How To Make Legitimately Crispy French Fries At Home

Nobody wants a soggy, floppy french fry. Making fries at home can be a hassle, but when done correctly, you will be rewarded with perfectly golden brown fries that make an audible crunch as you bite into them.


The perfect french fries require some specialized equipment and cooking expertise. You will be working with hot oil, after all. But this approach keeps things relatively straightforward and will produce excellent fries for anyone if followed. 

The method we use to ensure crispy fries relies on parboiling the potatoes and double frying. When we parboil the potatoes, we ensure that the potato is cooked all the way through and the inside retains its moisture. That way, we can fry the potatoes to perfection without worrying about an undercooked center. It also helps remove excess starch to help the exterior crisp up nicely.

The double fry method allows the first frying to create a thicker exterior on the fry itself. Allowing the first-time fried potatoes to cool, then returning them to the fryer at a higher temperature allows the outer shell to crisp up perfectly golden brown.


Equipment you'll need

The equipment you need starts with ingredients. The potatoes you choose will make a big difference in the final outcome of your fries. Russet potatoes are a tried and true choice. Russets have a high starch content with low moisture, which helps them crisp up better than other options. You will also need a large container of oil that can be heated to a high temperature without smoking. Canola, peanut, and vegetable oil are all good options.


If you own a deep fryer, that is fantastic. However, most home chefs do not, and that is okay. If you do not have a deep fryer, you will need a heavy bottom pot with tall sides or a Dutch oven. You will also require a kitchen thermometer that can hook onto the side of your pot and give you an accurate temperature reading of the oil. If you have a deep fryer, you will still need a pot to blanch the potatoes. Finally, you will need either a vegetable chopper or a sharp knife to cut the potatoes, a bowl of cold water, a cutting board, a spider skimmer, tongs or a long slotted spoon, and some paper towels.

Cut your potatoes

Pick the number of potatoes you want to make. We recommend roughly one mid-sized potato per person.  Potatoes do not have to be peeled as long as they are well-cleaned. 

If you have a potato slicer or slicer with a square shape attachment, use that. Otherwise, take a sharp chef's knife and cut potatoes into sticks. While the size can be bigger or smaller depending on preference, we recommend one-quarter inch.


Blanch your potatoes

Place your sliced potatoes in a pot big enough to hold all potatoes comfortably with room to spare. Cover potatoes with water. Water should come to at least one inch above the top of the potatoes. Place the pot on the stove and turn it on to high heat. Bring the pot to a boil.


Once the pot is at a rolling boil, start a five-minute timer. Prepare a bowl of ice water while the potatoes are boiling.

Drop the potatoes in an ice bath

When the five minutes are up, turn off the heat. Use a spider skimmer, tongs, or a long-slotted spoon to remove the potato sticks and place them in the bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process.


Dry your blanched potatoes

Cover a plate or tray with a paper towel. Once the potatoes have completely cooled, lay them on the covered plate or cutting board so that the potatoes dry and the paper towel absorbs any water that drips off the potatoes. 


For safety, dry the potatoes completely. If you put wet potatoes in hot oil, it will cause the oil to pop, which, at best, creates a mess and, at worst, can cause a burn.

Preheat the oil

While your potatoes are drying, pour oil into either a high-rimmed pot or deep fryer. You want enough oil to cover each batch of fries, with one inch of additional oil on top. This will easily take an entire 24-ounce bottle of oil.


Preheat oil to between 300 and 325 F. If you have a deep fryer, you will be able to set a specific temperature. If you do not have a deep fryer, use a candy thermometer that clips onto the side of your bowl.

Commence the first fry

When your deep fryer or pot of oil has come to full temperature, place your first batch of cut potatoes into the oil. This will be about two handfuls or about one medium-to-large potato's worth. Do not overfill the fryer, as it will be hard to monitor the potatoes' color change and remove them at the proper time.


Leave the potatoes to fry in hot oil for between five and seven minutes, depending on thickness. The final color should still be pale and have, at most, a hint of golden brown. If you're using a pot and a thermometer, be sure to monitor the oil temperature. The temperature will naturally go down each time potatoes are added.

Drain the fries

Once your potatoes have finished the first fry, use your slotted spoon, spider skimmer, or tongs to remove the cooked potatoes. Place them on a cutting board, baking sheet, or plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat the previous step and this step with uncooked potatoes in batches until all potatoes have been fried once.


Start the second fry

Once all potatoes have been fried the first time, raise the oil temperature to between 350 and 375 F. Once that temperature has been reached, in the same size batches as before, return the fries to the hot oil. Cook until the fries turn a deep golden brown color. This should take between two and four minutes at the most.


Season and serve

Remove fries from the oil and place them on a plate or cutting board lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle fries with salt and any other desired seasoning. Then enjoy the extra crispy fries you created.


How to dispose of oil

While you are enjoying your fries, allow the oil to cool completely. This can take several hours, so just let it be. When it comes time to dispose of the oil, remember, do not pour it down your kitchen sink. Oil will solidify in drains and cause major drainage problems.


Instead, consider investing in a product such as FryAway, which solidifies oil so it can be put in the trash. Or, pour the oil into an empty disposable container, such as the now empty oil bottle.

How to save and reheat your fries

French fries are best eaten fresh, but we understand that sometimes there are leftovers that you don't want to go to waste. French fries will last for up to two days in the refrigerator. Make sure to store them in an airtight container.


To reheat, set your oven to 425 F. If your oven has a convection option, use this and set it to 400 F. The convection will help move the air around, creating an even and extra-crispy exterior. Bake for five minutes, then flip and bake for another two minutes.