Homemade French Fries

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of making homemade French fries. They’re a beloved side dish that pairs perfectly with burgers, sandwiches, and even stands alone as a tasty snack. Making them at home means you get to control the ingredients, cook them just the way you like, and enjoy them hot and fresh right out of the fryer.

What Makes This So Great?

Homemade French fries are a classic comfort food that delivers on both taste and texture. Unlike their fast-food counterparts, making fries at home allows you to achieve that perfect balance of crispiness on the outside and tenderness on the inside. You also have the freedom to season them exactly how you like, whether you prefer them simply salted or with a bit of extra spice.

Another great aspect of homemade French fries is their versatility. They can be a side dish, a snack, or even the main event of a meal. Plus, the process of making them from scratch is straightforward and incredibly rewarding. There’s something undeniably satisfying about transforming a humble potato into a pile of golden, crispy fries.

What Kitchen Items Do You Need To Make This?

To make homemade French fries, you’ll need the following kitchen items:

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  1. Large Glass Bowl: For soaking the potato slices.
  2. Sharp Knife or Mandoline: To cut the potatoes into uniform sticks.
  3. Clean Dish Towel: To dry the potato slices before frying.
  4. Deep Fryer or Dutch Oven: For frying the potatoes.
  5. Slotted Spoon: To safely add and remove the potatoes from the hot oil.
  6. Paper Towels or Drying Rack: To drain excess oil from the fries.
  7. Thermometer: To monitor the oil temperature.
  8. Large Bowl: To toss the hot fries with seasoning.

What Ingredients Are Needed For This Recipe?

Here’s a detailed list of the ingredients you’ll need to make homemade French fries:

  • 2 lbs baking potatoes: About 3-4 potatoes, these will be the base of your fries.
  • 1 liter vegetable or canola oil: For frying the potatoes.
  • Salt or other seasoning: Such as Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, for adding taste to the fries.

How To Make It

Preparing the Potatoes

  1. Cut the Potatoes: Cut the potatoes into ¼ – ½ inch thick sticks using a sharp knife or mandoline. Uniform cuts ensure even cooking.
  2. Soak the Potatoes: Place the cut potatoes in a large glass bowl and fill with water. Swoosh the potatoes around in the water to release the starch, then drain the water. Refill the bowl with fresh cold water so the potatoes are covered. Soak for at least one hour, or refrigerate overnight for the best results.

First Fry

  1. Heat the Oil: Heat your oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven until the temperature reaches 300℉.
  2. Dry the Potatoes: Drain the water from the potatoes and pat them as dry as possible using a clean dish towel.
  3. Fry in Batches: Separate the potatoes into 3-4 batches to avoid overcrowding. Using a slotted spoon, add the potatoes to the oil and fry for about 5-6 minutes. The oil should bubble lightly as we are only heating the potatoes at this stage, not crisping them.
  4. Drain and Cool: Remove the potatoes from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining batches.

Second Fry

  1. Increase the Heat: Increase the oil temperature to 400℉.
  2. Crisp the Potatoes: Fry each batch again until they are crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate or a drying rack.
  3. Season the Fries: Place the hot fries in a bowl and toss them with salt, Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, or your preferred seasoning. Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

What Is The History Behind This Recipe?

The origins of French fries are a bit murky, with both Belgium and France claiming to have invented this beloved dish. The most widely accepted theory is that French fries originated in Belgium, where villagers would fry small fish as a staple food. During the winter months, when the rivers froze, they would cut potatoes into fish shapes and fry them as a substitute. The term “French fries” is believed to have been popularized by American soldiers stationed in Belgium during World War I, who referred to the fried potatoes as “French” due to the French-speaking Belgian soldiers.

French fries gained popularity in the United States in the early 20th century, particularly with the rise of fast food restaurants. Today, they are a global phenomenon, enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Making French fries at home allows you to appreciate the simplicity and deliciousness of this classic dish.

homemade french fries

What Can I Switch Up To Make This Different If I Have Dietary Needs (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)?

Homemade French fries are naturally vegan and vegetarian, making them a versatile dish for various dietary needs. Here are some ideas for making them even more suitable for different preferences:

Vegan/Vegetarian

  • Oil: Stick with vegetable or canola oil for frying, as both are plant-based.
  • Seasoning: Ensure that any seasoning you use is free from animal products. Most common seasonings, including salt and Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, are vegan-friendly.

