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 yukon gold, russet, red and sweet potatoes, and they have all turned out well. Russet and yukon gold seem to be the best, however. 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. Yukon gold or 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 small 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.