Pommes Frites | French Fries

Pommes Frites | French Fries

Details

Crispy, homemade fries are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Simple to make, these twice-cooked fries make for a sinful and delicious treat!
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Views: 73,034
  • Success: 99%

Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Potatoes

• 4 large russet potatoes

Method

To make French fries, it’s best to use high-starch potatoes, such as russet potatoes.

First, peel the potatoes, if desired, and store in cold water. Before cutting each potato, dry it and then cut a bit off one side to prevent it from slipping. Cut the potato into strips about 3/8" -inch by 3/8" -inch wide. The potatoes can be cut any size you like. Just make sure they’re evenly cut so they cook at the same rate. You can also use a mandoline to cut the potatoes.

Place the potatoes into the water to prevent browning and also to rinse off the excess starch and surface sugars. The potatoes can be cut and stored in the refrigerator up to one day in advance.

Step 2: Heating the Oil

• frying oil (grapeseed or peanut)

Method

To begin, attach a thermometer to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. to ensure an accurate reading, make sure the prong does not touch the bottom of the pot.

Pour enough oil to reach about 2" -inches high. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches between 300º to 325º degrees Fahrenheit or 150° to 170° degrees Celsius.

Step 3: Blanching the Potatoes

Method

To blanch the potatoes, first set up a baking tray with paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth. Then gather a spider and make sure the oil is at the correct temperature.

Dry a handful of potatoes with another clean kitchen cloth. The potatoes must be dry so they don’t splatter once they hit the oil. Working in small batches, place the potatoes onto the spider and gently lower them into the oil. Blanch for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or just until softened slightly. You might also want to use a timer so you can time each batch. This will ensure that all of the potatoes cook evenly.

When blanching the potatoes, they should not turn golden at all. When they are ready, remove them from the oil and place onto the baking tray. The potatoes should be just cooked through but still have some resistance when you squish them. Continue to blanch the potatoes in batches, making sure the oil has returned to the proper blanching temperature each time before adding more. If the oil is too cold, the potatoes will absorb too much oil and be greasy.

Once all of the potatoes have been blanched, arrange them on the tray so they don’t stick together. Then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to ensure they are nice and cold. However, they can be stored for up to one day before cooking. Chilling the potatoes allows them to dry and, therefore, brown better once they are returned to the oil for the final cooking.

Step 4: Cooking & Serving the French Fries

• sea salt, to taste
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Once the potatoes have completely chilled, heat the oil to 400º degrees Fahrenheit or 200° degrees Celsius. Gather a large, stainless-steel bowl.

When the oil is ready, fry the potatoes for the second time. Place a handful of the potatoes onto the spider and lower into the oil. It can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 5 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your fries and how thick they were to begin with. Once crisp and golden, remove them from the oil and place them directly into the bowl. It’s important to season the potatoes while they’re nice and hot to ensure the seasoning sticks. Then give them a toss and serve immediately while you cook the next batch.

Chef's Notes

When cooking the first batch, use a timer so you can gauge how long each additional batch will take.

The fries are best served, piping hot, right out of the oil. If you need to, you can keep them warm in the oven while you finish cooking them; but they may lose some crispiness.

