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How to Make the Perfect French Fry

A friend of mine asked me for some advice for making french fries as every time she tries to make them in her fry daddy, they come out soggy and do not crisp up no matter how long she cooks them. I gave her some advice on making french fries from fresh potatoes and decided to share them.

Making the Perfect French Fry:

  1. Use Russet potatoes as these make the best fries in my opinion. Russet Nugget potatoes also make excellent fries. The Russet variety has less moisture and will crisp faster.
  2. The first step is to thoroughly scrub the potatoes to remove any dirt and deposits. This should be common knowledge for any dish when using potatoes.
  3. Peel the potatoes. Some people like to leave a little skin on, but I recommend taking off the skin as the oil does not penetrate well. This is more of a personal preference though.
  4. Soak the potatoes overnight in water. This will remove the the starch from the potatoes, allowing them to cook faster and makes them crispier.
  5. Cut the potatoes lengthwise about a half an inch in thickness to make a steak fry cut. Cut thinner if you want the typical Shoe String french fry, but be careful how long you cook them. Most importantly, make sure to keep your cuts even so that all of your french fries cook evenly.
  6. Pre-heat the oil in a deep pan or a deep fryer (if you have one) to 325° F and use a thermometer to make sure the temperature reaches this point. This is the most important step – if the oil is not hot enough, the water cannot escape from the potatoes and will not crisp up, leaving them soggy.
  7. Some time before serving, blanch in oil at 325° F until slightly firm. Allow the potatoes to drain and dry and keep them in the fridge.
  8. When ready to cook, drop in oil at 325° F until golden brown. Do not overload the pan or fry basket!

You might be wondering what the best kind of oil to use for deep frying and this can be more of a personal choice due to taste but here are my suggestions:

  • For the highest heat and best flavor, use Peanut Oil or Grapeseed Oil (expensive).
  • Soybean Oil also will provide a lot of heat, but can add a different flavor.
  • Canola Oil will fry well, but it leaves a distinctive taste that some do not like. It is the healthiest type of oil to use however, so if you are going for healthier french fries, use Canola, but try it with a small batch first to make sure you like the taste.
  • Vegetable Oil and Corn Oil are fine to use, but has a lower smoke point than Peanut Oil and might make your fries come out browner than you’d like.
  • Whatever oil you use, do not use Olive Oil!
  • Make sure to change your oil often if you use a deep fryer. Dirty oil will result in darker fries and more of a burnt flavor.

I hope these tips help you make the best possible French Fries! Enjoy!

Here are some more tips I found on cooking temperatures, times and potato facts: French Fry Cooking Guide for Potatoes

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