Perfect Homemade French Fries

French fries recipe

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Soak Time: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
290 Calories
0g Fat
64g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 290
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 68mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 25mg 124%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 1645mg 35%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hot and crisp French fries are the perfect snack or side dish. Salty and crunchy, restaurant-style fries are easy to make at home. Our recipe yields delicious fries like you would get at the drive-thru, without mysterious additives and enhancements. Select an oil that suits your taste and diet, and make room on your plate for these wonderful salty bites.

The secret to perfect French fries lies in a few details. First, the soaking time. A cold water bath will remove starch and sugar, allowing the fries to crisp up and cook evenly. Secondly, the oil temperature. A food thermometer ensures the perfect crispiness on each fry. And finally the type of potatoes. Russet is the best kind for frying, and avoid waxy potatoes altogether. Red, new potatoes, and fingerlings yield soggy fries. If you keep an eye on these three details, you'll be in for a treat!

Fries are great accompaniments for steak, as in the classic steak and frites, but also for hot dogs, burgers, rotisserie chicken, and grilled fish. Although some techniques double-fry the potatoes, we found that ours yields perfect fries. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, like the classic ketchup and mayo combo.

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Ingredients

  • 6 large russet potatoes

  • Peanut oil, for deep-frying; or vegetable, canola, or safflower oil

  • 1 dash salt, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for french fries
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck 
  2. Peel one potato and slice it in half lengthwise.

    Peel
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Place a potato half on the cutting board, cut-side down, and cut it into slices about 1/4-inch thick or slightly thicker.

    Potato on cutting board
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Stack several slices on the cutting board and cut into 1/4-inch thick fries.

    Stack slices
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. The more uniform the size, the more consistent the frying time will be.

    Repeat
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck 
  6. Soak the cut potatoes in ice water for 1 hour at room temperature.

    Soak
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Heat the oven to 200 F and place a rack in a baking pan to keep batches of fries warm.

    Place a rack
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and then pat dry with paper towels. Remove as much moisture off of the potatoes to avoid splatter when putting them in the oil.

    Drain the potatoes
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Add about 2 to 3 inches of oil to a heavy pot or Dutch oven and attach a deep-fry thermometer. Alternatively, use an electric deep fryer. Heat the oil to 370 F.

    Add oil
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Carefully lower some fries—about two handfuls—into the hot oil using a slotted metal utensil or deep-fry basket.

    Lower fries in
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.

    Fry
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  12. Turn the fries out onto paper towels to drain.

    Turn fries
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  13. Transfer to the rack in the baking pan and place it in the oven to keep warm while making subsequent batches. Repeat the frying process with all the potatoes, keeping an eye on the oil temperature.

    Transfer to rack
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  14. When finished frying, sprinkle the fries with salt.

    Sprinkle with salt
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  15. Serve and enjoy!

    French fries
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

What if I Want to Double Fry?

If you want to double fry for a different style of crispy fry, just follow these simple instructions:

  • Cook the soaked and dried potato strips in 325 F oil for about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Remove the partially cooked potato strips to a rack.
  • Increase the oil temperature to 350 F. Cook the potatoes again for about 2 minutes, or until they are tender and golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels and then transfer to the baking pan to keep warm in the oven.


Make Top-Notch Fries

For perfect fries:

  • Choose your oil wisely. Unless there is a peanut allergy, peanut oil is a great choice for frying. Its mild flavor and high smoking point are ideal for French fries and other deep-fried foods.
  • Soak your potatoes: Soaking eliminates the sugars, allowing the outside of the potatoes to develop its signature crunch. It also removes the starches so the potato pieces don't stick to each other. 
  • Control the temperature: Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the pot to keep track of the oil's temperature. Maintaining the correct temperature is crucial to achieving the perfect French fry.

Sprinkle the Flavor

Any favorite spice blend can be used to make seasoned fries. Sprinkle the French fries with the seasoning blend after draining:

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and a dash of ground cumin.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, and 1 teaspoon of white pepper.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, with 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper flakes.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of dried mushroom seasoning, with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of white pepper, and 1 teaspoon of onion granules.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of truffle salt with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.