Making your own french fries can sound a little tedious and yes, like a lot of work… but the end result is WELL WORTH THE EFFORT. Trust me! Nothing beats double fried homemade french fries. They taste fresh, have a great crunchy quality to them and YOU control how they are made, which beats the pants off of the science project list of ingredients you find on the package of most french fries you find in your grocer freezer isle.
As a mom I am always looking for ways to make my kids healthy alternatives to store bought frozen, processed foods and for sure french fries fit the bill.
I have tried making homemade french fries for years and have experimented ALOT with different methods, recipes and cooking vessels. But nothing came close to a good old cast iron skillet and patience.
The ultimate objective? Golden crispy fries on the outside with a light fluffy interior. When done right you won’t be able to resist eating them all. Done poorly and you wind up with a soggy, oily mess.
With the right tools and a few tricks you can easily make delicious, healthy alternative french fries at home that, hands down, are far and away better than any frozen bag you grab at the store.
Now before we jump into the recipe there are a few tools you will want on hand and a few tips you will want to keep in mind.
Buy this right potatoes! Sounds simple right? But when you get into the food store you are inundated with all kinds of options to choose from… which potato makes the best french fries? My personal preference is using large Russet baking potatoes. I find other varieties to be too sweet for my liking or too small to make a nice sized french fry.
Have on hand a vegetable or potato slicer. This will save you tons of time and make slicing the potatoes effort less. It is a great tool to have in your kitchen gadget cabinet for all sorts of recipes including fried zucchini sticks and vegetables for the grill.
A fry thermometer is a must have. It is important that you know the temperature of your oil so that you can not only make adjustments to the heat level under your pan but to ensure you don’t make a soggy mess from trying to fry with oil not to temp or burning your fries with oil that is too hot. A must have for not only french fries but fried chicken, chicken fried steak, fish & chips and all sorts of recipes.
A good cast iron skillet can be magical! Cast iron hold heat longer and gives you more control over the temperature during frying recipes. I use mine for everything from chicken fried stead, fish & chips, to french fries and pork chops. An indispensable pan to have in any kitchen. My husband even has one he uses on the grill for his smoky crab cake recipe! And be sure to have a handle cover for your pan… you will thank me later. The handle can get very hot and unless your on the run from the law you will probably want to keep your finger prints… LOL.
Finally, you will want a good baking sheet and a wire rack… this will help drain off the excess oil and make your life so much easier. trying to drain the oil off on a plate will just cause a headache and create soggy fries. Trust me here! Great for all sorts of recipes including fried chicken. A little trick, save money by cutting in half brown paper shopping bags and place on top of the wire rack resting in a half sheet pan. This will reduce the number of paper towels you need and is a nice way to reduce, reuse and recycle instead of just throwing out those brown bags.
OK… you are now armed and ready to start making some delicious homemade french fries! Once you try this recipe you will never go back to those science fair project frozen french fries again. Hope you enjoy them! Don’t forget to make some of Mamma Rocks Burger and Fries Sauce to dip your homemade fries in!!!!! MMMMMMMM 🙂
- 3 to 5 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed well (estimate 2 large or 3 medium potatoes per person)
- Vegetable oil - about 3 quarts
- Kosher salt - about 3 table spoons or enough to season to your liking
- In a 12 inch or larger cast iron skillet pour enough oil to reach about half way up the sides (do not over fill as oil will expand when heated and can overflow, additionally when you add the fries to the oil the oil will rise higher up the skillet).
- On the rim of the skillet clip on a fry thermometer so that it is not touching the bottom of the skillet but is submersed in the oil. Turn on burner and bring oil to 275 degrees.
- In a half sheet baking sheet place a wire rack topped with cut to size brown paper bags and layer paper towels on top to collect excess oil from the fries.
- Using a potato slicer (cut the potatoes as needed to fit into the slicer) slice desired amount of scrubbed and washed potatoes (for this recipe I typically slice 3 to 5 pounds of potatoes and yield enough fries for 6 to 8 people).
- In small batches place fries in oil, cook for approximately 4 to 5 minutes. The fries should not be browning for this round of frying.
- Remove fries from oil and place on brown bag lined rack. Repeat until all potatoes have been fried once.
- Raise temperature of oil to 375 degrees and place fries back in the oil in batches until golden brown. Remove fries to brown bag rack with clean paper towels on top to drain. Repeat till all fries have been cooked a second time.
- Season fries with salt and dip in Mamma's Burger and Fries Sauce... Enjoy!