Best French Fries

Sun. August 15, 2010 12:00 AM
by Brad Mercil

One of my favorite things to eat is skin on french fries that are nice and crunchy with salt for seasoning. Yet it can be difficult to replicate the crunchy fries that we've all had at our favorite restuarant when we're at home.

Two important techinques that I've learned are, soaking your raw potato sticks and frying multiple times. Using these two techiques you can really get your french fries to cook up just right, you may even stop going to your favorite restuarant for french fries altogether!

When cooking I don't have a pro style fryer at home; all I have is a little fryer that holds about four to six cups of oil. It's really a basic unit but it lets me control the temperature which is an important factor when it comes to getting your french fries right.

Choosing your potatoes and oil is another matter. I like Idaho potatoes as they fry up better then Russett potatoes. Which oil should you use - peanut or vegetable oil? Some people say peanut oil is the only way to go for good french fries. I have used both and have not seen a noticable difference, so maybe it just comes down to preference. I also reuse my oil several times before I get rid of it and I generally have two bottles in the house - one for cooking and one for frying.

So let's get started!


Best French Fries



2 to 3 lbs Idaho potatoes, skins well scrubbed, cut length wise into 1/4 inch sticks
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

When selecting potatoes for french fries it is best to use potatoes that are roughly the size of your fist. Cut the potato in half length wise, then cut each half lengthwise again. Lay the quartered potato flat on a cutting board and slice off 1/4 inch sticks.

Soak the potato sticks in a bowl of cold water for 4 hours, this process allows the potato sticks to release their starch. Rinse the potato sticks once more and allow the potato sticks to drain. Use a paper towel to dab off the excess water.

Heat oil in deep fryer or heavy bottomed pot to 375 degrees. Total cooking time for the french fries will be 6 minutes; each batch of fries will be cooked 3 times for 2 minutes. Place the first batch in the fryer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the fries from the oil and place on a rack or paper towel lined cookie sheet to drain while cooking the next batch. After all the potato sticks have been fried once, repeat this process two more times until all french fries have developed a deep golden brown.

**Be sure to season the french fries as soon as they come out of the oil on the third fry. Serve with ketchup, mayonnaise or your favorite dipping sauce!