Homemade French Fries

Here’s how to make the best homemade French fries you’ve ever had! This method makes better-than-restaurant fries with no deep frying.

Homemade French Fries

Want to make better-than-restaurant fries in the comfort of your own home? Let’s go. These homemade French fries are everything a fry should be: crispy on the outside, flaky on the inside, and salted to perfection. It tastes just like they’ve been deep fried, but we’ve got a secret. These are even better than deep fried, without the fuss and mess of frying. This is our master method for making the best homemade fries in the universe. It takes a little time, but the flavor you get is unreal.

Want a slightly easier method? Try Perfect Seasoned Fries or Ultimate Baked Fries.

How to make homemade French fries: the secret!

This homemade French fries recipe uses a secret method to get that deep fried flavor…without the deep frying. Alex and I spent a lot of time testing different methods for making fries. The deep fried method made fries that were just so-so: and it was a bit of a pain. So we created our own way to get fries with the perfect crisp outside and tender inside. Here are our secrets:

  • Soak the fries (10 minutes). This gets the interior perfectly soft. You can do this while you preheat the oven.
  • Bake the fries (30 minutes). This gets the outsides crispy.
  • Pan-fry the fries (2 minutes). A quick fry in a skillet locks in the crispiness and adds the restaurant-style texture and flavor!

When we compared baked fries to baked and pan-fried fries, the extra step of pan frying took them over the top! It takes an extra pan and a few extra minutes, but it’s absolutely worth the time.

Homemade French fries

How to cut French fries by hand

One key to homemade French fries: learning how to cut French fries! Once you know the method, it’s pretty easy to slice them. Here’s what you need to know — and watch this video if you learn better from watching.

  • Slice the ends: Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base.
  • Make 3/8-inch slice: Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice.
  • Cut the slice into strips: Then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long 3/8-inch wide strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries!

Shortcut: use a French fry cutter

This is only recommended if you make fries a lot. (We do!) But you can get a restaurant-style French fry cutter to speed up the process! It cuts the fries in literally 1 second. It’s very efficient: the only downside is storage space for a one-use gadget. It’s great for cooking nerds or an interesting gift. Here’s the French fry cutter we use.

Homemade French fries

Why to do the 10 minute cold soak

These homemade French fries require a 10 minute soak in cold water before cooking. Alex and I tested un-soaked and soaked fries back to back, and the soaked fries won every time. Why?

  • Soaking the fries softens the interior. The inside gets fluffier, like what you’re used to with a restaurant-style fry. (Restaurants use this method).
  • Time saver: You can soak while preheating the oven! You won’t lose any time in the recipe, because you can soak during the preheat time. Don’t skip this step!

Tips for baking homemade French fries

There are only a few things to note about baking homemade French fries! Here’s what to know:

  • Space out the oven racks. In our oven, the bottom rack is much hotter than the top. Space out your oven racks evenly and rotate your pans between them to get the most even cook.
  • Spread the fries as far apart as possible. This gets the best air flow between the fries, which makes crispy fries. If the pan is too crowded, that’s when you get soggy, limp fries.
Pan frying fries
The secret step: pan frying!

Season AFTER pan-frying!

Here’s one important thing to note about this homemade French fries recipe. The magic step of pan frying after baking is what takes them to over-the-top epic status. But you need to know this caveat:

  • Baked fries you season before baking. This bakes in those tasty seasonings and salt. But…
  • Pan frying after baking dulls the flavors: so season AFTER frying! After you pan fry them, add the salt (and other seasonings, if you’d like). Because they’re lightly oiled at this point, the seasonings stick to them.

If you want to skip the pan frying step, you’ll have to season the fries before baking. Go to Perfect Seasoned Fries and follow the method there!

Serve homemade French fries right away (plus reheating tip)

As you can see: homemade French fries take a bit of time and love to make. Only make these when you have enough time! But you’ll find that they’re absolutely worth the effort for this treat food. Here’s the thing: they’re best when they’re right out of the oven. They become less crispy (and tasty) as they get cold. So, make sure to eat them while they’re hot!

You can also reheat your fries, if you have leftovers and they get cold. Just place them on the baking sheet and reheat them until they’re crispy in a 350 degree oven.

Homemade French fries

This homemade French fries recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Homemade French Fries

Homemade French Fries


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make the best homemade French fries you’ve ever had! This method makes better-than-restaurant fries with no deep frying.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 large russet potatoes (1 1/2  to 1 3/4 pounds)*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or more oil, for vegan)
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly space the oven racks to ensure even cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into fries: (Watch this video or use a fry cutter.) Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base. Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries. The pieces can be uneven, but aim for as uniform of thickness as possible. See the video for full instructions!
  3. Soak in cold water (10 minutes): Place the cut fries into a medium bowl and rinse with cold water until water is clear. Then fill the bowl with cold water and allow to rest for 10 minutes (while the oven preheats). Then drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly with a clean dish towel.
  4. Mix with olive oil (you’ll season after frying**): Add the fries to a dry bowl and toss them with the olive oil. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries in straight lines on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
  5. Bake: Bake the fries for 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and carefully flip each fry. Return to oven (reversing the pans on top and bottom racks). Bake additional 8 to 10 minutes until they are crisp and golden brown, watching carefully as the bake time depends on the fry thickness and your oven. (If the majority of the fries seem soft, continue to bake a few more minutes.)
  6. Pan fry the fries: Heat the neutral oil and butter over medium heat in cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. When the fries are done baking, transfer half of the fries into the skillet and cook for 1 minute turning several times, until crispy and browned. Remove to paper towel lined sheet and sprinkle liberally with salt. Repeat with other half of the fries.
  7. Taste and add a few more pinches of salt if desired. Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor.

Notes

*This makes a good amount of fries, but much less than a restaurant portion (that’s as intended!). The largest quantity of fries that fits on two baking sheets is 2 pounds, you can increase to that much if desired (adjust seasonings accordingly).

**If you want to skip the pan frying step, you’ll need to season before baking. Go to Perfect Seasoned Fries.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Homemade French fries, How to make fries, French fries, French fries recipe

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.