Follow this step-by-step recipe to make French fries at home
Some things are just better when they're made from scratch—and making something with your own two hands provides such satisfaction. When you cook from scratch, you know exactly what ingredients go into your meals, and it offers you the flexibility to adjust your recipe for dietary or taste preferences.
While French fries might seem like an easy food to make from scratch (and they are), I’m here to give you tips and my experience experimenting with different methods to achieve a top-tier chip. From there, you can cook the fries based on what you have at your disposal, maybe including that air fryer you got for Christmas?Christine McAvoy
- 2 (per person) russet potatoes
- Cooking oil (amount will depend on how you choose to cook them)
- Desired seasoning (see section below)
I’m going to break this down into three parts: preparation, cooking and seasoning.
Preparation: This applies to all cooking methods.
- You have the option to peel your potatoes (I did), or just wash them and leave the skin on (take out any eyes or spots). Leaving the skins on doesn’t change much except the texture, and gives them some colour.
- You want to be sure that your fries are evenly cut or else some will cook faster than others. The size and shape are up to you—just be consistent.
- Place the cut fries in a bowl and soak for at least an hour or for up to a day. This removes excess starch and will make the fries crispier.
- Rinse them once or twice after soaking, then pat dry with either paper towel or a clean tea towel.
Cooking: There are several options here. If you don’t have an air fryer or don't want to deal with the mess of frying the potatoes in oil, you can bake them.
- Toss the fries in some vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Preheat the oven to 400F, and bake for about 15 minutes.
- Remove, shaking/turning them, but make sure none are overlapping, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Keep an eye on them and test as you go.
- Heat oil to 300F degrees and cook in batches (don’t overcrowd) for about 5 minutes each, removing with a slotted spoon to paper towels.
- Increase the heat to 400F and fry in batches a second time.
- Add salt immediately after you take each batch out of the oil.
- For the air fryer (this is what I used), preheat to 375F.
- Coat the fries lightly in oil in a bowl, then place the first batch in a single layer on the bottom of the fryer so that none overlap.
- Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, flipping them halfway, and remove when they are browned to your liking.
- Continue this process until they are all done, then toss everything back in to reheat and give an extra crisp, then sprinkle with salt.
Seasoning: This is where you make them your own. Maybe you’d like just salt on the fries to go with some cold ketchup, or maybe you’d like to get wild and add truffle oil and Parmesan? There’s also the option to make your own homemade poutine... but that’s a recipe for another day.