From fast food and fine dining to simply cooking dinner at home, french fries are common in all of these places. No matter where you eat french fries, you probably want them to be as crispy as possible! Perfectly crispy fries are highly sought after but not always easy to make. We have looked at everything that goes into making extra crispy french fries at home and keeping them crispy so that you can have them whenever you want!
The first step to making crispy french fries is making sure that you have the best ingredients and tools for the job. Here are several techniques that you may or may not want to use based on how you're cooking your fries:
- Cut your potatoes accordingly.
- Soak your potatoes.
- Use either the double bake or the double-fry method.
After your fries are cooked, and you want to keep them warm and crispy, the best way to do that is with the oven.
Making the perfect batch of this potato dish can be tricky but not impossible! To have the best chance at making the fries you crave, there might be more that you'll need to know. Keep reading down below to get all the ins and outs of making the best homemade crispy french fries!
Making Extra Crispy French Fries At Home
When you're making your own delicious french fries at home, you'll want to do everything that you can to ensure that they turn out exactly how you want them to!
Get The Best Potatoes
You want a starchy potato for this dish. That's why russet potatoes are a great choice. Also known as Idaho potatoes, they have the perfect level of starch, a great density, and lower moisture levels than other choices.
You'll want to avoid waxier varieties like red or fingerling potatoes. They have higher levels of moisture in them that will evaporate as they fry or bake. This means that when you go to eat your french fries, they can have hollow spots inside from the evaporation. More moisture also makes it harder to make them crispy!
What Oil Should You Use?
The best oils for frying anything are ones with high smoke points. You may also want one that has a neutral flavor. For these reasons, the best types of oil for frying french fries are either vegetable oil or peanut oil.
Gather Your Utensils
You will want a knife, cutting board, and possibly a potato peeler for preparing the potatoes. A large bowl will also be needed. If you are baking your potatoes at all, you'll need a baking tray and something to get the fries off of it once they're cooked, like a spatula.
When choosing to fry your potatoes, you will need a large pot, dutch oven, or a fryer. You will also need a large slotted spoon or a mesh scooper, as long as it can pick up the fries out of the oil and allow the oil to drain away. Lastly, you'll want some paper towels and a frying thermometer.
1. Cut Your Potatoes Accordingly
To hand-cut french to help them cook perfectly, first cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick disks. Next, cut the potato disks lengthwise into 1/4-inch wide strips.
The most important thing for cutting your french fries is that they all be as close to the same size as possible. This will ensure that they are all cooked at the same rate. Another way to achieve uniformity is to use a french fry cutter!
2. Soak Your Potatoes
As soon as your french fries are cut, you'll want to submerge them in a bowl of cold water. Let them soak for roughly 15-20 minutes, and then rinse them off. The point of this is to remove extra starch from the surface of the potatoes. If the excess starch isn't removed, it can cause the fries to brown prematurely while being cooked.
Parboiling your fries means boiling them until they are just partially cooked. Doing this means that while they are frying or baking, the outsides won't get brown before the insides are cooked. Parboiling first ensures that the insides cook as the outsides get crispy!
4. Double Bake or Double Fry
The Double-Bake Method
To do this method, you first need to bake your fries on a lower heat. Different recipes will have different temperatures, but it's usually between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit for around 30 minutes.
Then, remove the fries and turn the oven up to around 425 degrees Fahrenheit to cook them for another 15-20 minutes. The first round of baking ensures that the inside of the fries are cooked completely, and the second round gets the outsides extra crispy!
The Double-Fry Method
This method is the same idea as the previous one, except with frying. Heat your frying oil to around 325 degrees Fahrenheit and cook your fries for 6-8 minutes. You want them to just barely be cooked.
Then set the fries off to the side in a way that the excess oil can drain off of them while you turn up the heat on the oil to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the fries back in the oil for another 2-4 minutes, just until they get golden brown and crispy!
Baking Or Frying?
Both methods of cooking can get you extra crispy french fries, and they both have their own advantages. Baking your fries is overall a bit healthier as they don't sit in any oil and soak it up.
On the other hand, frying them is the industry standard for getting them super crispy, and it's a lot faster than waiting for them to bake in the oven. You'll have to try both to see which one you prefer!
How Do You Keep French Fries Warm Before Serving?
There are a few ways to keep them warm and one great way to keep them crispy! If you just want to keep them warm for a bit, you could wrap them in aluminum foil or set them in a dish in the microwave or the oven.
To keep your fries warm and crispy, you'll need a baking sheet and a cooling rack. Place the fries on the cooling rack and then place that on the baking sheet. Then place the whole thing in the oven.
Depending on how long you need them to stay warm and crispy, you can just place them in the oven while it's off or turn it on low heat. This setup allows air to circulate around the fries so that they don't sit in any oil and get soggy.
How Do You Store French Fries After Frying?
This depends on if you want to keep them for a few days or just a few hours. If it's just for a few hours, then the best way would be to keep them in the oven using the above method. If you need to store them overnight or for a few days you should do so in the refrigerator.
Do Fries Have To Be Refrigerated?
To keep french fries good for 3-4 days, you should refrigerate them. Place them in an airtight container before placing them in the fridge. As an extra measure to ensure freshness, you can wrap them in aluminum foil inside of the container.
Can I Leave French Fries Out Overnight?
French fries should not be left overnight for health and taste reasons. Bacteria starts to grow on fries as quickly as 2 hours of sitting out at room temperature. Aside from that, they lose their texture and taste if left out too long. The oil on the fries can quickly take on a rancid flavor, and they will get stale.
How Do Restaurants Get Their Fries So Crispy?
The first thing that restaurants have that we don't is commercial-grade fryers. These allow for accurate temperature control. They also often reuse their oil.
Oil can be used several times before it because rancid. As oil is heated, it breaks down, and the more it's used, the crispier it makes fries because of this.
Restaurants also often blanch their fries before cooking. This process releases more moisture from the fries which makes them crispier during cooking.
How Do I Keep Take-Out Fries Crispy?
Unfortunately, there's no way to keep take-out fries crispy for long periods of time short of reheating them in the oven. But there are some things you can do to keep them crispy for a bit longer than normal.
The first thing is to keep the take-out bag open. If it's closed, then steam has nowhere to go and gets absorbed back into your fries, making them soggier.
Also, try to pick paper packaging when you can. Styrofoam has the same effect of trapping moisture which leads to your fries getting soggy faster!
Making crispy fries at home is a matter of picking the right ingredients, preparing everything, and making sure your fries are cooked all the way through. To keep them crispy and warm, you'll also want to place them in the oven on a rack so that they don't sit in any oil. Knowing how to make your crispy fries at home just means that you don't have to run out just to satisfy this craving!
Click on the links below to learn more about cutting your french fries!