The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Perfect French Fries

How to Cook French Fries, French fries are a beloved comfort food enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether crispy, golden, and salty or soft and tender on the inside, everyone has their favorite style.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through how to cook French fries to perfection. From choosing the right potatoes to mastering frying techniques,

you’ll have all the information you need to create the best homemade fries. Let’s get started!

Choosing the Right Potatoes

The first step to making great French fries is selecting the right type of potato. Russet potatoes are the preferred choice due to their high starch content and low moisture, which yield crispy fries. However, Yukon Gold potatoes can also work well if you prefer a slightly creamier texture.

Preparing the Potatoes

  1. Washing and Peeling: Start by thoroughly washing your potatoes to remove any dirt. You can peel them if you prefer a smoother texture, but leaving the skins on can add extra flavor and texture.
  2. Cutting: Cut the potatoes into even-sized strips. Aim for 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Uniform sizes ensure that the fries cook evenly.
  3. Soaking: Soak the cut potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. This step removes excess starch, which helps the fries become crispier. After soaking, drain and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.

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Cooking Techniques

There are several methods to cook French fries, but the most popular are deep frying, baking, and air frying. Here’s how to do each one:

Deep Frying

  1. First Fry: Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 325°F (163°C). Fry the potatoes in small batches for about 3-5 minutes until they are soft but not browned. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  2. Second Fry: Increase the oil temperature to 375°F (190°C). Fry the potatoes again in small batches for 2-4 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels and season with salt immediately.


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C).
  2. Coat with Oil: Toss the cut and dried potatoes in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil until evenly coated.
  3. Bake: Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are golden brown and crispy.

Air Frying

  1. Preheat Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Coat with Oil: Lightly coat the potato strips with vegetable oil.
  3. Air Fry: Place the fries in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until they are crispy and golden.

Estimating Cooking Time

  • Deep Frying: Total cooking time is approximately 10-15 minutes (5-7 minutes per fry session).
  • Baking: Total cooking time is about 25-30 minutes.
  • Air Frying: Total cooking time is about 15-20 minutes.

Remember, these times can vary based on the thickness of your fries and the specific equipment you’re using. Always keep an eye on your fries to prevent overcooking.

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Key Takeaways

  • Potato Choice: Use Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes for the best results.
  • Preparation: Soak the cut potatoes in cold water to remove excess starch for crispier fries.
  • Cooking Method: Choose between deep frying, baking, or air frying based on your preference and equipment.
  • Seasoning: Season fries immediately after cooking for the best flavor.


Q: How do I make my fries extra crispy? A: Soaking the potatoes in cold water, drying them thoroughly, and frying them twice at different temperatures can help achieve extra crispy fries.

Q: Can I use sweet potatoes for this recipe? A: Yes, sweet potatoes can be used. They have a different texture and flavor but can be prepared similarly. Keep in mind they might require slightly different cooking times.

Q: What’s the best oil for frying French fries? A: Oils with high smoke points, like vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil, are ideal for frying French fries.

Q: How can I store leftover fries? A: Store leftover fries in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in an oven or air fryer to regain some of their crispiness.

Q: Can I freeze French fries? A: Yes, after the first fry, let the fries cool completely, then freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. You can finish frying them directly from frozen.

By following these steps and tips, you’ll be able to make delicious French fries at home that rival any restaurant. Enjoy your homemade fries with your favorite dipping sauces and share them with family and friends!

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By Eleanor

As a seasoned food recipe expert, I'm here to share my passion for creating delicious dishes. Join me in exploring exciting flavors, mastering techniques, and making cooking a joyful experience.