After trying a number of different ways of making French Fries this technique is a winner. The goal is a crispy outside with a gooey inside. I have used red, russet and sweet potatoes, and they have all turned out well. Sweet potatoes seem to work better with a lower final cooking temperature and a larger width, and never seem to get as crispy, but I like the flavor.
For russet potatoes I use a mandoline with a large crosscut blade to slice the potatoes uniformly. Red potatoes I use a smaller crosscut blade or just cut by hand. Sweet potatoes have to be cut by hand as even with sharp blades on my (manual-powered) mandoline they are just too dense to slice.
I have a dedicated deep fryer with very accurate yet limited temperature control, (300°F - 375°F in 25° increments), so other temperature settings than what I use may result in even better results. I have tried deep frying in a pot, but it was too much of a pain to try and keep the temperature at a consistent level especially when putting things in and taking them out in short intervals.
Usually when I make fries I am also deep frying something else like fish or chicken. In those cases I tend to do the initial cooking of the fries, adjust the temperature and cook the other items while the fries cool, then at the very end finish the fries. I also tend to keep the skin on.
The selection of oil to use is a confusing topic that after a bit of research ended up with me with the feeling that it was not worth my time to dig further and to just use what I liked. Besides the deep fryer is not frequently used. In my personal kitchen I tend to use extra virgin olive oil for sautéing, coconut oil for pan frying, and a regular (processed) olive oil for deep frying. I also keep around lard, ghee and canola oil.
Prep: 5 minutes
Wait: 70 minutes (minimum)
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 88 minutes
- 2 Russet potatoes, scrubbed (more if using red potatoes or less if using sweet potatoes)
- Enough oil of choice to fully submerge the potatoes (4qt for my deep fryer)
- Salt to taste
- (optional) Seasonings to taste such as cayenne, and, (more applicable for me when making sweet potato fries), garlic powder, paprika and/or pepper.
- Slice potatoes and fully submerge in cold water and ice. Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Preheat deep fryer to 300°F.
- Thoroughly dry potatoes and cook for 4 minutes.
- Remove from deep fryer and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat deep fryer to 375°F.
- Cook potatoes for 4 minutes or until a golden color.
- Season with salt and other seasonings to taste.