55 Comments

  • Payam P
    Payam P
    I've tried using many recipes for fries, and this was definitely the best. They also let my guest join the fun, as I had them man the fry station as I did the rest of the cooking. The last few batches I topped them off with Parmesan cheese and they were a hit.
  • Lihd F
    Lihd F
    I've made fries before with a little home deep fryer, but I'd never cooked them on the stove before. I had no trouble following the recipe and I was really happy with how the fries turned out. I used canola oil, because that's what I had lying around, they tasted fine, next time I think I'll try a peanut and canola mix. Love the idea that you can prep the fries give them one round of frying then leave them over night. This will make a really fun snack for guests.
  • K A
    K A
    I really like those classic french fries, but what like even more is the coated kind you find in some restaurants. Does any one have any ideas on how to cook those fries ?
  • Lauren K
    Lauren K
    So I am making them right now and they are def. turning gold quick! What's wrong? Is my oil too hot? My therm only goes up to 220:(
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes the oil is likely too hot...but of course I am somewhat guessing as I am not there. I always use a deep-fry thermometer when making fries, as I want them to be perfect every time. Try turning the oil down...wait...and then try again.
  • Katy mae rose P
    Katy mae rose P
    i made a dinner for my family with steamed mussels and this french fry recipe, with different dipping sauces. it was amazing!!! blanching correctly was really important. i noticed that after a few batches, it was taking longer to fry them. what is best to do when that happens?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The best thing to do when the temperature of the oil drops in temperature, is to wait for it to return to the proper temperature before adding any more potatoes. Each batch that you make will cool the oil, so you should wait before adding the next batch. Once you reach the correct temperature you can then fry another batch (just like the blanching in step 3). Hope this helps! Glad you liked the fries...I sure could go for some right now.
  • Marcus F
    Marcus F
    How many times the oil can be reused, and what's the best way to store it (i.e., in glass and in the fridge)? Is blanching necessary so that the fries will be completely cooked and not saturated once they are golden?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Each time the oil is used, it should be cleaned. Once it is cool, strain it through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove any burnt bits of food/debris. The oil can be stored in a tightly-sealed container at room temperature. Depending on what you are cooking, the oil may be used a few times if you are frying neutral-flavored foods; however, if you are deep frying foods such as fish, which will lend flavors to the oil, you might be able to only use it a couple of times. Make sure the oil does not smell off or rancid. Keep in mind though that even if you strain the oil, it can still contain particles of food. By overusing oil, the smoking point of the oil will be even lower...meaning that you won't be able to heat it as high. Foods will then have to spend more time than necessary in the oil to cook through and will ultimately absorb more grease. Potatoes that are just fried once will have a nice crust but will quickly soften from the moisture inside. Blanching helps to cook the interior and thicken the starches on the surface of the potatoes...so when you fry for the second time at a higher temperature, a good crust is formed and the moisture inside is at a minimum. Hope this helps!
  • Manille S
    Manille S
    Is there anything to blanching the potatoes in hot liquid such as boiling water or milk instead of blanching in oil?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You can blanch in water. You just have to be very careful not to overcook the potatoes, otherwise they will fall apart. You also much dry the potatoes really well before deep frying. If not the water will cause the hot oil to splatter and spit.
  • Jerry O
    Jerry O
    I was watching a cooking show the other night and noticed that they blanched the potatoes in water twice and two different tempartures, but they did not tell us what they were other than to say one was hotter than the other. Any idea's on what the proper temps would be? They then cooked them twice in oil and they came out very crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside as they should be. Thanks Jerry
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Hard to say what temperatures that particular recipe or cooking show blanched the fries at, as there are many ways to cook and/or blanch potatoes. French fries can be blanched in either water or oil. Generally French fries blached in water are called U.K. style fries, or "chips" as they are called there. Some say that the water can make the French fries mushy. For this reason some people like to triple blanch: first in water, then twice in oil. You can read more about this in this article called Heston Blumenthal: Posh chips (the article includes a recipe and also indicates the temperatures used). Good luck - cheers!
  • Andrew W
    Andrew W
    I have 2 US quarts of soybean oil (sold as vegetable oil). Can I use this instead of grapeseed oil?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Indeed you can use vegetable oil instead of grapeseed oil. As the Drill-down states in Step 2, you just need an oil with a high-smoke point. Cheers!
  • Andrew W
    Andrew W
    Thanks for the quick response! I did read the drill down, but it just didn't say whether soybean oil had a high smoke point so I wasn't sure. But I have heated the oil up to 360°F and no smoke yet so thanks! I was afraid I was going to have to go back to the store and return it. But thankfully I didn't have to. Right now the potatoes are sitting in the fridge, I just finished blanching them. We'll be eating a little late, but that's okay. I had a little trouble getting the oil to the right temperature. But I'm excited to try these! We're having them with hamburgers on freshly made hamburger buns!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Sounds great Andrew...wish I was coming for dinner :-) I have also updated the "Smoking Point of Oils and Fats" Drill-down to include a few more. Cheers!
  • Timothy P
    Timothy P
