Homemade French fries are simply much better than what you can buy in any restaurant, especially since you will be making them fresh and serving them hot. They will go very well with tons of other dishes and are the favorite of children who are picky eaters.
There are quite a few secrets to making the best homemade French fries. One of the most important things to make sure of is to get only the right kind of potatoes, particularly the Burbank russet potatoes. They will not need to be peeled, especially if you prefer rustic-style fries.
The second trick is to cut them in the same size so that they all cook equally. When the sizes vary greatly, you will end up with some that are undercooked while others are well done. Thus, it is important to keep them as uniform in size as possible.
The last trick is to fry the potatoes twice. The first time should be at a lower temperature so that it becomes soft and cooked through. After the first fry, the fries should be drained and cooled thoroughly before putting them back. The second fry is to make them brown and crispy.
What Ingredients Do You Need?
Making homemade French fries only requires the potatoes, some salt, and the frying oil. You can choose between canola oil or some other vegetable oil. You should also choose a pot big and deep enough so that you can put oil that is 2-inches deep.
After frying, you will need a cooling rack or a strainer to drain the oil from the fries, but you will need a lot of paper towels to blot out the frying oil. Other things you will need to cook is a slotted spoon or something similar so that you can take the fries out of the oil. You might also find a thermometer helpful in measuring the temperature of the oil.
The recipe below is very flexible, and you can compute how many you will need to cook based on how many people are eating. For about 4 to 8 people, 4 to 6 potatoes should be enough especially if they are accompanied by a different dish. Your homemade French fries can be paired with hamburgers, steaks, and many other dishes.
Cooking Homemade French Fries
1. Chop The Potatoes
As mentioned above, it is not necessary to peel the potatoes, especially if you like a rustic version. Whether you do so or not is up to your preference.
First cut every potato in two, then lay each piece flat on the cutting board. You can continue chopping them into ¼-inch to ½-inch slices. Stack them up and then cut them into the same width.
2. Soak The Potatoes
An important step to perfect homemade French fries is to soak them in water. Simply put them in a big bowl and put enough cold water to soak them completely. Leave them there for at least 20 minutes. Doing so will remove all remaining starch and will give you crispy and fluffy fries after.
3. Drain And Dry The Potatoes
Drain the water and pat the potatoes dry using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Lay them down in a single layer so that they dry more. The drier the potatoes are, the better fries you will get.
4. Fry Them For The First Time
Put enough oil in the large heavy pot, making sure the oil is at least 2-inches deep. Heat it until about 325°F. In this low temperature, fry the potatoes, doing it in batches if required. Just make sure they are cooked through even though they are still pale. This will take about 5 minutes.
5. Drain And Cool The Fries
Remove the fries from the oil with the use of a slotted spoon or a frying basket, if you have one. Leave them on a cooling rack (on top of a baking sheet) to drain completely, or you can drain them on several paper towels. Let them sit until they cool down completely. Depending on the weather, it may take 30 minutes to a few hours.
If you prefer to prepare your fries ahead of time, you can do these first 5 steps as early as the day before.
6. Fry Them For The Second Time
Warm up the oil, this time between 350 and 375°F. If you have a thermometer, use it to test the temperature or you can just check if it is warm enough by putting one fry. The oil should be actively sizzling but not too much. If it is sputtering, then the oil is too hot and you should wait until the temperature drops a little bit.
Like during the first fry, add the fries in batches so that they lie in a single layer. Leave them until they are golden or golden brown, depending on your preferences. This should take about 5 minutes.
7. Drain Your Fresh Fries
Remove them from the oil and drain them, adding some salt while they are laid out in a single layer. Serve your fries while they are still warm, as they taste the best at this time.
Other Tips In Cooking Homemade French Fries
While you can do some steps up to one day before eating them, you should do the second fry just before it is to be served. It is also not necessary to keep them cool, as room temperature is enough after the fries are fried for the first time.
French fries go very well with dips other than just ketchup. If you are up for a different experience, try out some of these other options.
Rosemary aioli is great for garlic lovers. It can be easily made by mixing some mayonnaise with minced rosemary and garlic, as well as grated lemon zest.
You can also make a cheesy version of your fries, tossing them with some garlic powder, chili powder, and chipotle powder. You can then top it with shredded Cheddar cheese and placed in the oven until the cheese has melted. For a chili cheese version, add chili and some Monterey Jack on top.
Lastly, you can create your own Spicy South Asian ketchup by adding chopped cilantro, lime juice, and Sriracha to your normal ketchup.