Classic French Fries

Homemade french fries—with their crisp exteriors, airy interiors, and earthy, sweet flavor—are a revelation. When you start with fresh potatoes and cook them in peanut oil (which most restaurants don't do), the results are hard to beat. We find that coating the potatoes with a little cornstarch creates a shatteringly crisp crust.

Deep-frying potatoes to make french fries is unique in one regard: the potatoes require two rounds of frying. The first stage, or par-fry, helps the interior of the fries cook through and is done at a lower temperature than the second-stage frying, which browns and crisps the surfaces.

Salt is essential for great french fries—be sure to season the fries right after they come out of the oil, when the hot fat will help the granules adhere.

Total Cooking Time: about 2 hours

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Active Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Make Ahead: Serve immediately

Yield: 4 servings

Difficulty: Intermediate

Core Equipment

The right tool can make or break a recipe. At America's Test Kitchen, we test kitchen equipment in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. Since we accept no advertising, our ratings are unbiased. Check out our recommended products for the equipment you'll need in this course.
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  • Wear-Ever Half Size Heavy Duty Sheet Pan (13 gauge) by Vollrath (formerly Lincoln Foodservice)

    "Perfect" cookies, oven fries, and jellyroll in this "flawless" pan. Pork produced "lots of fat but no worries about spilling—pan is... read more
  • Masamoto VG-10 Gyutou, 8.2"

    “Feels fantastic when you pick it up: comfortable, light, ready.” “A dream” for cutting up chicken and dicing onion, with its “very ... read more
  • WMF Profi Plus Large 13-1/2-Inch Wok Strainer

    This strainer was easy to use and clean. The wire mesh pulled out fritters and fries and left the oil in the pot. The handle was ang... read more

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