    Thank you so much, i am starting new to cooking world and just the whole using a pan lesson made learn so much more then i new.. Dose this website really help in becoming a good chef for a top notch restaurant! And were do i begin if i want o be a chef one day.. Im already 21 am i to old?..
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    We think that Rouxbe will help you become a better cook but perhaps you might want to read this post on "Love Your Feedback". You can also start your own post (as this is the comment area for French Fries). Here is the link to start a new post. You may also want to check out the Cooking School page to see what we have to offer. Hope this helps - cheers!
  • Al B
    Al B
    Can I freeze the blanched fries and crisp them at a later date? If so, how long will they last in the freezer?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You can blanch French fries ahead of time. Just be sure they are blanched enough until they are tender and translucent; otherwise, they can turn black in the center. Also, be sure to chill them after blanching before you freeze them in a single layer. Cheers!
  • Robin B
    Robin B
    When making fries with duck fat, do you use duck fat entirely or as a flavor enhancer? Also, do the rules differ for making the fries with duck fat?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Duck fat has a smoke point of about 375°F so it is best to cut it with a neutral-tasting oil that has a higher smoke point such as vegetable oil (use 1/3 duck to 2/3 other oil). Also, duck fat can be quite expensive, so a bit for flavor is good way to keep the cost down. Cheers!
  • Caroline D
    Caroline D
    is this the same step when making sweet potato fries? can I use yams and also the sweet potatoes? Also may I roast the potatoes after it has been blanched and chilled?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Sweet potato or yam fries can be trickier as they both contain more moisture and sugar. For more on this subject here is another thread that was started a while back. As for whether or not you can roast the potatoes after blanching the answer is yes. For more information on roasting vegetables be sure to check out the "Roasting Vegetables Lesson" in the Cooking School. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Rod R
    Rod R
    Would Grey salt or Fleur De Sel be a better choice ? Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Whether you use grey salt or fleur de sel for your French fries you can't go wrong with either one. It really just comes down to personal preference. For more information on these types of salts, check out the video called "Learn About Gourmet Salts" under the related videos tab of this recipe. Cheers!
  • Rod R
    Rod R
    Thanks Dawn for the quick response . I went with grey salt, because I like the way it works with potatoes. The fries were amazing ! Thanks Again!
  • Maria D
    Maria D
    I noticed you added only a few fries to the pan at a time. Is it ok to have more in the pan during blanching and during the final cooking as well. Also, what is the best way to keep fries warm until it's time to serve them. Thanks.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The amount you add will depend on the size of your deep-frier or pot. There should be enough room so that the fries can move around. You also don't want to add so much that the fat comes too high up the sides. As for keeping them warm, this is tricky. French fries are best served immediately. You can try keeping them in a warm oven as you do batches but the end result will not be the same as serving them right after they have been fried. Cheers!
  • Darren S
    Darren S
    Tried these and they weren't bad but the thermometer I used only went to 400 So I found it difficult to keep at correct temp and ended up overflying them. Next time I will make them a bit smaller and will have to buy a deep fry thermo!
  • Daniel M
    Daniel M
    How long can you store oil in a deep fryer? I understand the reasons for straining and storing oil in air-tight containers, Im just wondering how quickly this needs to be done? For example, If I know im going to use the deep fryer a few times for a week can I leave it in the deep fryer? I know if I leave it too long the oil will thicken. Add-on question: How do restaurants maintain their oil from deep fryers?
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    Yes you can certainly leave the oil in the deep fryer it will be fine, what you are concerned about is for the oil not to go rancid on you. As much as it may not seem appealing the best way to be sure is to dip your pinky in it and taste it, you'll know right away is the oil is rancid. In regards to restaurant, one common practice is to strain their oil every day, discard 5-10% and replenish it with fresh oil, the idea is that you always have consistent oil, oil that is pure out of the container does not fry as golden as somewhat used oil. so by this rotation restaurant always have a consistent oil, hope it make sense.
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    I tried making fries again today. This is probably the one thing I've cooked the most times and still pretty much suck at. It's frustrating, but I always end up with the same results: Fries turn much too brown, yet still feel like they haven't really been cooked all the way through (dense to chew) and sometimes soft and limp. I'm using a thermometer to keep a very watchful eye on the heat - adjusting the stove as the potatoes make the oil cool down, turning it down if the oil gets too hot and so on. Today I even got out a ruler to make sure the potatos were the right size. And I used a timer to time the blanching (1.5 minutes, any longer and they start turning golden). My only uncertainty at this point is the potato itself: It's labelled as "baking potato" in the store, but I'm not exactly sure what kind it is. I guess I should find out. Also, I don't have a very intuitive feel on what a waxy vs a starchy potato looks and feels like. Is there anything in particular that can cause fries from getting to brown on the outside while not getting light and crunchy?
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    Oh, I forgot. I use about 1 litre of oil in a fairly small pan - the fries have plenty of depth to float around in. I only blanched and fried about 10 sticks at a time.
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    As I was reading your comment, I was also thinking, "it must be the potatoes" and sure enough you came to the same conclusion. Two varieties that work well for us, on the west coast, are either a Kanabec potato or a simple russet. Depending who you talked to, some prefer one some the other. I've had good results from both. A waxy potatoes is usually a new potato, one with a very fine kin. These are best steamed. For fries you need a starchy/mealy potato. Keep trying different ones and you'll reach fries nirvana soon. Cheers!
