Fresh French Fries?

I have a bag of Russets left over from Thanksgiving and decided I’d start using them for French fries. Now I don’t recall ever making homemade fries before so it was off to the net to find a method. I chose this one…

I followed it verbatim with the exception of using just one potato for a single serving, which I did not peel. They were cooked but did not come out crispy (nowhere near as much as my McCain’s come out of the flash oven).

Now I suppose I could look for another method but figured asking for one here would be a better bet.


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Wow, that is a lot of fuss. Try this:

Cold-Start French Fries

Cut potatoes into 1/4" strips, rinse and dry well. Place in a deep-ish pan and cover with sunflower oil. Bring the oil to a boil over medium heat and simmer until browned, adjusting heat as necessary and stirring potatoes occasionally. Dry potatoes on paper towels, then sprinkle with salt and chopped parsley.


This. Either the cold start or double fry.


The method you tried looks similar to some I’ve done that call for a pre-fry (sub-300°F), rest, then fry again at a higher temp (ca. 375). What I’ve not seen is the par boiling step. As soon as I saw her do that I thought it was a mistake (and I do normally trust Nagi’s recipes). Especially as boiling or simmering for the 10 minute period called for should have them almost cooked through. Maybe if I included that step I’d go 3-4 mins, not 10.

I think if you followed everything except the boil (including trying with/without the vinegar & salt soak, to see if that matters - but no boiling) you might get better results.

But sorry I didn’t bookmark any of the methods I thought were decent. I just don’t make them often and now my locals are carrying McCain’s.

Edit - here’s a similar method that might be worth a try. They use a short par-boil, cool, then shake with cornstarch (which is something I’ve seen in some others), then two frying periods. The first specifies the oil is around 285, but the second fry temp is not specified, so I assume it’s not a “low-then-higher” version.

FWIW, Lagerstrom says the problem with home fries is that we just have the usual Idaho russets available to us, whereas he claims Kennebec potatoes (apparently not found in groceries) are the only truly good French fry potato.

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+1. 300 first round, 375 the second. I like cold start, but you can only do it once; or wait 20 minutes for the second round.


Thanks… on the twice fry method (which I’ll do first with the salt/vinegar soak - no heat), how much time on the first fry?

Like I said, I generally trust her recipes. Here’s the written version which gives more info on oil temps. She’s cooking at 400F both times so (in your shoes), I’d probably trust her very short fry times. For a first time, anyway. If that didn’t work out I’d go with low/high like Natascha/Greg say, and a bit longer on each. Bare yellow color on #1 then go until golden or as brown as I’d like on #2.

She says she’s getting most of the tips from Kenji (his at Serious Eats below) and he also parboils for 10 minutes. While I understand his rationale and explanation, it just seems a long time to cook such a skinny bit of tater. Note he also boils in the same liquid with the vinegar and salt, instead of rinsing between.

The first metod you linked to was exactly the one I used… and it didn’t work out (I don’t know why).

The boiled/simmered frys seemed to have the exact texture noted, but the fry didn’t work out. Note the above method did not include freezing them before frying… maybe that was a critical step. But I was looking for something that didn’t take hours to do.

When I (rarely) feel like some fresh fries I cut a potato into fries (I have this French fry cutter thing) and boil in salted water for about 3 minutes, drain and dry, and then fry until golden in peanut oil at about 350. Easy and is superior to McCains IMHO.

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I think the reason McCains are so crisp is that they’re coated with rice flour. You might try that during the second stage fry.