the potatoes
Now wash the potatoes really well. After they are washed you can peel them if you like. I don’t peel mine. It’s just a personal preference. I like the rustic homemade look the peels give them.
Step 4: Cut the potatoes for that homemade french fries shape
Now it is time to cut the potatoes into the classic fry shape. I have a handy fry cutter that I really like. It saves a bunch of time, but you can certainly just use a knife.
Step 5: Soak the potatoes
Next place the potatoes slices into a large bowl with really cold water. Make sure to add a couple of teaspoons of table salt as well. Why do we do this? This process helps to remove the starch from those potatoes, resulting in a much tastier french fry. And it helps to prevent the fries from getting too brown. The sugar in the starch tends to brown/burn easily in hot oil. Soak them for about 20 minutes.
Step 6: Heat the oil
While the potatoes are soaking get the oil started. For large batches of fries, I generally use a deep fryer, which I really like, however a pot and candy thermometer will work just fine. Heat the oil for the “first fry” to 320 degrees F. (160 C) You will wind up frying the potatoes twice.
Step 7: Drain and dry the potatoes
Next, drain the water from the potatoes and place them on a paper towel. Use another paper towel to pat the potatoes dry. We want them fairly dry because water and hot oil do not play nicely together. 🙂
Step 8: First fry (low heat) then freeze them
Now place a small batch of potatoes into the deep fryer or pot and fry them on a lower heat around 320 degrees F (160 C) for 4 to 6 minutes until they are blonde in color. You will probably need to wait a few minutes after a few batches and let the oil come back up to temperature. Once they are done place them on a paper towel to dry, then place in freezer bags or Tupperware, to freeze them. If you don’t have time to freeze them, you can go to the next step. I like to freeze mine so I can make a ton upfront, and then freeze the ones I am not going to eat to fry up later.
Step 9: High temp fry
Now once we have frozen our fries, let’s turn up our heat to 400 to 425 degrees F. (205 C to 218 C). Or if your deep fryer doesn’t go that high, put it on its highest setting. Then comes our “Second” fry or “High Heat” fry. Take a batch of fries and place them in the hot oil, this time we will only be frying them for around a minute or so until they turn a nice golden brown. Take them out and place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil off and salt those fries up! Enjoy!
***Note about the “Two-Fry Method” This is not a new method, nor my own method, it has been around for ages. (The first fry will cook them almost completely without over-browning them, the second fry will cook them the rest of the way and crisp them up.)
Can the oil be re-used?
The answer to that is absolutely! The oil can be used over and over again several times. But don’t use it for something like chicken, only potatoes, chips, and fries. Store the oil after it cools down, back in its container it came in. Place it in a dark pantry, but not in the fridge.
A few other recipes you may like:
Homemade Restaurant Quality French Fries
- Fry Cutter or knife
- Deep fryer or deep pot
- Candy Thermometer
- Paper towels
- 4 Potatoes I use Russets, they work really well
- Oil I like to use peanut oil, but any high smoke point oil should work, lard works great too
- Salt to taste
- Cold water filtered water if possible
- Wash then peel (optional) the potatoes.
- Cut the potatoes using a fry cutter or knife to get that classic fry shape.
- Soak the potatoes in a large bowl of cold water with a few tsp. of salt for 20 to 30 minutes. This briny water will remove the starch from the potatoes.
- As the potatoes are soaking heat up the oil to 320 F (160 C). Use a candy thermometer if you are using a pot or just use the setting on your deep fryer.
- Drain and dry the potatoes on paper towel. It is important to get them as dry as possible. The water will react rather violently with the oil.
- Place the fries in small batches in the oil and cook for 4 to 6 minutes until they are lightly blonde in color. Then set aside until the rest are done or place in a bag or Tupperware to freeze for later once they have cooled.
- Next we heat the oil to 400 to 425 F (205 to 218 C.) If your deep fryer doesn't go that high just set it to its highest setting. This will be the second fry. Again cook the potatoes we just fried except this time only cook them for 1 minute or so. The "first fry" cooked them all the way through this "second fry" will crisp them up. Place on a plate with paper towel. Then enjoy!
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