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    I stopped by the store today, and came home with Pimpernel and Asterix. As I understand, Asterix potatos are frequently used for commercial fries. My results were so-so with both kinds. The color was better, and they were a little more crispy than what I've achieved with the "baking potato" from before, but there's still ground to cover. Are these good potatoes for frying (i.e. I need to practice more), or should I look for better alternatives?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Sounds like you still might not have the right potato Christian. While I have not heard of those particular types, the pictures I saw online looked like they might be a waxier or firmer potato. I did read that many companies use them to make French fries but they might be using "special" methods to come up with the right French fry. Here in North America, many people use Russets, Russet Burbank and Idaho potatoes to make fries. Here is a link to a bit more info on the different types of potatoes and their starch content etc. Hope that helps you. Cheers!
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    Thanks for looking into it Dawn, much appreciated. Your link mentioned Desiree, and that's a potato I know I can get where I live. I've never seen Russet, Russet Burbank or Idaho potatoes here, but they may go under different names, and I find it really hard to identify potatoes by eye. Unfortunately many stores sell potatoes simply as "potatoes" and in most cases the employees will be just as clueless (interestingly also the case with chiles where I live). Will report back when I've tried some more potatoes :)
  • Cassie V
    Cassie V
    I tried to use duck fat for this recipe. The fries did not have a strong fragrance of duck fat like those I had at restaurants. Anyone can help?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Cassie- This is a good question. Duck fat fries should have a pronounced flavor profile when compared to fries cooked in vegetable oil or shortening. Are the fries that you are comparing these to just fried in duck fat with no additional seasoning? I ask because you use the word "fragrance" and that leads me to think about truffle oil, which is commonly drizzled on duck fat fries to add an uniquely alluring aroma. Let us know, we're happy to help!
  • Cassie V
    Cassie V
    I mean just fries in duck fat, not duck fat flavor oil. I remember at that one restaurant, just one bite of the fries, it contains a full flavor and fragrance of duck fat. I can tell right away that the fries were fried using duck fat. When I tried it, my fries did not have any flavor or that intense fragrance of duck fat. Thank you Ken for replying
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Cassie- What color was the fat that you were using to fry? Very light in color or darker or golden? Maybe you can phone that restaurant and ask them where they get their duck fat? It sounds like it was a memorable dish!
  • Pam P
    Pam P
    Christian, I have been making fries every week now for almost a year because it is part of my job. I don't follow the recipe here at rouxbe, even though it is similar. What I do is put 2 Tbsp of white vinegar in 2 quarts of cold water and boil the potatoes for 8 minutes. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes (but it usually is 30 minutes before I get back to them) and then fry them at 375 degrees F for 50 seconds. Cool for at least 30 minutes -- or better yet freeze them and when ready to cook again heat the oil to 375 and cook for 3 - 3 1/2 minutes then I lightly salt with popcorn salt. They are crispy every time. I use canola oil.
  • Cassie V
    Cassie V
    I trimmed the fat from the whole duck. Thus, the color is white. How different does the colors make? Thanks, Ken
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    I've seen people use rendered duck fat from a roasted duck, which is golden or light brown in color. It has much more of a deep, nutty flavor than the lighter (almost white) fat that some people use. The challenge with this is that the fat can get cooked too much and become bitter, so there's a fine line between a bit of color and acrid tasting (i.e. "too dark") fat. I hope this helps!
  • Mohammed  A
    Mohammed A
    I would like to make a big batch after blanching for storing in the freezer so I can just fry a bunch when needed. Can I store them in a bag? Also should I let them thaw before the final frying step? More details on these are greatly appreciated
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    Yes easily done, that is the way all commercial fries are done. First, like you, they blanch them, then they freeze them IQF ( Individually Quick Frozen) so put them loosely on a tray, when frozen bag them, when the oil is hot immerse a few while still frozen do not thaw, be aware that depending of the quantity of fries you add to the quantity of oil you have it could drastically lower the oil temp. thus not giving you good quality, don't forget to have the ketchup ready :)
  • Mohammed  A
    Mohammed A
    After them in the fridge for an hour moved them into a freezer bag I cooked them next day and they didn't stick together when frying. I will try freezing them separately then putting them together in a bag.
  • Mohammed  A
    Mohammed A
    Forgot to add that my wife loves my fries, one of the joys of life to cook for a loved one :)
  • Angela M
    Angela M
    Can I use olive oil??
  • Mohammed  A
    Mohammed A
    OK a question. whats the quickest way to do this? Can fry them the first fry, and then turn up the heat on the oil and then fry them again? How do restaurants serve fresh cut fries quickly?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Restaurants that do the blanching method usually just have 2 fryers at different temperatures. That is the best way to keep the correct temperatures for each phase and not slow down production. ~Ken
  • Angela M
    Angela M
    Can I use olive oil for frying chips
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Angela - You "can" (i.e. it is possible to do it) - but generally, olive oil is not great for high heat and extended heat cooking applications. It can be a somewhat delicate oil and can break down with the heat required to deep fry. ~Ken

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