McDonald’s French Fries – Copycat Recipe

Learn how to make McDonald’s classic French Fry recipe at home! (And exactly how the restaurant does it!) These fries are golden and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside! 

There are few secret steps to this recipe: Learn how and why you soak French Fries in a cold brine of sugar water before you double fry them.

A plate of golden french fries on a white plate with a bowl of ketchup for dipping.

You might wonder why anyone would want to go through the trouble of making McDonald’s beloved French Fry recipe at home, which you can just buy some from the dollar menu.

Well, believe it or not, there are 19 ingredients in McDonald’s french fry recipe. One of which is a silicon component used to make silly putty.

(I know. I want my brain to forget that fact too.) 😑

It certainly makes a good argument for making their beloved french fries at home, doesn’t it?

But first, let’s learn a little more about what goes into their process:

What Kind of Potatoes Does McDonald’s Use For French Fries?

McDonald’s uses a variety of non-GMO Russet potatoes, (Ranger Russet, Umatilla Russet, & Russet Burbank) along with Shepody potatoes to make their French Fries.

What Kind of Oil Do They Use?

McDonald’s uses 4 different kinds of oil to make their French Fries: Soybean, hydrogenated soybean, canola and corn.

For this homemade version, we will use vegetable and/or canola oil for the first round of frying. Then we’ll add some vegetable shortening to the mix for the second round of frying.

How McDonald’s Makes Their French Fries

  1. The potatoes are washed and peeled by machines.
  2. Workers hand-cut any imperfections off the potatoes.
  3. The fries shoot through a tube at about 75 MPH through cutting machines.
  4. Optical strips look at every single fry and remove any with a fault.
  5. They are blanched in steaming hot water for about 15 minutes to allow for a soft interior.
  6. The fries are completely dried.
  7. They are then quickly fried for the 1st time at 400° F.
  8. From here, they go into a freezer at 10°F.
  9. Once frozen, they are shipped to restaurants.
  10. Once at the restaurant, they are fried for a second time, salted, and served.

Fun Fact: McDonald’s goes through 3.5 billion pounds of French Fries every year globally.

To see a video of this process, check out this 2-minute video.


How to Make McDonald’s French Fries at Home:

We don’t have quite the technology that McDonald’s has with its fancy machines, but if you’d like to save time, I recommend this french fry cutter. Of course, you can always just use a knife.

Note: See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for full ingredient amounts.

Create a brine using a combination of cold water, corn syrup, salt, and white vinegar. 

Slice the potatoes into strings just under 1/2 inch thick. Drop into the brine.

A peeled russet potato being cut into shoe strings on a white cutting board with a knife to make french fries.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as overnight.

Drain, rise twice with cold water, then pat them completely dry.

A pot with uncooked french fries soaking in a brine before being dried to make french fries.

Fry in batches at 300°F for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside on a paper towel.

They will be very soft. (This is a good thing.)

French fries in a dutch oven being fried at 300 degrees and then lifted from the oil with a slotted spoon.

Add vegetable shortening to the oil. Increase heat to 400°F and fry again until the fries are crisp and golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper towels. 

Season immediately with salt and serve!

French fries being fried in a dutch oven until golden and crispy.

Why Soak the Potatoes in a Cold Brine?

Soaking potatoes in cold water helps get rid of the starch, which makes them crispier. The sugar in the brine prevents them from soaking up too much oil when fried, which also makes them crisp.

Soak them for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight. The longer you can soak them, the better. Store them in the fridge while they soak.


Why Double Fry French Fries?

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

The first round of frying cooks and softens the middle of the potato, while the second round crisps up the outside.


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.

Make-Ahead Method

  • Soak the fries as instructed, dry them completely. Fry them in batches at 360° for 5 minutes. Place on a paper towel.
  • 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.

Tools for Making McDonald’s French Fries

Copycat McDonald's French Fries on a white plate with ketchup.

What To Serve With French Fries

More Potato Recipes

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Be sure to try my French Fry Seasoning Recipe too!

McDonald's French Fries - Copycat Recipe

Learn how to make McDonald's classic French Fry recipe at home! (And exactly how the restaurant does it!) These fries are golden and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside!

Ingredients

Brine

  • 8 cups cold water
  • ½ cup corn syrup, (can sub 1/3 cup sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Fries

  • 6 large Russet potatoes, About 4.5 pounds
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • Salt, for seasoning

Instructions

  • Combine the brine ingredients and set aside.
  • Peel and rinse that potatoes.
  • Slice them into strings just under ½ inch. (A french fry potato cutter makes this easy.)
  • Place them in the cold brine as you slice them. Ensure the potatoes are completely submerged. Add more cold water if needed.
  • Cover and place the brine in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Drain and rinse them twice with cold water. Pat them completely dry.
  • Preheat oil to 300 degrees. (A dutch oven and oil thermometer is very helpful.)
  • Fry the potatoes in batches for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towels. They will be very soft. (This is a good thing.)
  • Add the vegetable oil and increase the heat to 400 degrees. Fry in batches again until golden brown. (It’s hard to be patient during this part.)
  • Remove and place on paper towels. Season with salt right away and serve!

Notes

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.

Make-Ahead Method

  • Soak the fries as instructed, dry them completely. Fry them in batches at 360° for 5 minutes. Place on a paper towel.
  • 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.

Be sure to try my French Fry Seasoning Recipe next!

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 452mg, Potassium: 1332mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 3mg