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Thin Crispy French Fries on a white plate with a dollop of ketchup

Thin Crispy French Fries

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These homemade Thin Crispy French Fries will rival your favorite fast-food version. Pure perfection from your own kitchen.

Learn the tricks on How to Make Crispy French Fries in your own kitchen!!

Thin Crispy French Fries on a white plate with a dollop of ketchup

Why You Should Make this French Fries Recipe

  • There is nothing better than hot, freshly made french fries!
  • You don’t have to leave your house for crispy fries.
  • These are so much better than frozen, then baked French fries.

Thin Crispy French Fries

There are four basic steps to this recipe for thin crispy French fries: boiling, frying, freezing, and frying again. And just four ingredients. But if you’re like me, deep-frying anything is a daunting task.

But it was a snowy Sunday and my oldest was going to brave his way to our house to join us for dinner. I had an inkling that these would be a hit. So what’s a little mess?

These homemade fries were the result of her quest for the very best French fries. I think she’s found them! The recipe comes from Serious Eats and was thoroughly researched by one of their chef contributors, who happens to be an MIT grad.

Thin Crispy French Fries in a basket on a checkered napkin with a plate with a few fries and a blob of ketchup

How to Make French Fries

  1. Break out the deep fryer. Or in my case, the Dutch oven and digital thermometer. For the first stage of this recipe, the raw fries were boiled in salted, acidulated water till tender.
  2. There’s obviously some food science involved, but nothing I learned in nursing school (note MIT degree trumps my BSN). After air-drying for a few minutes, the spuds were briefly fried in hot oil before a stint in the freezer.
  3. Freezing overnight is recommended, but I only had a few hours.
  4. Right before serving, the oil was reheated and the fries cooked to a perfect golden brown.
Thin Crispy French Fries in a ceramic basket lined with parchment

Frequently Asked Questions

Are French Fries really French?

American soldiers during WWI were exposed to French fries in Southern Belgium. Since the language spoken in the area was French, the soldiers referred to them as French fries.

Are French Fries always eaten with ketchup?

Though ketchup is most popular in the US, my Canadian friends enjoy their fries with vinegar, and others prefer mayonnaise.

How do you Slice Potatoes for French Fries?

First, peel them. Then slice a small piece to make a flat side. With the flat side down, slice planks in your desired thickness lengthwise, from top to bottom. Then slice those planks into fries.

Why do you Soak Potatoes in Water Before Frying?

Soaking helps remove some of the starch from the potatoes making them firmer and more likely to hold their shape. The salt in the solution infuses flavor and the vinegar also plays a role (see ingredient note below).

Why Didn’t My French Fries Get Crispy?

The most common reason is they were not dry enough when fried. After soaking, the fries need to drain on paper towels. Make sure all sides are dry.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Russet potatoes – Starchy potatoes like russets work best. Keep the cut potatoes in a bowl of water to prevent oxidization or turning brown.
  • White vinegar –  PRO-Tip: Adds a slight crust to the fries, helping them retain their shape
  •  Kosher salt – I prefer coarse salt for fries. Make sure to sprinkle while the fries are hot as this will ensure the salt will stick
  • Peanut oil – Has a higher smoke point than other oils and is best for frying

These were a home run hit! I can usually restrain myself, but I ate my fair share. Their first salty bath infused them with the needed flavor, so just a light dusting of kosher salt finished them off. 

If you have a hankering for homemade fried potatoes, you must try these thin crispy French fries! If you’d like to try your hand at sweet potato fries, they are another fabulous side for your burgers!

Thin Crispy French Fries - As good or better than McDonald's!!

The Recipe: Thin Crispy French Fries

The best French Fry recipe adapted from Serious Eats

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (3-4 large), cut into 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch strips (keep in a bowl of water)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 quarts peanut oil

Instructions

  1. Add 2 quarts of water to a large saucepan. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Add potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes or till potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Drain and spread on paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Allow to dry for five minutes.
  2. Heat oil to 400°in a large Dutch oven. Add about 1/3 of fries to oil (oil temperature will drop but try to keep at 360º or above). Cook for about a minute, using a spider strainer to gently stir the oil. Remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat with the next third of potatoes after oil reheats to 400º, then again with the final third. Let potatoes to cool to room temperature then freeze potatoes overnight (you can fry again before then, but they'll be best when well frozen).
  3. Return oil to 400° over high heat. Fry half of potatoes until crisp and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes minutes, trying to keep oil around 360°. Let drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Salt while hot if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

Note that French Fries need to be frozen (overnight suggested) before final frying.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 460Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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Potato Recipes from my Blogger CLUE friends:

Check out these fabulous potato or starchy recipes from our March participants!

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47 comments on “Thin Crispy French Fries”

  1. Really interesting method! I usually double fry — fry first at a lower temperature (blanching the fries, really). Then right before serving at a higher temperature. I’m guessing the boiling kind of acts like the first fry. Fun technique — I have to try this. Thanks!

  2. I had no idea about freezing the fries! I love science! Your fries look perfect.

  3. There is food science involved apparently and you nailed this recipe, Lizzy! I never knew to freeze before frying your own homemade fries. My MIL in Italy makes the most perfect fries every summer and she just whips them out (w/out frying). I think your putting them in fridge trick worked perfectly. Now how to get a plate for lunch!! 🙂

  4. A BSN? Now I understand all that “perfection” in those photos! I worked with RNs for over 20 years and each and every one had that perfection gene that I don’t seem to possess! 🙂 The french fries look delectable and I would be very happy if someone would make them for me – they do seem like lots of work but it’s always nice to have homemade!

  5. I could eat buckets of french fries right now. These look fabulous. We typically pan roast in the oven to get pretty good fries but it doesn’t beat frying. This method is interesting with the double fry. I would fly to your house for some of these!

  6. I never would have thought these steps were involved in making French fries! These look amazing!

  7. You just can’t beat a good crispy frenchfry, Liz.

  8. Oh boy, even at breakfast they look good:@)

  9. Yummy! I don’t think I would want to stop having these until they are finished 😀

  10. I avoid deep frying too, Liz, because it is such a production, but these French fries certainly look worth the effort. I’ve heard of the double frying but never the freeze in between. I may have to give this a try!

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