French fries may very well be the perfect snack. Crunchy, yet fluffy, and the perfect blend of salt, carbs, and oil. Cutting french fries by hand can be a chore, though, and often results in fries of various shapes and sizes. A food processor can help you cut fries quickly and consistently. We've done the research, and here's how to do it:
- Attach the french fry disc to your food processor
- Wash and scrub your potatoes
- Peel the potatoes (if desired)
- Cut the potatoes in half (or in quarters if still too large for your food processor)
- Put one of the potato halves into the food processor chute
- Feed it through with the plunger as you run the food processor
- Put the cut fries into a bowl of water
- Repeat with the remaining potatoes
Follow these steps, and you'll be well on your way to your perfect fries. But what if you don't have a french fry disc? What if you don't have a food processor? What if you like your fries on the curly side? Don't worry; we've looked at each of these angles, and we have answers for you! Read on to find out more.
Cutting French Fries with a Food Processor
1. Attach the french fry disc to the food processor
Following the manufacturer's instructions, attach the french fry disc to the food processor. It may also be called a thick julienne disc or by its dimensions, which will be squared. If it uses measurements, it should be a 6-by-6mm (or 1/4") blade.
2. Wash and scrub your potatoes
Potatoes grow in the ground and will usually still have some dirt, even if they look clean. Scrub them under cool, running water using a vegetable brush, like this one.
3. Peel the potatoes (optional)
Depending on your recipe or your personal taste, you may want to peel your potatoes. You can use a small paring knife, taking care to move slowly and steadily for safety. Peelers make the job faster and easier, such as the Swiss peeler below.
If you want to learn more about this or other styles of vegetable peelers, check out this guide: 8 Types of Potato Peelers
4. Cut the potatoes in half (or quarters)
Most food processors' chute is too small to fit a whole potato in, so you will likely need to cut them in half to get them to fit. For a small chute or a large potato, it may be necessary to cut them even smaller. Try to cut it to a size that just fits the chute leaving room for the plunger to get longer fries.
5. Put one of the potato halves into the food processor chute
Carefully place one of the potato halves into the chute.
6. Feed the potato through the chute with a plunger while running the food processor
Put the plunger on top of the potato in the chute and turn on your food processor to a medium speed. Gradually push the potato through with the plunger, then turn off the machine. You can also use one hand on the plunger and hold down the pulse button if you prefer that to turning on and off the machine.
7. Put the cut fries into a bowl of cool water
Most french fry recipes will call for soaking your potatoes in water. Get them in there as soon as you've cut them. This will wash off some of the starch on the potatoes, leading to a better texture. It will also prevent the potatoes from oxidizing and turning brown.
8. Repeat with the remaining potatoes
Finish cutting up all of your potatoes with this method, and then continue to follow your recipe's instructions. Soon you will be munching on some satisfying snacks.
What if I don't have a french fry disc?
Most food processors come with slicing and shredding discs, but french fry discs are usually separate. The typical french fries are about 1/4" or 6mm thick, and this blade for Cuisinart food processors cuts them to the perfect dimension.
If you make french fries (or other foods with similar dimensions) regularly, having the disc can save you a lot of time in the long run. If you're not in the market for getting a new disc, you may still be able to use your food processor to cut back on prep time.
Use a 1/4" or 6mm slicing disc on your potatoes, then finish slicing them by hand with a knife. If you're not sure your slicing disc's size, try using the thickest one you have. If it's still too thin for conventional french fries, you can always make shoestring fries, such as this recipe from The Cookie Rookie.
Read our post on slicing potatoes with a food processor to get the best advice for slicing up your spuds for everything from chips to mashed potatoes.
Can a Cuisinart food processor spiralize?
When people think about spiralizers, they usually picture zucchini noodles or thin ribbons of carrots. Spiralizers aren't just for low-carb pasta alternatives and Instagram-worthy salads, though. They can also make the french fry's funky cousin: the curly fry.
While we've seen that you can cut standard french fries in your Cuisinart food processor with the right blade, you can also carve up some curvaceous curly fries with the spiralizer attachment. Just make sure to use the spaghetti cut blade to get properly portioned fries instead of potato ribbons.
What makes curly fries different?
In essence, curly fries are simply spiral-cut french fries. While this is simple enough, you may have noticed that, while french fries vary significantly from restaurant to restaurant, curly fries tend to have a similar and unmistakable flavor profile. According to the New York Times, that flavor comes from paprika, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder. Those are just the seasonings you'll find in many curly fry recipes, such as this one from Food52.
Does KitchenAid have a french fry cutter?
KitchenAid is best known for its stand mixers, but they make a wide variety of kitchen products, including food processors. When their food processor with ExactSlice systems first came out, they featured french fry blades. However, their current models only feature slicing and shredding discs.
If you have one of their popular stand mixers, you can use the spiralizer attachment to cut curly fries! The medium blade cuts the potatoes to the right thickness for perfect curly fries. This method does leave a bit from the base and the core of the potato. Don't waste them. You can cut them up and bake or fry them too!
Can you use a mandoline to cut french fries?
A food processor with a french fry blade is a great way to cut fries in a snap. However, they're not found in every kitchen, and the upfront costs might dissuade some bargain shoppers. In that case, a mandoline slicer is a fast way to cut up your spuds into uniform fries without spending an arm and a leg.
Mandoline-style cutters have a flat surface and at least one sharp blade that allows you to make quick and consistent slices. Basic mandolines feature only one blade, but many mandolines these days also feature julienne blades.
Mandolines with Thick Julienne Blades
These are among the easiest ways to hand-cut french fries. Simply adjust your slicing blade, and the julienne blades to 1/4" or 6mm and slide the potatoes through. Make sure to use the handguard to protect your fingers from those razor-sharp blades.
This mandoline from OXO has the perfect large julienne blades for classic french fries and small julienne blades for shoestring fries.
Not all mandolines feature julienne blades. If yours doesn't, you can still use it to save you time slicing up fries. Much like using the slicer blade on your food processor, you can make your initial slices in the mandoline and then finish cutting your fries by hand.
How to cut potatoes into fries by hand?
While food processors and mandolines save a lot of time and make uniform cuts, there are still plenty of reasons to cut fries by hand. Maybe your kitchen isn't equipped with those extra gadgets, or you are honing your knife skills. While cutting by hand might not be the fastest option, it can still be easy if you follow some simple advice.
After you've washed and peeled your potatoes, cut off a slice about 1/4" thick from one side. Now use this side as the base, so your spud won't roll as you slice the remaining potato to the same thickness. Once you've finished slicing them one way, stack them up, line them up flush, and cut them to the same thickness the other way.
Watch below to see it done and get some tips on using your fingers to stabilize the potatoes and guide your knife safely.
Are there specialized french fry cutters?
We've covered several different ways to cut up your spuds into perfectly formed fries, but this list is far from exhaustive. There are more varieties of french fry cutters than we could cover here. If you have a craving to learn all about them, check out our article "7 Best French Fry Cutters."
Shoestring or steak fries, curly or straight, there are many "right" ways to cut your french fries. Keeping your cuts consistent is key to getting uniform fries that will get rave reviews from your family, friends, and followers. Following the methods and advice we've outlined here, you will be sure to get your fries cut up perfectly, whichever shape or tool you use.
Happy cooking and bon appétit!