The Cozy Cook

Homemade French Fries (Baked or Fried!)

Learn the secret to making the best homemade French fries from russet potatoes right at home! These are easy to make ahead of time and fry or bake in the oven for a quick snack or side dish idea!

Serve these with my nacho cheese sauce OR my 10 minute Brown Gravy to make some Poutine!

Hand dipping crispy homemade french fry into a white bowl of ketchup inside a basket of fries

Want to know the secret on how to make French fries super crispy? Starch and Moisture Removal. 

  • How do you remove starch from potatoes? – Soak them in cold water.
  • How do you remove moisture from potatoes? –Cook them twice.

Read on for everything you need to know about making restaurant quality French fries at home, how to store and reheat them, and even how to make them ahead of time!

How to Make Homemade French Fries

1. Slice the potatoes 1/2 inch thick. (A French Fry Cutter makes this easier.)

2. Soak them cold in water for at least an hour or overnight. (Longer = crispier fries)

3. Rinse them twice with cold water and pat the completely dry.

Soaking potatoes in water and then drying them to make homemade french fries.

Lightly boiling sliced potatoes to make homemade french fries.

4. Heat oil to 300 degrees. Fry them in about 6 batches for 5-6 minutes. Don’t overcrowd them by placing too many in at a time, they won’t be as crispy. Use a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel.

5. Increase heat to 400 degrees. Fry in batches until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

6. Place them bake on paper towels and sprinkle immediately with salt. Serve with ketchup!

Boiling french fries in vegetable oil and laying them down on a paper towel when golden brown.

Best Potatoes for French Fries

Russet potatoes are ideal. Since they’re dense, they don’t contain as much water inside, which allows them to get extra crispy.

Waxy potatoes are the worst. These include red potatoes, fingerling, and new potatoes. They’re high in moisture, and will actually become hollow when fried as the water evaporates out.


How Many Potatoes Do You Need?

It takes way more potatoes than you think to make French fries. Calculate about 2 large Russet potatoes/person.


Why Soak Potatoes for French Fries?

Soaking potatoes in cold water helps get rid of the starch. Starch makes things crumbly and soft, and we want our fries to be sturdy and crisp.

Soak them for at least one hour, or as long as overnight. The longer you can soak them, the better. Store them in the fridge while they soak.


Why Double Fry?

Frying potatoes twice is the best way to obtain the crispiest result.

Why, you ask? After you fry them once, moisture creeps its way back to the top of the French fries, causing them to get soggy. Frying them a second time removes this moisture.

Best Oil Temperature For Frying

  • Fry the potatoes at 300° F for 5-6 minutes, this allows the middle of the potato to cook.
  • Fry them a second time at 400° F degrees so that the outside becomes crispy and golden.

Baking Method

If you prefer to bake these fries:

  • Soak the the fries in cold water for at least 1 hour or overnight and pat completely dry.
  • Toss with up to 1/2 cup vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place the fries in a single layer on a baking sheet at 400° F in the lower-third of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove, toss, place in a single layer, and bake for 10 more minutes or until brown and crispy.

OR you can try my Crispy Baked Potato Wedges!


Make Ahead Method

If you’re Frying Them:

  • Soak the fries as instructed, dry them completely. Fry them in batches at 360° for 5 minutes. Place on a paper towel. Let them cool and pat them dry.
  • Transfer to a plate/tray and flash freeze them for 40 minutes.
  • Transfer to them to a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to serve, remove them from the freezer and fry them in batches at 400° until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to paper towels and season them immediately with salt.

If You’re Baking Them:

  • Soak the the fries in cold water for at least 1 hour or overnight and pat completely dry.
  • Par Cook them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and pat them dry.
  • Transfer to a plate/tray and flash freeze them for 40 minutes.
  • Transfer to them to a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to serve, remove them from the freezer and toss with up to 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place the fries in a single layer on a baking sheet at 400° F in the lower-third of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove, toss, place in a single layer, and bake for 10 more minutes or until brown and crispy.
  • Transfer to paper towels and season them immediately with salt.

Tools for This Recipe

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How To Store and Reheat Leftovers

Refrigerating:

  • Let any leftover fries cool completely and store them in a Freezer bag in the fridge, removing as much air from the bag as possible.
  • To reheat, bake at 350° F for  about 10 minutes. They reheat very well.

Freezing:

  • Flash freeze them on a baking sheet or plate until solid, 1 hour or so.
  • Store them in a freezer Ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to eat!
  • Reheat in a preheated 350° F oven until warm and crisp, about 15 minutes or so.

PRO TIP: Make my 10 minute Brown Gravy Recipe and have homemade Poutine with leftover fries!


A pile of crispy, golden brown french fries in a basket sprinkled with salt.