Gluten-Free

  • Potatoes: Naturally gluten-free, so there’s no need to worry about the main ingredient.
  • Oil: Ensure that the oil you use hasn’t been contaminated with gluten. Most vegetable and canola oils are gluten-free, but check the labels to be sure.
  • Seasoning: Use gluten-free seasonings to avoid any cross-contamination.

Healthier Options

  • Baking Instead of Frying: For a healthier alternative, you can bake the fries instead of frying them. Preheat your oven to 425℉, toss the potato sticks with a bit of oil and seasoning, and bake them on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Air Fryer: Another healthy alternative is to use an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 375℉ and cook the fries in batches for about 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the secret to homemade French fries?

The secret to perfect homemade French fries is in the double frying technique. The first fry at a lower temperature cooks the potatoes through without browning them. This step helps to create a soft interior. The second fry at a higher temperature crisps up the exterior, giving you that perfect crunch. Soaking the potatoes before frying also helps to remove excess starch, which can make the fries soggy.

Do you have to soak potatoes before frying?

Soaking potatoes before frying is highly recommended. This step removes excess starch from the potatoes, which can cause them to stick together and become mushy during frying. Soaking also helps to achieve a crispier texture. Ideally, you should soak the potatoes for at least one hour, but overnight soaking in the refrigerator is even better.

Should I boil my homemade fries before frying?

Boiling the potatoes before frying is not necessary if you are using the double frying method described in this recipe. However, some people prefer to blanch (partially boil) their potatoes before frying to ensure they are cooked through. If you choose to blanch your potatoes, boil them for about 3-4 minutes, then drain and dry them thoroughly before frying.

Is it worth making your own French fries?

Absolutely! Making your own French fries is worth it for several reasons. First, you have complete control over the ingredients and cooking process, ensuring they are fresh and free from any unwanted additives. Second, homemade fries are often tastier and crispier than store-bought or fast-food versions. Finally, there’s a sense of satisfaction and pride that comes from making this classic comfort food from scratch.

How Should I Store This?

To store leftover homemade French fries, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, bake them in the oven at 375℉ for about 10 minutes to regain some of their crispiness.

For longer storage, you can freeze homemade French fries after the first fry. Let them cool completely, then place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the fries to a freezer-safe bag or container. When you’re ready to eat them, you can fry them directly from the freezer at 400℉ until they are crispy and golden brown.

Making homemade French fries is a fun and rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy fresh, crispy fries right from your kitchen. With a few simple ingredients and some basic kitchen tools, you can create a delicious side dish or snack that everyone will love. Enjoy experimenting with different seasonings and cooking methods to find your perfect fry!

homemade french fries

French Fries

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
Yes, you CAN make perfectly crispy French Fries right at home! Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to make hot, delicious, crispy taters every time.
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Prep Time 1 day 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 50 minutes
Course dinner, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 179 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 deep fry thermometor

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs baking potatoes about 3 – 4 potatoes
  • 1 liter vegetable or canola oil
  • salt or other seasoning we like Lowry's Seasoning Salt

Recipe Instructions
 

  • Cut potatoes into ¼ – ½ inch thick sticks. Place the cut potatoes in a large glass bowl and fill with water. Swoosh the potatoes around in the water, and holding onto the potatoes drain the water (the water should be cloudy from the starch).
  • Refill the bowl with fresh cold water so the potatoes are covered. Soak for at least one hour, or refrigerated overnight (the longer the better).
  • When you're ready to make, drain the water and put the potato slices on a clean dish towel. Pat as dry as possible.
  • Heat your oil in a deep fryer or dutch oven until the temperature reached 300℉. Separate your potatoes into 3 – 4 batches (you don't want to fry them all at once and crowd the pot).
  • Fry #1. Use a slotted spoon to add the potatoes to the oil and fry for about 5-6 minutes. The oil should bubble lightly, we’re only heating the potatoes, we don’t want them to crisp yet.
  • Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Fry the remaining batches.
  • Fry #2. Increase the heat so the oil reaches 400℉. Fry each batch until they are crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and place on a paper-towel lined plate or a drying rack.
  • Place the hot fries in a bowl and toss in salt, Lowry's, or other seasoning. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 5gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 946mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 2mg
Keyword french fries, homemade french fries
Tried this recipe?Mention @thembitesrecipes or tag #thembites

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