The Ultimate Guide to French Fry Perfection: Achieving Crispy Bliss

French fries, those golden, crispy delights, are a beloved staple in countless cuisines worldwide. While seemingly simple, achieving the perfect combination of crispy exterior and soft interior can be a culinary challenge. This guide delves into the secrets of crafting the ideal french fry, with insights from two renowned sources: Ree Drummond’s “Perfect French Fries” and Detoxinista’s “Crispy Baked French Fries.”

The Importance of Soaking

Both sources emphasize the crucial step of soaking the potatoes. This process removes excess starch, leading to crispier fries. Detoxinista recommends soaking for 15-30 minutes, while Drummond suggests a minimum of 2-3 hours or even overnight. While longer soaking times generally result in crispier fries, even a brief soak yields noticeable improvement.

Soaking Techniques

Drummond suggests soaking the potatoes in cold water, while Detoxinista explores various methods: cold water, hot water, and salt water. While all methods prove effective, soaking in salt water appears to yield the crispiest results. The salt draws out moisture from the potatoes, enhancing crispiness.

The Art of Frying

Drummond’s recipe utilizes a two-step frying process. The first stage involves frying the potatoes at 300°F, softening them without browning. The second stage increases the temperature to 400°F, achieving golden crispness. Detoxinista focuses on baking, recommending a temperature of 400°F for 35 minutes, with a mid-bake flip for even browning.

Seasoning for Flavor

Both sources highlight the importance of seasoning. Drummond recommends sea salt, while Detoxinista suggests a blend of celery salt, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Experiment with different seasonings to discover your personal preference.

Tips for Extra Crispy Fries

  • Use Russet potatoes for their high starch content, contributing to crispness.
  • Cut the potatoes into even-sized sticks for uniform cooking.
  • Dry the potatoes thoroughly after soaking to prevent steaming and ensure crispness.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan during frying or baking, as this can lead to soggy fries.
  • Use a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot for even heat distribution during frying.
  • For baked fries, preheat the oven and baking sheet for optimal results.

Crafting the perfect french fry requires attention to detail and a few simple techniques. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can achieve crispy, golden fries that will elevate your culinary creations. Remember to experiment with different soaking methods, seasonings, and cooking techniques to discover your own perfect french fry recipe.

But it’s true, folks: dipping potatoes directly into oil doesn’t produce perfectly golden french fries that are crisp on the outside and soft in the center. Because the starch on the outside of the potatoes prevents the fries from ever becoming nice and crisp, it can often cause the outside of the fries to brown when cooking them for a long enough period of time to soften the potato. Utter chaos, I’m telling you!.

Note: I usually end up soaking the fries for several hours or even overnight because I developed the habit of planning ahead for fries somewhere along the line. For example, last Sunday, I cut and peeled the potatoes before church and left them to soak while we were away so they would be ready to cook when we returned. It’s probably best to soak the potatoes for at least an hour, but there’s no harm in soaking them for longer.

However, once you taste french fries the way they should be made—that is, the way most fast food chains and restaurants make them—you won’t be able to resist looking for ways to include them in your weekly menu. I leave it to you to determine whether this is a good thing or not.

The correct soaking time depends on the size of the fry

The amount of time that soaking will be helpful will depend on the type of french fries you’re making. The potatoes should soak for no longer than 24 hours when making thicker-cut fries, or 12 hours if you’re making extremely thin shoestring fries. If you leave the potatoes in for too long, they might begin to absorb water and become mushy fries. Therefore, while soaking french fries overnight might be helpful for steak-cut fries, you might want to give thinner varieties only a few hours at most of your time.

However, if you do leave the sliced potatoes to soak for a long time, you might want to use your refrigerator. The cold potato water—which is necessary for soaking your sliced potatoes—can be maintained by the low air temperature. The starch in the potatoes will be drawn out by cold water, but any additional heat could activate it. This may result in a sticky texture that sticks to the potatoes’ exterior and cause uneven cooking or strange textures.

Tips for Frying Potatoes⎢Martha Stewart’s Cooking School


How long can potatoes soak in water before frying?

How long can peeled and cut potatoes sit in water before cooking, before they begin taking on too much water? A: We usually recommend no more than 24 hours. You can keep the potatoes from absorbing the water by making sure the water is not salted, and is chilled (you can even add ice to the water).

How long to soak french fries to remove starch?

Many making fresh cut fries, first cut the potatoes, rinse in water till the water is clear, then transfer to plastic buckets with water, place in the walk in and come back in a few hours. Typically the excess surface starch will drop to the bottom of the bucket.

How do you dry potatoes after soaking?

Dry at 140 degrees F (60°C) in an oven or dehydrator. If necessary, turn large pieces over every 3 to 4 hours during the drying period. Vegetables can scorch easily toward the end of drying, so monitor more closely as drying nears completion. Dried potatoes should be brittle.

Can you soak chips overnight?

(If you have time, it’s worth letting the chips soak in a bowl of cold water for several hours, or overnight.) Pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan half-full of the sunflower oil to 130C. It’s important to use a cooking thermometer and check the temperature regularly.

How long should french fries soak?

Depending on what style of french fries you’re making, there is a limit to how long soaking will be beneficial. When making thicker-cut fries, the potatoes shouldn’t soak for more than 24 hours — or 12 if you’re prepping super-thin shoestring fries. After too long, the potatoes may start to absorb water, which could result in mushy fries.

What is the nutrition and reason for eating french fries with skin left on?

As any fried meal, French fries provides high calories, a rich amount of saturated fat and trans fats, all known to increase blood cholesterol levels and hence coronary and cardiovascular diseases. When eating French fries with their skin on, the amount of fiber increases. Fiber is great to keep the digestive system working smoothly, however these benefits are insignificant when is eaten in fried foods.

Do you soak Fries in water before baking?

Whether you deep-fry them, air-fry them, or bake them in the oven, you should first soak your fries in water. Once you’ve peeled and cut your potatoes, submerge your fries in a bowl of cold water. This will help the potatoes to release some of their starches, which can be further rinsed off under running water after soaking.

Should you soak sliced potatoes before making french fries?

It might sound like a lot of work, but you won’t regret it if you want that restaurant-quality taste. This is why you should soak your sliced potatoes before making fries and for how long, plus more tips on how to achieve perfect French fry success.

Leave a Comment