Try These Next!

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A hand dipping homemade french fries into a white cup of ketchup.

Homemade French Fries

5 from 19 votes
Learn the secret to making the best homemade french fries from russet potatoes right at home! These are easy to make ahead of time and fry or bake in the oven for a quick snack or side dish idea!

Ingredients

  • 10 large russet potatoes, peeled and rinsed
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil, can sub canola oil
  • Salt

Instructions

  • Slice the potatoes into ½ inch thick sticks. Using a French fry cutter makes this much easier.
  • Soak the potato slices in cold water for a minimum of one hour, and up to overnight. The longer, the better as this process removes the starch which makes for extra crispy fries.
  • Rinse the fries twice with cold water.
  • Lay the fries on paper towels or a clean dishcloth and pat them as dry as possible.
  • Heat oil in a deep fryer or dutch oven to 300 degrees F. You’ll need to fry in about six batches, begin with a quart of oil and add more as needed. Frying too many at once makes them less crispy.
  • 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.
  • Place the cooked potatoes on a paper towel lined plate and fry the rest of the remaining batches.
  • Increase the heat to 400 degrees F and fry each batch a second time until they are crisp and golden-brown, about 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove them and place them on dry paper towels. Sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out.
  • Serve with ketchup or fry sauce and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Baking Instructions: 
  • Soak the the fries in cold water for at least 1 hour or overnight and pat completely dry.
  • Toss with up to 1/2 cup vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place the fries in a single layer on a baking sheet at 400° F in the lower-third of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove, toss, place in a single layer, and bake for 10 more minutes or until brown and crispy.
How To Store and Reheat Leftovers:
-Let any leftover fries cool completely and store them in a Freezer bag in the fridge, removing as much air from the bag as possible. 
-To reheat, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. They reheat very well. 
Using a candy/deep frying thermometer makes it easy to tell when the oil is ready.

Serve these with my nacho cheese sauce, French fry seasoning, OR my 10 minute Brown Gravy to make some Poutine!

Nutrition

Calories: 377kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Sodium: 17mg, Potassium: 1480mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin C: 20.2mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 3.1mg

 

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Recipe Rating




64 comments on “Homemade French Fries (Baked or Fried!)”

  1. Delicious! Thank you for sharing the idea of making them crispy by soaking them in cold water and rinsing them. Great tip! 

    • You’re very welcome! It’s amazing how a couple of simple little tips make such a big difference! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!❤️

  2. Do you have a Youtube channel? If not you should definitely start one!

  3. I Love this recipe thank you So much

  4. SUPER YUMMY!! Thank you!

  5. My deep fryer only goes up to 375 degrees; can I still make this recipe?

  6. I’m sorry but this is definitely not how to do it. It’s correct to fry them twice, but you have to cool them of in between & you definitely NOT soak them in water.
    I’m from Belgium, so I know all about fries. They’re called French Fries but that’s because the world discovered them in the frenchspeaking part of Belgium, not in France.

    • Fair enough! I’ve done it both ways, and definitely find that soaking them makes them crispier. It gets rid of some of that starch in the potato. Starch makes things crumbly and soft.

  7. Your soaking/rinsing the raw fries is great advice and a necessity for great French fries. I learned that as a teenager working fast food back when they used fresh potatoes. It gets rid of a lot of starch and makes the outside crisp while the inside stays juicy.
    I’m amazed how many PBS cooking shows make fries without rinsing them. The same with raw rice.

  8. I have used the French Fry Seasoning on Frozen French fries and on your Homemade French Fries. I really like it. “IT’S A KEEPER! ” Mine is stored in a Spice jar. My question is,” Can you add salt and pepper before or after the potatoes are baked? Does it matter? Also can I add this recipe in a cookbook I am doing myself for my children and a nephew? I tell them where I got it from or if I changed or added to it. This is put in a note at the end of the Recipe given.
    Thank-you

    • Hi Paula!! I’m so glad that you love these recipes!! 🙂 I always like to salt them at the end, because once salt is added to something, it begins to extract moisture out of it (so salting things like french fries or eggs is always best to do at the end). And I SO appreciate you asking about using the recipe in a cookbook for yourself and for your children! You definitely have my permission. You are so sweet! Have a great weekend! -Stephanie

  9. This was so good!!! I would recommend you people to try this out! Me and my children loved it, and you should love it too.  ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ Thanks for the recipe!!!

    • You’re very welcome Hannah!😀 I’m happy to hear you and the children loved it. Kids definitely like this one. My daughter goes crazy for it! Thanks so much for the review!

  10. OMG,You’r French Fries are soooooooooooooooo goodd ::::}}}}} you’r a great cook :}

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